Meal-kit firm Home Chef and analytics company 84.51° have signed leases to move into Chicago’s Old Post Office. The two companies, both owned by the The Kroger Co. supermarket chain, plan to move a combined 300-plus employees into the building over the next few years.
“The addition of these two dynamic firms and the confidence of its Fortune 50 parent is another big boost for our goal of providing a progressive, neighborhood-based office environment within the Old Post Office,” said Brian Whiting, president of The Telos Group LLC. “They will continue to build our tenant diversity and add to the community of companies working and collaborating within the building.”
Stephen Smith, Jamey Dix and Daniel Heckman of The Telos Group represented The Old Post Office Building. Home Chef was represented by CBRE in the transaction, and 84.51° was represented by Cushman & Wakefield.
Home Chef will move its headquarters into nearly 75,000 square feet by December 1. The company currently has approximately 250 employees spread around three separate offices in Chicago, including a Wrigley Building headquarters. These will be consolidated into the Old Post Office space, with room to grow by another 150 workers.
Cincinnati-based 84.51° will move into the building on October 1 from from its current River North location. The retail marketing, merchandising and research analytics firm will take on approximately 57,000 square feet. Though the company’s employee count is now 86, the new space can accommodate 300 in anticipation of future growth.
“We are eager to forge ahead and increase our presence in downtown Chicago,” said Stuart Aitken, CEO of 84.51° and Kroger’s senior vice president of alternative business. “84.51° thrives on the energy the city of Chicago exudes, and we’re excited to harness some of that energy to grow our operation. The Old Post Office is the perfect balance of consistency and stability blended with new and fresh innovation. I cannot think of a more perfect location for our business to advance and attract talent.”
New-York-based 601W Companies acquired the iconic property in 2016 and tapped architecture firm Gensler to draw up a vision for the building’s second life, including the addition of a new food hall, a tenant-accessible rooftop and a new riverwalk. Construction on second-floor amenities that include a fitness center, lounges and a conference space are on track for a June completion.
These are the fifth and sixth confirmed tenants to move into the 2.8 million-square-foot, Art Deco building, which is currently undergoing an $800 million facelift. AbelsonTaylor, a Chicago-based health and wellness advertising agency, recently signed a 85,000-square-foot lease, following the 15-year, 47,000-square-foot lease that the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning signed in January. Late last year, Ferrara Candy leased 77,000 square feet and Walgreens committed to more than 200,000 square feet inside the Old Post Office last June. The first tenants are scheduled to move in by September.