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Facebook moving into new Loop high-rise, vows to add jobs

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the groundbreaking of the new CNA headquarters at 151 N. Franklin St. in 2016. File Photo. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Like it or not, Facebook’s footprint in Chicago just got a whole lot bigger after the tech giant announced plans Monday to move into a huge new office in the Loop.

Facebook leased 263,000 square feet at 151 N. Franklin St., according to company spokesman Jamil Walker, who provided no additional details about the deal.

The building — a newly-constructed 35-story, 807,000-square-foot tower — already houses CNA Financial’s corporate headquarters and the law offices of Hinshaw & Culbertson, one of the nation’s largest firms.

It’s unclear whether Facebook will hold onto its existing lease at 191 N. Wacker Drive or how many new employees the company plans to hire. However, Facebook U.S. Head of Industry Matty de Castro said the social networking giant would be adding new positions.

Getty file photo
Getty file photo

“Chicago has been our Midwest home since 2007 and we’re excited to grow our presence with increased hiring and a new office at 151 North Franklin,” de Castro said in a written statement. “Our continued investment in this community underscores its strong talent pipeline and thriving technology ecosystem, which make it a great location to expand our Global Marketing Solutions and Recruiting teams.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was quick to tout Facebook’s decision to lease more office space in Chicago, a move that brings more attention and legitimacy to the city’s burgeoning tech sector.

“Facebook’s decision to double down on Chicago with new jobs and investments is a testament to the talent of our residents and the incredible strength of our fast-growing tech sector,” Emanuel said. “For business looking to innovate and invest in the jobs of the 21st century, Chicago is the future.”

“I look forward to seeing Facebook continue to grow and thrive in their new home in the city of Chicago,” he added.

Facebook’s latest announcement follows Google’s recent decision to expand its Chicago offices.

Amazon is also considering Chicago and 19 other finalists for its highly-sought after second headquarters, a 50,000-job economic development prize dubbed HQ2. To court the tech leader, the city and state have offered up $2.25 billion in incentives.

Last month, Emanuel said Amazon representatives “really liked” two of the five potential sites they toured in the city.