• Google moved into more than 300,000 square feet of space in West Loop in November.
  • The firm had offices in River North for a decade.
  • The new space houses 650 full-time workers, as well as part-timers and contractors in flexible, modern space.

Tech giant Google moved to appropriately Google-ized West Loop office space, breathing new life into a former cold storage building in the meatpacking district.

The company moved about 650 full-time employees and a collection of part-timers and contractors into sparse, colorful and shape-shifting office in mid-November. A ribbon-cutting was held last week.

The relocation to the Fulton Market Innovation District from River North has been buzzed about since rumors about it began drifting in 2013. Google had housed several hundred mostly sales employees in River North for about a decade.

The 10-story former Fulton Market Cold Storage building is now known as 1K Fulton, giving a nod to the building’s actual address of 1000 W. Fulton Market.

Google Chicago’s new office is the anchor of 1K Fulton, where it occupies more than 300,000 square feet distributed among six floors. The former ice warehouse is one of the newer structures built during the area’s meatpacking heyday, at 92 years young. The 150-year-old district is now an incubator for tech companies and swank restaurants. An Ace Hotel is rising across the street.

“We really see our role as the anchor tenant of this neighborhood,” Jim Lecinski, vice president of customer solutions for the Americas at Google, told the Chicago Tribune.

They vacated the River North office that they had occupied for 10 years.

As is to be expected of a tech firm dominated by a millennial workforce, the office spaces and work styles are decidedly uncubicle-like. Googlers work on laptops so that they can migrate to whatever space they want or need, anything from a standing desk to a swinging chair.

Google’s bright primary color palate dominates on white walls within natural light-filled spaces. Each themed floor gives a nod to Chicago, with conference rooms borrowing the names of Chicagoland parks, and murals of Chicago landscapes decorate walls in common areas.

Chicago-based architectural design firm VOA was the interior architect on the project, and the developer was Sterling Bay, which transformed the former gigantic freezer into a glass-filled tribute to Chicago and Google.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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