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Developer Wasting No Time on New McDonald’s Headquarters

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Oprah’s old Harpo Studios facility is being demolished to make way for the new McDonald’s HQ

The new McDonald’s headquarters for the West Loop has been pushing through the city’s permitting and approval process at lightening speed since it was publicly unveiled just a few weeks ago. Last week, the proposal was presented to the Chicago Plan Commission for review and was subsequently approved. But just a day before developer Sterling Bay was scheduled to present the proposal to the City Council, the city issued a demolition permit for the former Harpo Studios building at 110 N. Carpenter Street, which will become the future site of the new McDonald’s headquarters.

A demolition permit is only that—demolition—but the proposal has sailed through the Chicago Plan Commission and heads to the City Council for a final vote. Afterwards, the developer will receive permits for new construction and then the staff at McDonald’s can start thinking about packing their belongings and prepare for the big move. The quick pace of the permitting and approvals is going according to the timeline laid out by Sterling Bay reps at a public meeting last month. If all continues as planned, the new 600,000-square-foot McDonald’s headquarters will be completed by early 2018.