Update: Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is selling the building for $30 million in cash and also getting another downtown building (115 S. LaSalle) valued at $75 million where state employees will work. Michael Reschke’s JRTC Holdings LLC will renovate the Thompson Center to meet Google's needs.
Google Inc. announced Wednesday morning they intended to purchase the James R. Thompson Center building in Chicago’s Loop for a cost of $105 million. The building is expected to require extensive additional renovations.
As noted in the company announcement, Google first moved into Chicago way back in the year 2000 to an office in the River North neighborhood staffed by two people. Since then, the company has grown into one of the world's most recognizable brands and the dominant force in global internet search and advertising. Google has already been building their presence in the Fulton Market area of Chicago where they presently have an office of more than 1,800 employees.
The company said it intends to move forward with a "flexible hybrid workforce" and that Chicago's Thompson Center's central location in the Loop will help them achieve these goals and be "on the ground floor of a broader revitalization of the Loop."
The city and state has been trying to figure out what to do with the property for years, as the property needs extensive renovations. Google did not say how much they expect any renovations to cost, but they did say they plan to occupy the building by the year 2026.
The Thompson Center opened in 1985 as the State of Illinois Center. It was renamed in 1993 for James “Big Jim” Thompson, who served as governor from 1977-91, and was designed by famed architect Helmut Jahn. Jahn recently died in a bike crash in west suburban St. Charles, Illinois.
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Notes & References
Sauder, Karen. “Bringing Google to Chicago's Thompson Center.” Google. Google, July 27, 2022. https://blog.google/inside-google/company-announcements/chicago-thompson-center/. ↩︎
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