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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Massive Avondale Site Up For Grabs As Company Prepares To Leave Its 7 ½-Acre Campus

Ald. Deb Mell (33rd) said she suspects the riverfront property will draw a lot of interest.

WMS is leaving its massive Avondale building at 3401 N. California Ave.
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AVONDALE — A huge riverfront development opportunity is opening up in Avondale as tech company Williams Interactive LLC prepares to leave its campus, according to Ald. Deb Mell’s 33rd Ward office.

Located across the street from empanada spot Cafe Tola, the campus at 3401 N. California Ave. spans a total of 7 ½ acres along the Chicago River, according to Jason Hernandez, Mell’s chief of staff.

Of the 7 ½ acres, 3 ½ of them are currently occupied by office buildings and 4 of them are occupied by parking lots, Hernandez said.

“This is a large parcel of land in a really great neighborhood. I suspect there will be a lot of interest in this property because of its proximity to the river,” Mell said in an emailed statement.

It’s unclear exactly how long Williams Interactive LLC, or WMS, has called the Avondale campus home, as company officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But Hernandez estimated more than six years.

According to Hernandez, the company is moving its campus, which serves as its headquarters, to River North. No other information was provided.

When asked what Mell would like to see at the site, Hernandez said her “primary concern is making sure that the new business is a good fit within the surrounding community and respectful of the strong quality of life we’ve sought to establish in the ward.”

“I would not support any business that produces substantial noise or emissions. A company that would commit to hiring locally and supporting our local institutions would be ideal. Coming up with a creative use for the river front is also something I would like to see,” the emailed statement reads. 

Williams Interactive LLC employs coders and developers who make slot machines. In 2013, the company was bought by Scientific Games Corp. in a $1.5 billion deal.