Dec
31

Growing Google Grabs More Space in West Loop Office Project

December 31, 2013
 A rendering of 1000 W. Fulton St.

A rendering of 1000 W. Fulton St.

Before even moving its Chicago office to the meatpacking district, Google Inc. is beefing up with another 52,000 square feet there.

The Mountain View, Calif., technology giant in June said it had leased 200,000 square feet at 1000 W. Fulton Market, where it will move 500-plus employees from River North. Google has now exercised options for about 26 percent more than that, up to about 252,000 square feet, when it moves in 2015, confirmed Chris Cassata, a CBRE Inc. senior vice president who leads leasing in the building.

Chicago-based Sterling Bay Cos., which is redeveloping the former Fulton Market Cold Storage building into offices, is the second landlord in the city to receive a pleasant surprise from Google in 2013.

Earlier this year, Google said its Motorola Mobility unit would increase its space at the Merchandise Mart by nearly 6 percent to about 604,000 square feet. At the time Motorola Mobility, which is expected to move in from north suburban Libertyville by March, said it recognized the need for more room as it began laying out the space in the River North structure along the Chicago River.

The Fulton expansion was a similar adjustment for Google, which is known for quirky offices throughout the world. After outgrowing its current offices at 20 W. Kinzie St., Google also may have added room as a defensive move, preventing the need for another eventual move because of continued job growth. Google’s expansion came after another tenant became interested in space on one of Google’s floors, Mr. Cassata said.

“It happens a lot when you have a sizeable move like that,” said leasing broker Brad Despot, a principal at Toronto-based Avison Young, who is not involved in the Google deal. “Many companies realize the need for more space once they get into more advanced planning.”

Jim Lecinski, head of Google’s Chicago office, and a Google spokeswoman each did not respond to a request for comment.

Combined with a lease for the headquarters of bike gear maker SRAM International Corp., Sterling Bay has filled about 60 percent of the 540,000-square-foot office project called 1K Fulton, which includes a wing it is building on to the 10-story structure.

Boka Restaurant Group, whose offerings include chef Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat and Little Goat Diner two blocks south on West Randolph Street, is finalizing a previously reported deal for an 8,000-square-foot steakhouse on the ground floor, confirmed Boka co-founder Kevin Boehm.

Boka is partnering with B. Hospitality, the group behind the Bristol in Bucktown, Mr. Boehm said. The name and exact concept have yet to be determined, he said.

Todd Siegel, first vice president at CBRE Inc., has been hired to lease up the rest of the roughly 55,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space at 1000 W. Fulton, said Andy Gloor, a Sterling Bay principal. He declined to comment on Google’s lease. CBRE already handled office leasing at the property, and CBRE Executive Vice President Kyle Kamin represents Google.

Los Angeles-based CBRE takes over the ground-floor assignment at a time when national retailers are touring the Fulton Market-Randolph area for the first time.

“Given the uniqueness of the redevelopment and the strength that Google has brought not only to the building but to the area, (Sterling Bay has) the chance to do something that developers rarely have a chance to do — transform a market,” Mr. Siegel said. “We have the opportunity to do something really special and unique there.”

This article was originally published by Chicago Real Estate Daily on Dec. 30, 2013.

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