The James R. Thompson Center, located in the iconic Chicago Loop, has finally been sold after years of debate to Google. Yes, Google, as in the internet browser and tech-giant. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced this sale yesterday afternoon. So, what does it mean?
Well, the company bought the building for $105 million. The Thompson Center is known as one of the most significant postmodern buildings, was designed by architect Helmut Jahn in 1985 and Google plans to honor its past legacy. The center will be entirely redeveloped, transforming the building into an office suite for Google workers. Some consider this to be ‘the biggest corporate expansion’ in Chicago’s history.
The center has been a source of contention as it was sold a few years ago and was put up for sale in June with no plans to move forward. Now, the Governor of Illinois hopes that Google will help to generate tax revenue and bring a renewed life to The Loop.
The 425,000 sq. ft. building has been around for over 36 years. With 37 floors, it previously housed several large government services and offices of elected officials. The space was also once considered the hub where all Chicago Transit Authority trains were destined to meet. Now, it will become the second Google headquarters, drawing relocations and tourism to a new high as the tech giant makes its home in the Windy City.
As for where the state officials will relocate? They purchased the former headquarters for BMO Harris Bank. at 115 S. LaSalle St. and plan to move operations over there. The over 2,000 state employees have already started relocating to 555 W. Monroe St. and surrounding spaces.
Renovations are expected to ensue and will hopefully be completed by 2026.