Uber joins corporate parade to Chicago’s Old Main Post Office

The tech giant will occupy 463,000 square feet in the renovated landmark.

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Chicago’s Old Main Post Office building seen from the Van Buren Street bridge.

Uber Technologies has signed a lease for 463,000 square feet in Chicago’s Old Main Post Office.

Sun-Times files

Uber Technologies said Monday it has signed a lease for 463,000 square feet in Chicago’s Old Main Post Office, making it the largest tenant for the revived landmark.

The leasing agent involved in the deal, Telos Group, said the building, at 433 W. Van Buren St., now has tenants committed for more than one million square feet. Uber will join Walgreens, Ferrara Candy, HomeChef and AbelsonTaylor in the building.

The lease covers 10 years. Uber said it will officially take over the space Jan. 5 with construction to start the following spring. It said it will be the company’s second largest office behind its San Francisco headquarters.

“Uber is excited to deepen its roots in Chicago,” spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said. “The city continues to attract the top talent that Uber needs to continue to thrive, and we remain committed to working together to have a positive impact in the local community. This is just the first of several announcements to be made in the coming weeks that we look forward to sharing with the people of Chicago.”

“It was love at first sight for both parties,” said Brian Whiting, president of Telos. “Uber is exactly the tenant the Old Post Office was designed to attract; its historic persona, diversity of amenities and large, open floors were exactly what Uber was searching for to build its culture and attract the very best talent.”

Real estate firm CBRE said the Uber deal is the largest new office lease downtown this year. Uber was represented in the transaction by Paul Reaumond and Ian Murphy of CBRE.

New York-based 601W Cos. owns the 2.7-million-square-foot Old Main Post Office, which straddles Ida B. Wells Drive and fronts the Chicago River. The property was long viewed as a blight, and it defied several underfunded and ill-timed development efforts after the U.S. Postal Service vacated it in 1996.

601W bought it in 2016 for $130 million and lined up $800 million in credit from JP Morgan Chase. The money supercharged the building’s turnaround just as its transit-friendly location and massive floors became attractive to companies trying to appeal to younger workers. The first tenants are to arrive this fall.

“We continue to have incredible momentum with the best quality tenants at the Old Post Office,” said Daniel Heckman of Telos, who along with Steve Smith and Jamey Dix handled the transaction for 601W. “Uber’s choice of the Old Post Office demonstrates the value of a superior access to all transportation, innovative workspaces, and unique, historic space. This is a once-in-a-lifetime redevelopment and an incredible opportunity for businesses.”

Tenant amenities will include a 3.5-acre rooftop park with an outdoor track and paddle tennis courts, a food hall, a 28,000-square-foot tenant fitness complex and over 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

Uber would not say how many employees will work in the Old Post Office.

It is known to be expanding its Uber Freight operation, currently based at 225 W. Randolph. It’s possible that office could be consolidated into the Old Post Office. Uber also leases space at 111 N. Canal.

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