Oak Brook is currently home to the headquarters of the largest fast food chain, but the tenant is no longer lovin’ it. The McDonald’s campus is a staple in the Oak Book area, but the company recently announced that it plans to pack up and move to one of the hottest neighborhoods in Chicago.

  • Several reports have McDonald's planning to move its headquarters from Oak Brook to the old Harpo Studios site in West Loop/Fulton Market.
  • The massive food chain hasn't confirmed the move yet or announced plans for its 2,000 employees that work in the western suburb.
  • Fulton Market/West Loop is going through massive real estate value increases, leading some companies and residences to sell and move to other locations.
McDonald's in Towertown, Chicago/Flickr user -AX-

McDonald’s in Towertown, Chicago/Flickr user -AX-

Oak Brook is currently home to the headquarters of the largest fast food chain, but the tenant is no longer lovin’ it. The McDonald’s campus is a staple in the Oak Book area, but the company plans to pack up and move to one of the hottest neighborhoods in Chicago, according to multiple reports

The West Loop/Fulton Market may soon be home to the headquarters of McDonald’s, as first reported by Crain’s Chicago. In what could be one giant taking over another, McDonald’s may move into the space that was previously occupied by Oprah Winfrey. Harpo Studios has been unused since she moved out last December, with officials reporting that her lease officially ended in April 2016.

Crain’s reported that the Harpo buildings will be demolished, and a new campus on Randolph will be constructed to house Golden Arch employees. Sterling Bay bought the building for $30.5 million in 2014, and McDonald’s is currently in negotiations with the company to buy the space.

McDonald’s could not confirm the move as June 5.

If the move happens, McDonald’s would be joining the long list of companies who have recently relocated to Chicago from the suburbs. Fulton Market/West Loop, where Google recently opened its massive office, is a hot commodity for large companies.

Another big question looming for the company is the future of its 2,000 employees. The current Oak Brook campus is home to the headquarters office as well as its global headquarters and training center. The campus itself also attracts people to its wooded preserve, popular for weddings and large events.

Meat market turned haven of money

Fulton Market has always had a focus on food, but that focus has shifted over the years from the meat packing district to the hub of Chicago’s most influencial resturants. Girl & the Goat and Au Cheval are just two of the region’s most beloved eateries. And where the food is, the hip and trendy follow.

Since the opening of the Pink ‘L’ stop on Morgan and Lake opened in 2012, the neighborhood’s growth began to surge. Once an island with little access to public transportation outside of bus routes, the neighborhood is now easily accesible from downtown and throughout the city.

One big player in the revitilization of the area is taking advantage of the consistently rising prices of the year. Crain’s reported the boutique hotel and private club Soho House is planning to sell the building. An expert told the publication that bidding could begin at $125 million, or $3.1 million per room.

Shapack Partners and AJ Capital Partners have hired Jones Lang LaSalle to help sell the building, which is leased to the hotel through 2034. The deal is expected to bring in interest from people looking to bank off the growing real estate values in the area.

The 40-room hotel and club opened in 2014.

Email Kimberly Manning

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