The Thompson Center at 100 W Randolph Street May Have a New Buyer

Current view of Thompson Center courtesy of Jahn/

Earlier this year Thompson Center located at 100 W Randolph Street in The Loop was sold with a planned multi-million dollar renovation to the Prime Group. The Thompson Center was designed by famed postmodern architect Helmut Jahn and opened in 1985 as the State of Illinois Center. The Prime Group which is headed by Michael Reschke of JAHN Architects made bid for the Thompson Center in April. The developer had planned a $300 million renovation to execute a gut rehab of the facility including opening the atrium to the outdoors and enclosing the work floors to reduce heat expenses, as well as renovating all of the floors. In the original plan, the state would eventually buy back parts of the building after Prime Group’s renovation.

Now, months later, it seems there’s a possibility that the famed building may be flipped, with new possible owner —Google.

Current view of enclosed atrium at Thompson Center by Ian Achong

According to CoStar, Google has entered into negotiations to buy the Thompson Center where it plans to expand its Chicago offices. The 17-story building’s office space will soon be undergoing renovations as part of the existing plan from Prime Group. The Thompson Center, which was built in 1985 has had many uses and has faced numerous infrastructure issues leading to it being listed and relisted.

The Thompson Center notably faced demolition last year which it narrowly escaped when the Prime Group placed a bid for $70 million in March. The state reportedly listed the building in an effort to save taxpayers a combined total of $800 million in operating costs.

Inner atrium rendering of rehabbed Thompson Center by JAHN Architects

Google has nearly 2,000 employees in Chicago and currently has office space at 1 Fulton, 1000 W Fulton Street, and 210 N Carpenter Street. Google has previously said it plans to add thousands more workers to cities across the nation, including Chicago. When asked about their Chicago workforce by CoStar, representatives said that the company will “explore opportunities to ensure our physical space meets the needs of local Googlers.”

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5 Comments on "The Thompson Center at 100 W Randolph Street May Have a New Buyer"

  1. I would be wonderful if Google adopted Jahn’s plan to renovate the existing structure and add a supertall for consolidation of their offices in a trophy tower.

  2. Nicholas Fitz | July 3, 2022 at 9:57 am | Reply

    Pro Union . Would it not be even more amazing if that building was demolished by skilled union labor; and replaced by a much taller and new modern building that was all built by skilled union labor and American made only materials. Perhaps the developer could even rebuild the new building and the train station under it with very inexpensive loans from the Union Pension Funds and the Department of Transportation. 😎

    • Alexis Martinez | July 3, 2022 at 3:34 pm | Reply

      There is no train stations “under” the Thompson Center..The problem is that The various CTA Rapid Transit lines are all intertwined in that location. There is no legitimate reason to destroy this architectural gem…my favorite renovation scenario is the one that Helmut Jahn proposed..a slender super-tall on the southwest corner of the present building. While I agree that union labor is essential…it is kinda silly to make a pitch for all American materials. YOU need to get real, How many UNIONIZED manufacturers are left in the USA?
      Google would be far more likely to do something radical, something in the spirit of Jahn, than what the current plan is proposing. The Thompson renovation plan is a bland bare bones exit plan for the State of Illinois.For this plan to work it needs some, bold radical approaches..maybe get Adrian Smith or Judy Gang to come up with something bold and reflect the great architectural history of my Chicago

  3. The building is maybe Jahn’s most interesting—but that is a low bar. Jahn’s edifice complex has never been on better display than this building, which never took the actual humans who had to use it into account. I hope the building can be saved—if only as a monument to that utterly terrible time in architectural history..

  4. Adrian Smith, Jeanne Gang, BIG, yes. This coud also make a great studio project for M Arch at UIC and IIT to study. Lets get another Competition going!

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