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Profile: Moore Landscapes, Inc.

By Erin Ward?for Moore Landscapes, Inc.




Family-owned and -operated since 1948, Moore Landscapes is one of the largest contractors in the multi-billion-dollar Chicago landscaping market. Next year, the company celebrates its 60th anniversary, but it's already marking this achievement with aggressive expansion plans for the Chicago area and beyond. Photos courtesy of Moore Landscapes, Inc.
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When executives of Moore Landscapes, Inc. arrive at the office at 7:30 a.m., most of their colleagues have already put in half a day's work. But that's just the nature of the business for a company that maintains the landscaping for some of Chicago's most high-profile landmarks, including Lake Shore Drive, the Chicago Park District Floral Gardens and the Wrigley Building.

Family-owned and -operated since 1948, Moore Landscapes is one of the largest contractors in the multi-billion-dollar Chicago landscaping market. Next year, the company celebrates its 60th anniversary, but it's already marking this achievement with aggressive expansion plans for the Chicago area and beyond.

My dad, Floyd Moore, founded the company right out of high school with money he'd saved from mowing lawns, said Victor Moore, president of Moore Landscapes. He worked out of his parents' garage for years prior to renting a small shop in Glenview. Today, we all feel honored to be carrying on our family's tradition of beautifying Chicago through landscaping.






Moore Landscapes' Chicago Park District contract includes Lincoln Park, Grant Park and the median planters along Lake Shore Drive, among many other high-traffic areas. Each year, they plant 250,000 flowers over 214 square miles across 69 parks, while accommodating events like Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and numerous political events.


In the early years, Moore Landscapes' client roster included residential maintenance projects on Chicago's upscale North Shore, but expanded in the early 1960s into larger commercial installation and maintenance. Two of Moore's largest accounts in the 1960s were the Signode Steel Company, now part of Illinois Tool Works, and the Chicago Park District, both of which remain clients today.

One of the company's most high-profile projects at that point was the landscaping for Rubloff Company's Sandburg Village apartment community, one of the largest urban high-rise apartment developments in the country, Victor said.






Moore Landscapes executives say the secret to the company's success lies in its retention of high-performing employees. Many of the associates seen here have more than twenty years of experience with the company


Throughout the 1970s, the company grew steadily with an average 10 percent increase in annual revenue. Moore Landscapes took on other significant installation and maintenance work, such as the Mission Hills Golf Course Community in north-suburban Northbrook, one of the earliest golf course communities in the Chicago area to feature attached housing.

Soon, however, the company's leadership was about to change. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Floyd Moore's sons, Victor and Eric, started working at the company full-time. After working in the field to gain experience, both grew into managerial positions. Floyd and Marie retired in 1984, and Victor and Eric ascended to president and vice president, respectively, through a buyout process. Throughout the next twenty-plus years, Victor and Eric grew the company to a $20 million business and expanded its reach to include civic/municipal, commercial and institutional landscape projects.






Chicago Park District?We help bring to life Mayor Daley's vision of a ?city in a garden,' which is Chicago's motto, says Victor Moore. Moore Landscapes' comprehensive work on the Chicago Park District was recently honored by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA). Moore also won a national award from the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).


Since the early 1990s, one of the company's most high-profile projects has been its landscaping for the Chicago Park District. This contract includes Lincoln Park, Grant Park and the median planters along Lake Shore Drive, among many other high-traffic areas. Each year, Moore Landscapes plants 250,000 flowers over 214 square miles across 69 parks, while accommodating events like Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and numerous political events. We get the prestige of saying the Chicago Park District is our client, but it goes beyond bragging rights, Victor said. We help bring to life Mayor Daley's vision of a ?city in a garden,' which is Chicago's motto. Moore Landscapes' comprehensive work on the Chicago Park District was recently honored by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA). Moore also won a national award from the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).






When Floyd and Marie Moore retired in 1984, their sons Victor and Eric ascended to president and vice president, respectively, through a buyout process. Throughout the next twenty-plus years, Victor and Eric grew the company to a $20 million business and expanded its reach to include civic/municipal, commercial and institutional landscape projects.


The company has also worked with the city of Chicago, maintaining the green roof on City Hall at Mayor Daley's behest and maintaining the landscaping for O'Hare International Airport, for which Moore Landscapes won an ILCA award in 2006. In the private sector, Moore has expanded throughout the city and suburbs, maintaining the landscaping for a number of commercial office developments, including the 65-story 311 S. Wacker Dr. in the Loop and Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Deerfield, Ill.






