Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined the McDonald’s Corp. to open its new corporate headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The move marks a return to Chicago where the company was headquartered from 1955 to 1971. In addition to the approximately 2,000 people based there, it will house the flagship Hamburger University location, providing state-of-the-art learning for the company’s employees and future leaders.
"McDonald's has been a top global innovator for more than half of a century because they recognize the key to success is access to the world’s best talent, technology and transportation networks,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This new global headquarters represents a renewed commitment to that strategy and I’m proud to welcome them home to the city of Chicago.”
“Our move back home to Chicago is about more than a building – it’s symbolic of our journey to transform our brand and become more closely connected with our customers,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said. “Our new location enables us to better listen, learn and engage with our customers whilst providing a modern, worker-friendly headquarters that fosters collaboration and re-energises employees. We are thrilled to join the West Loop and add to the vitality of this community.”
The LEED certifiable building reflects McDonald’s commitment to sustainability. All waste produced in the test kitchens will be composted and the building also features a green roof.
Throughout the building are nods to McDonald’s heritage including museum-quality displays of Happy Meal toys, vintage memorabilia and a tribute wall to McDonald’s groundbreaking leaders, inventors and owner-operators.
The ground floor is home to a one-of-a-kind McDonald’s restaurant that features a rotating menu of favorites from around the globe – as well as classic menu items – connecting McDonald’s international reach to Chicago. This Experience of the Future (EOTF) restaurant illustrates the company’s commitment to transforming the customer experience with self-order kiosks, table service, enhanced hospitality, mobile order and payment and McDelivery with Uber Eats.
The building was developed by Sterling Bay; Gensler served as architect of record; interiors were designed by IA Interior Architects and Studio O+A; and the general contractors were McHugh & ECI Executive Construction Inc. McDonald’s office space, including Hamburger University will occupy 490,000 square feet of the building.