Google has plans for a two-story retail store in Chicago’s Fulton Market, according to Chicago Tribune sources. If it works out, it could be the first flagship store for the California-based company.
The newspaper was tipped off about a 14,000-square-foot lease that will soon be finalized for the first and second floors of brick buildings between 845 and 853 W. Randolph Street. That location is just two minutes from the tech giant’s headquarters at 1K Fulton.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Google could bring around 5,000 new jobs to the city.
The strip of buildings Google is about to take over is managed by Newcastle Limited. It is one of two retail properties that were listed in the West Loop on its website. The property sits across from the upcoming Nobu Hotel, has 12-foot ceilings, and is located in an area where the average income is $98,000, according to Newcastle’s marketing flyer.
High-end businesses such as Anthropologie, Free People, Lululemon, Soho House, and others are filling up quite a bit of space in the West Loop. Within the strip where Google plans its lease, the only storefront currently open is Billy Reid—a luxury clothing store where shoppers can sip whiskey in lowball glasses while browsing $200 button-down shirts.
The restaurants and shops in Fulton Market are changing pretty quickly to match more people with higher incomes. Longtime tenants that stick it out are often forced to close because landlords won’t renew leases or demand significantly higher rates.
Part of the buildings Google will take over were formerly occupied by two restaurants that pre-date the Restaurant Row craze. Jaipur was there for 11 years and closed in July. Perez, open for 33 years, reluctantly shut its doors after an unsustainable rent hike last year.
However, there is hope for a more diverse set of stores in Fulton Market. On Thursday, the plan commission approved the first office tower with affordable-rate retail space. The tactic aims to ensure that local businesses get to stay in Fulton Market.
- Google expanding space in Fulton Market, this time with a flagship store [Chicago Tribune]