We get the prestige of saying the Chicago Park District is our client, but it goes beyond bragging rights, Victor said. Since the early 1990s, one of the company's most high-profile projects has been its landscaping for the Chicago Park District Floral Gardens.


One of our most comprehensive current projects is Woodfield Corporate Center in Schaumburg, which the ILCA recognized with an award last year, said Eric Moore, vice president of Moore Landscapes. This project comprises more than 6,000 square feet of flower beds, which we monitor daily and re-plant four times a year. Institutional clients include Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, which owns Evanston, Glenbrook and Highland Park hospitals.

One aspect of Moore Landscapes' business that is growing rapidly is its installation and maintenance of green rooftops. In addition to the company's work on City Hall's green roof, Moore Landscapes has installed green roofs at numerous high-rise condominium buildings. One of the most visible is the new Optima Old Orchard Woods on Chicago's North Shore, which includes green roofs and terraces on seven of its stories, spanning across 25,000 square feet. Additionally, Moore Landscapes is contracted to install the green roof at Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago, which will feature 10,000 square feet of landscaping as high up as the 90th story.

As Mayor Daley champions Chicago as the ?greenest city in the country,' our business is more relevant than ever, Victor said. While Moore Landscapes is best known for its high-profile projects, the company has covered a wide range of landscapes, including schools, zoos, golf course communities, corporate headquarters and large multi-family developments.






Chicago Park District?Ultimately, our expertise comes from our employees' long experience in the field, Victor added. In fact, many supervisors responsible for our growth over the past three decades started as laborers and remain at the company today.







Moore Landscapes has worked extensively with the city of Chicago, maintaining the green rooftop at City Hall at Mayor Daley's behest. The company has also worked with the city of Chicago, maintaining the green roof on City Hall at Mayor Daley's behest and maintaining the landscaping for O'Hare International Airport, for which Moore Landscapes won an ILCA award in 2006.


Executives said the secret to Moore Landscapes' success lies in its retention of high-performing employees and a willingness to prioritize quality. We always ensure our jobs are done correctly, said Jim Pearson, vice president of maintenance, who oversees the company's contract with the Chicago Park District. We do that through buying excellent products and making quality our number one priority.






For brothers Victor and Eric Moore, the 10 acres they transformed into the Linden Tree Lane townhome community in Glenview, Ill. held special significance. Fifty years earlier, their father purchased the property to expand his growing landscaping business.


Ultimately, our expertise comes from our employees' long experience in the field, Victor added. In fact, many supervisors responsible for our growth over the past three decades started as laborers and remain at the company today. These experienced associates include Christopher Coe, vice president of construction; Bill Parker, vice president of suburban maintenance; Pedro Berreles, vice president of Chicago civic maintenance; and Stacey Diedrick, vice president of accounting & administration, among others.

Pearson also noted that even though Moore Landscapes' work is often last-minute and high-pressure, employees go to great lengths to respect their clients' priorities. These demands range from moving planters to accommodate a television shoot for ER in Grant Park to meticulously maintaining the parks where the mayor often gives press conferences. Victor added that the company's client relationships have flourished over the years due in part to employees' extreme attention to detail. Sure, clients recognize our track record, he said. A history of service is important, but answering everyday needs is vital. When our clients call on us, we respond immediately.

These executives say this responsiveness and attention to detail will lead them into the future as the company expands beyond the Chicago area. Less than a year ago, Moore Landscapes brought on Brian Stanley as chief operating officer. Stanley's role is to help Moore expand its reach through applying his regional management experience from his tenure at Riverwoods, Ill.-based Initial Tropical Plants.






One of Moore Landscapes' most comprehensive current projects is Woodfield Corporate Center in Schaumburg, Ill. Landscaping for this corporate park comprises more than 6,000 square feet of flower beds, which is monitored daily and replanted four times a year.


While Moore Landscapes has grown tremendously over the past 20 years, there was a need to bring in a big-picture management perspective to bring the business to another level, Victor said.

Stanley is emphasizing a blend of the company's tradition of superb customer service with modern technologies to increase efficiency. This year, Moore Landscapes also hired a sales and design consultant, Jan Wemple, whose job is to develop the company's new business outreach.

We want to continue to capitalize on our associates' rich experience and know-how, Eric added. We've learned that you have to have the resources and patience to work on high-profile projects, but we get so much back that 60 years ago our parents didn't even imagine.


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October 23, 2019, 10:10 pm PDT

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