“We’re encouraged that the architecturally-daring James R. Thompson Center — seemingly consigned to the scrap heap just a few years ago — is now set to become the downtown home for tech giant Google.
“In a deal announced by Gov. J.B. Pritzker at a Wednesday morning news conference outside the Thompson Center, Google will buy the building from the state for $105 million, then move in 2,000 workers once rehab and restoration, not yet started, are complete.
“‘Google is one of Chicago’s most important companies,’ Pritzker said. ‘You are an integral part of our community and you have invested in your future while investing in ours.’
“It’s a win for both sides, and for our city.
“As part of the plan, the state will buy the former BMO Harris Building, 115 S. LaSalle St., from Prime Group for $75 million and relocate some state offices there. Pritzker said the state would consolidate space it currently leases downtown, a move that the governor said would save taxpayers $1 billion — over 30 years.
“Google, meanwhile, has a good track record when it comes to old buildings. The company paid $1.9 billion in 2010 for the 3 million square foot former Port Authority building in New York. The company is the building’s largest tenant and has helped bring other tech companies to the area.
“‘The way we see it, the Thompson Center is more than just a building,’ Karen Sauder, head of Google’s Chicago operations, said at the announcement.
“‘Establishing a presence here in the Loop allows us to get in on the ground floor of revitalizing and breathing new life into the very heart of this city,’ she said.
“This bodes well for the Thompson Center, but also for a Chicago downtown that’s still staggering from the pandemic and needs all the help, energy — and new office workers — it can get.” (Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, 7/27/22)
Thompson Center, luckily, shows up in Google’s search for office space, The sale bodes well for the Thompson Center, but also for a downtown that’s still staggering from the pandemic and needs all the help, energy — and new office workers — it can get, Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, 7/27/22
Google to the rescue for the Loop; The company’s plan to occupy and eventually purchase a revamped Thompson Center is an inflection point in the Loop’s sluggish comeback from COVID-19, Danny Ecker, Crain’s Chicago Business, 7/27/22
Google turns up big in Chicago’s search for a benefactor; In buying the Thompson Center, the search engine company is helping state and local governments answer some knotty questions. But will the partnership go a tiny bit further?, David Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/22
How the Google-Thompson Center deal came together: Crain’s Daily Gist podcast; Crain’s reporters Danny Ecker and John Pletz talk about how Google’s plan to occupy and eventually purchase the Thompson Center happened and what it could mean for the Loop, Crain’s Chicago Business, 8/2/22 (29:16 Interview)
Google to buy, renovate Chicago’s Thompson Center; The tech giant’s move into the glassy state office could bring thousands of jobs. But what will this mean for the historical legacy of the building?, Claire Hyman, Reset, WBEZ Chicago, 7/29/22 (13:42 Interview)
Google Is Buying The Thompson Center For $105 Million; The famed building will be sold to the tech giant, which will “entirely” redevelop the Thompson Center into an office suite for its workers, Gov. JB Pritzker said, Kelly Bauer, Block Club Chicago, 7/27/22
Google may be Googling the Thompson Center; The search engine company says it is growing in Chicago, but it won’t speak directly to a report of its interest in the former state government hub in the Loop, David Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times, 6/29/22