October 9, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Opens New Braintree Office as Part of Continued Tech Growth

Company to Add 360 Jobs in Chicago over the Next Three Years; Creating Jobs in the Technology Economy and Supporting Business Growth in Innovative Industries are Central Tenets of the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today opened the Chicago office for Braintree, the fast-growing global payments platform founded in Chicago in 2007. The company is expected to create 216 new full-time jobs in Chicago in 2016 and an additional 144 jobs in 2017 to fill out the new space – more than doubling its staff in the next three years.

Braintree moved into its new, 65,000-square-foot headquarters on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart in order to support its long-term growth and stay connected to the City’s startup and tech community. Braintree currently employs 180 people in Chicago and plans to add 360 jobs by 2017.

“Braintree’s commitment to growth in Chicago is a testament to the depth of talent in our workforce and the vitality of the City’s tech economy,” said Mayor Emanuel. “In three years, Chicago has added 10,000 new jobs in technology and companies like Braintree are critical to continuing that growth and helping to achieve our goal of doubling the City’s tech workforce in the next decade.”

Braintree was acquired by eBay Inc. in 2013 for $800 million, and operates as a separate service within PayPal. It maintains a base in Chicago even after its acquisition by eBay in order to continue to attract top engineering talent and produce disruptive technology in the payments space. The location and architecture of the Merchandise Mart appealed to the company for its footprint and location, providing employees with river views and a central atrium. Braintree is currently hiring for high-quality, full-time jobs across all levels of technology, from product managers to software engineers.

"Mayor Emanuel has been an incredible supporter of Braintree and the Chicago tech community. We're honored to have him open the doors to our new Chicago office," said Bill Ready, Chief Executive, Braintree. "Since the Mayor visited for the opening of our last office in 2012, we've tripled the local Chicago team and expanded to more than 40 countries. Together with PayPal, we're building the future of commerce and we couldn't be more proud to be doing that from our home town here in Chicago.”

In July 2012, Mayor Emanuel toured Braintree’s former headquarters at 111 N. Canal in the West Loop and announced that the company planned to triple its headcount over the next two years. While that office was intended to support the company’s expansion, it soon needed additional space to accommodate its continued growth. Since 2011, Mayor Emanuel has announced that 99 companies are locating or have opened new offices in Chicago and 27 companies have moved or announced headquarter relocations to the City.

Braintree joins a growing digital technology community at the Merchandise Mart that also includes technology hub 1871, Razorfish, Motorola Mobility, GoHealth and MATTER, the new entrepreneurship hub for next-generation IT, medical device and biopharma companies that will open in early 2015. In August 2014, Mayor Emanuel announced that Yelp signed a lease for over 50,000 square feet of space on the 4th Floor of the Merchandise Mart and expects to hire up to 300 people in its new Chicago office in the next 12 to 18 months.

Fast-growing Chicago-based tech company Signal will sublease Braintree’s former 27,000 square foot office at 111 N. Canal. That building has also become a go-to location for the City’s tech community and will soon be home to the new corporate headquarters for in-flight wireless provider Gogo, which will move more than 460 employees to 232,000 square feet in the building in 2015.

In the second quarter of 2014, office vacancies in the central business district, which includes the West Loop and the Merchandise Mart, were at 14.1 percent, the lowest level in five years and down from a peak of 17.3 percent in 2Q 2010.