Google is in advanced discussions with City officials about opening a major facility in Chicago that could employ thousands of workers, Crain’s reported Tuesday.
Sources told Crain’s that executives are also considering locating the new offices in Boston, Atlanta or Dallas. If Google ultimately moves forward in Chicago, it would be a major expansion in the city. Google has about 800 employees at its offices in Fulton Market, most of whom work in sales; Crain’s put the size of the new facility at 1,000 to 5,000 people.
The news comes as cities, including Chicago, prepare major incentive packages to vie for Amazon’s second North American headquarters, which could have up to 50,000 employees. Chicago’s bid, backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Bruce Rauner in a rare show of unity, includes $2.25 billion worth of incentives.
Chicago has sent a list of potential sites to Amazon; among them are the vacant former main Post Office; Lincoln Yards, which includes the old Finkl Steel plant among 100 acres along the Chicago River; the Burnham Lakefront, including the old Michael Reese Hospital site; and a 62-acre site at Roosevelt and Clark. Suburban sites include the Oak Brook headquarters of McDonald’s and the former Motorola Solutions campus in Schaumburg.
Part of Chicago’s appeal to Google, according to Crain’s, would be the ability to attract talent from Big Ten Schools — specifically, people might not want to move to the West Coast, where living expenses could be higher.
Representatives for Google and the city declined to comment.