BUCKTOWN — The rumors swirling around a shiny silver building that’s been empty for three years are true: Google will be opening a store in Bucktown.
On Tuesday, signs for a Google Hardware store set to open on Oct. 18 appeared on the building at 1704 N. Damen Ave.
The store will be a pop-up. A blog posted on Google’s website on Tuesday said that the store will offer “new ways to experience Made by Google products.”
Slated to stay open through Dec. 31, the shop will offer “Google products in a fully Google-made experiential space,” according to Google.
A second Google Hardware will be open from Oct. 18-Dec. 31 in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood as well.
Google will likely have plenty of products for the new storefront, including the Google Home assistant (a competitor to Amazon’s Echo), phones, tablets, thermostats and home security systems.
Spokeswoman Kayla Conti said Google doesn’t have any longterm plans for the space to share right now.
“But we’re really excited to be bringing this pop-up to Chicago and can’t wait to see how people interact with the products and the space. The pop-up is focused on highlighting the latest #madebyGoogle hardware products and giving folks a chance to purchase and engage with the products in person,” she said in a statement.
Workers at local shops were pumped by the new addition to the block.
“I’n excited to have another open business. Damen Avenue is kind of sad looking at the moment, a lot of empty storefronts. It’s good to have a company that everyone will be excited for,” said Lucas Torres, manager of Fjallraven, an outdoor apparel store at 1708 N. Damen Ave., next to the soon-to-open Google Hardware.
Last week, a source whose been watching contractors “work around the clock” said that there is a longer-term plan to offer a Nest showroom with co-working spaces on the upper floors.
The building’s owner has repeatedly declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement that bars him from talking about his tenant.
The 3-story modern silver building with a tree growing in its vestibule has sat empty since it was completed in June 2015. The futuristic looking structure replaced a one-story, 24-hour Clarke’s Diner, which was demolished in 2013.
The tech behemoth is also rumored to be opening a large 14,000 square-foot retail storefront in Fulton Market, the Tribune reported in late August.
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