McDonald’s Corp. executives and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially opened the fast food chain’s new corporate headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The move marks a return to Chicago where the company was headquartered from 1955 to 1971.
“Our move back home to Chicago is about more than a building—it’s symbolic of our journey to transform our brand and become more closely connected with our customers,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said. “Our new location enables us to better listen, learn and engage with our customers whilst providing a modern, worker-friendly headquarters that fosters collaboration and re-energizes employees. We are thrilled to join the West Loop and add to the vitality of this community.”
Located at 110 N. Carpenter Street in Fulton Market, the McDonald’s Global Headquarters was developed by Sterling Bay, who won the Developer of the Year award at last year’s NAIOP Awards for Excellence for the project. In addition to the approximately 2,000 employees based there, the building will house the flagship Hamburger University location, providing state-of-the-art learning for the company’s employees and future leaders.
“McDonald’s has been a top global innovator for more than half of a century because they recognize the key to success is access to the world’s best talent, technology and transportation networks,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This new global headquarters represents a renewed commitment to that strategy and I’m proud to welcome them home to the city of Chicago.”
Sitting on the former site of Harpo Studios, the new ground-up, nine-story building is a build-to-suit collaboration between Sterling Bay, McDonald’s and Gensler architects. The 550,000-square-foot building features public spaces, indoor parking and a one-of-a-kind McDonald’s restaurant with a rotating menu of favorites from around the globe, as well as classic menu items. The LEED-certified building also reflects McDonald’s commitment to sustainability. All waste produced in the test kitchens will be composted and the building also features a green roof.
The building’s interiors were designed by IA Interior Architects and Studio O+A and the general contractors were McHugh and ECI Executive Construction Inc. McDonald’s office space, including Hamburger University will occupy 490,000 square feet of the building.