Aside from starring in 2008's The Dark Knight, the massive Old Main Post Office has sat unused for years while new owner Bill Davies has tried to get an ambitious, three-phased redevelopment project off the ground to little apparent success. There have been whispers of using the site for a casino, of course, but other than that there have been no word about what's going on with the building. That is, until the news broke via Crains that Walgreens is considering moving their headquarters to the Old Post Office.
Based in the suburb of Deerfield, the retail-pharmacy behemoth has been facing pressure from investors to move the company to Europe, but if they did relocate to downtown Chicago it would be one of the largest in a series of recent "reurbanizations" as large companies move from nearby suburbs to the downtown area in order to attract the best talent as younger populations are trending toward the city. Motorola Mobility just completed a move from Libertyville to a 600,000 square foot office in Merchandise Mart, for instance.
Crains' sources claim that Walgreens, however, is looking for up to 1 million square feet, which would certainly be enough to kickstart Davies' plans to turn the Old Post Office site into a mixed-use megadevelopment.
Since the Crains report, however, Walgreens has issued a vague denial about their plans to move. While it's possible Crains has their facts wrong, it's also possible that Walgreens simply wants to keep their employees from panicking while secret negotiations are underway. What's certain is that the company moving its 3,500 employees into downtown would be great for the city.
· Walgreen looks to move HQ to Old Main Post Office [Crain's]
· Previous Old Post office coverage [Curbed Chicago]