River North is Chicago’s New Tech Center

October 07, 2012

In recent years, Chicago’s River North community has changed from empty warehouses to a vibrant stretch of restaurants and night life. But what River North is really gaining is a reputation for its technology start-ups.  River North ChicagoThe area is already home to the Groupon headquarters, which span 45 square blocks. Now the community will soon be getting a new piece of Chicago real estate when Motorola Mobility comes to the area.

The company will be relocating its Libertyville headquarters to the Merchandise Mart building, and is the third major tech company to sign a lease with the mart since December 2011.

Motorola Mobility will put the building at 95 percent occupancy. Before Motorola made its decision to relocate, 65 percent of the Merchandise Mart was either vacant or used for wholesale showrooms.

More and more tech start-ups are taking an interest in the River North area. One of the appeals to tech companies is that the community is close to commuter rail lines and plenty of of parking. BuiltInChicago.org, a local tech-centered Web site, estimates that the River North area had nearly 7,500 tech jobs in August.

Not only is this good new for the economy and job-seekers, the River North’s growth as a tech-center is also good news for local condo developers and builders as more and more young professionals will most likely be attracted to the area.

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