Google has just announced a purchase of the former downtown Loop Illinois state building, the Thompson Center, with plans to renovate the building to become a new Chicago headquarters for Google's hybrid workforce where employees are beginning to spend more time at home.
“The Thompson Center gives us a presence in the central business district, enabling us to get in on the ground floor of revitalizing the Loop with its unparalleled access to public transit, which is so important to today’s hybrid workforce,” said Karen Sauder, Google’s president of global clients and agency solutions.
"In 2000, Google’s Chicago office consisted of two people in River North. Now, that presence has grown to more than 1,800 employees in Fulton Market. And today, we’re announcing we intend to buy the iconic James R. Thompson Center building in Chicago’s Loop upon future renovation, which deepens our commitment to Google’s long-term presence in the city. The cost of the existing unrenovated building is $105 million.
This will support engineering work in Chicago and helps advance the growth of Google’s partners and customers across the Midwest and nationally. It also helps us meet the future needs of our flexible hybrid workforce. By establishing a presence in Chicago’s central business district, we will be getting in on the ground floor of a broader revitalization of the Loop," Google stated about the purchase.
The Thompson Center will provide employees with unparalleled public transit access as the only building in the city where six L train lines converge, easily connecting Chicago’s South, West and North sides. Once renovated to a Class A environmentally friendly office building, we anticipate occupying the Thompson Center starting in 2026."
“This transformative agreement will save our taxpayers nearly a billion dollars over the next thirty years and further Chicago’s reputation as one of the great tech hubs not just of the United States, but of the world,” Illinois Govenor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.
This purchase from Google is one of another examples of tech companies once thought to only be on the coasts furthering their investment in the Midwest.