Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Wednesday that after years of debate about what to do with the beleaguered James R. Thompson Center in the Loop, the sale of the building is complete -- and Google will become the building's new occupant once it is renovated.
The 425,000-square-foot, 37-story building, located at 115 LaSalle, opened 36 years ago and previously housed several large government services, including offices for elected officials, and acting as the hub in which all Chicago Transit Authority trains meet.
But the building has its share of problems, including leaky ceilings, temperature issues and less than desirable office aesthetics. Pritzker in recent years has put in his own money to beautify his office and those of his staffers.
Earlier this year, the governor's office announced that a purchase and sale agreement for the building had been finalized, choosing a proposal from a group led by longtime regional developer Michael Reschke, chairman of Prime Group and Manager of JRTC Holdings.
Reschke’s refurbishment plan — which originally included the $70 million upfront payment to the state — called for preserving the 17-story building as a mixed-use property with office, retail and hotel space, with the state retaining about a 30% ownership.
The finalized deal allows the state to receive an amount equal to $105 million, with a cash portion of $30 million deposited into the state's General Revolving Funds, a press release Wednesday said.
According to the release, JRTC Holdings will "perform a complete renovation" of the building to the specifications of Google, which currently has a two-building campus in Fulton Market with more than 1,800 employees.
The news of Google moving into the building comes after several large companies recently announced they would be moving out of the Chicago area, including Caterpillar, Boeing and most recently, Billionaire Ken Griffin's Citadel.