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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.

The Thompson Center's atrium.
Eric Allix Rogers

CHICAGO — Google will take over the Thompson Center in The Loop, officials announced Wednesday.

The tech giant has agreed to buy all of the building for $105 million after it is renovated by other organizations. The Thompson Center will be “entirely redeveloped” into an office suite for Google’s workers as part of the deal, Gov. JB Pritzker said at a news conference. The sale will benefit the company, as well as Illinois taxpayers and Chicagoans, he said.

“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.”

As part of the deal, the state will receive $30 million in cash and will get 115 S. LaSalle St. That will be renovated, and state employees will then work from there.

Consolidating Downtown real estate will save taxpayers nearly $1 billion over the next 30 years, Pritzker said. And selling the building to Google will generate tax revenue for the city and bring more life to The Loop, he said.

Credit: Livestream
Gov. JB Pritzker answers questions after announcing Google will buy the Thompson Center at a press conference Wednesday.

The Thompson Center will be renovated, though officials will respect “its iconic design,” said Google executive Karen Sauder. Quintin Primo III, chairman and CEO of Capri, which will work on the renovations, said changes will be made to make the building as energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable and inclusive as possible.

It’s the latest twist for the famed building, which opened in 1985 and has been used for governmental offices — but which has faced costly infrastructure issues that have led to several lawmakers attempting to sell it.

Officials revealed few details about Google’s redevelopment plans for the Thompson Center. But real estate information company CoStar — which first revealed the pending sale in June — has said Google will set up offices throughout the 17-story building.

Google has more than 2,000 employees in Chicago and office space at 1KFulton, 1000 W. Fulton St., and 210 N. Carpenter St., according to CoStar. The tech giant has previously said it plans to add thousands more workers to cities across the nation, including Chicago.

The company welcomed its Chicago employees back to in-person work in April.

The Thompson Center was designed by famed postmodern architect Helmut Jahn and opened in 1985 as the State of Illinois Center.

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