Construction Kicks Off At Thompson Center Redevelopment in The Loop

Rendering of Thompson Center redevelopment by JAHN

Construction has formally commenced on the redevelopment of the Thompson Center at 100 W Randolph Street in The Loop. The iconic structure has been fenced off for a while with pre-construction work and prep going on. The redevelopment is being led by developer Prime|Capri and Google with the building’s original architecture firm JAHN working on the new design.

Governor Pritzker and Mayor Johnson at Thompson Center groundbreaking via Sun Times

Over the last few months crews have been busy removing part of the ground-floor facade, while also un-installing the famed Monument with Standing Beast sculpture in the front to be restored and relocated to the Art Institute. Crews have also begun demolishing much of the lower level food court after initial permits were issued last October.

Rendering of Thompson Center redevelopment by JAHN

The work will now ramp up with the developer leading the construction on the 17-story structure. Once completed, the massive atrium will remain open to the public with a redesigned colonnade with additional commercial space. Inside the floors will receive a new layout for over 1,000 employees under Google.

Rendering of Thompson Center redevelopment by JAHN

The building’s exterior will also be completely removed and re-clad with a new triple-pane glass skin, losing its colors but gaining the insulation levels needed for operations. Multiple new outdoor terraces will also be carved out of the form. The existing Clark/Lake train station will also remain fully operational during construction.

Clark Construction team at Thompson Center groundbreaking via Clark

A formal groundbreaking was held earlier this week with Governor J.B. Pritzker in attendance who helped secure the Google deal. Work is currently on schedule for the $280 million project, with Google set to purchase the building for over $100 million from the developer after it is completed. Google is targeting a 2026 completion date as well.

Construction work will be executed by Clark Construction.

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10 Comments on "Construction Kicks Off At Thompson Center Redevelopment in The Loop"

  1. Once completed this will be a great example of importance to choose the right facade for any building. Huge difference.

  2. Given the proposals for huge office towers as an accompaniment to this renovation pre-Covid, we should be glad at this result. Office space of that size is in decline. This project will help spur the redevelopment of the Loop as a 24/7-365 mixed use neighborhood similar to the West Loop. I believe Chicago is one of a select group of cities in the US that has a stable core where this can happen in its central business district.

    • The biggest thing that will help the Loop be 24/7-365 would be to replace the parking lots and garages with apartment buildings. Not only would that get more residents downtown at night, but it would probably be a huge increase in property tax revenue.

      • What’s unfortunate is that we’re more likely to see foreclosed office buildings turned into residential in the Loop before we see parking lots and garages turned into residential there. Those parking lots are still making money whereas empty office buildings aren’t. Land value based taxes instead of the current system that we have would help solve that.

    • I’m excited for the future metamorphosis of the Loop! You’re right that it’s got everything it needs to become a tremendous urban neighborhood. The transportation options are unparalleled by any other than probably only Manhattan. Get restaurants, shops and grocery stores in place and you’ve easily got one of the most remarkable urban places in the US. It wouldn’t take much.

      Let’s hope that they turn LaSalle St into a linear pedestrian street in the Loop and you’ve got something no other Chicago neighborhood has today.

  3. Thus will be so satisfying to see.

  4. I agree on choosing the correct glass. The problem was that the initial concept had the correct glass proposal but it costed too much so the government changed the plans-never a good idea to have government involved-poor O’Hare airport upcoming construction.

  5. This project is an improvement and very important to the health of the loop. Google is making a big investment towards our city. The CTA needs to reopen the free Washington transfer tunnel connecting the Red and Blue lines at subway level that was closed many years ago. The city and CTA should be looking at ways to make travel more convenient and efficient.

    • I completely agree. You’re touching on a very important theme that I believe Chicago needs to take more seriously to set this place up to continue to grow and intensify. We need to make non-car-based transportation the best, fastest, safest, most convenient, most reliable forms of transportation so that we don’t invite tens or hundreds of thousands of new people with cars into the city. That is not a city anybody truly wants to live in, it’s a city that happens when there’s no bold leadership making the difficult decisions.

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