Ride canceled: Uber pauses construction at Old Post Office

Spokesperson says it won’t change company’s growth expectations in Chicago

Chicago /
Apr.April 03, 2020 12:31 PM
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and the Old Post Office at 433 West Van Buren Street (Credit: Khosrowshahi by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images; Google Maps)

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and the Old Post Office at 433 West Van Buren Street (Credit: Khosrowshahi by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images; Google Maps)

The coronavirus outbreak has stalled Uber’s buildout and planned move into 601W Companies’ Old Post Office.

The ride-hailing company has temporarily paused construction on the new headquarters for its logistics business known as Uber Freight and plans to move in next year instead of this fall, as a result of the pandemic, a spokesperson told the Tribune.

“While we don’t expect to move until 2021, we don’t anticipate any changes to our strategy or expectations regarding growth in Chicago,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Uber has also delayed some construction in Dallas and instituted a company-wide hiring freeze until May 31, the Tribune reported.

Construction is allowed to continue in Chicago during the pandemic, as considered an essential business under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, which now runs through April. The governor has said he expects construction to continue, though some companies may choose to halt work.

Uber signed a 10-year, 463,000-square-foot lease  in the massive Old Post Office at 433 West Van Buren Street in August. The company said the new space would enable it to hire more than 2,000 people over the next three years.

Uber currently leases about 185,000 square feet between two office buildings at 225 West Randolph Street and 111 North Canal Street.

In 2016, New York-based 601W Companies paid $130 million for the long-vacant, 2.5-million-square-foot post office complex. The property underwent an $800 million-plus renovation and opened last fall.

Uber is the only signed tenant in the Old Post Office that has paused construction, according to a spokesperson for the Telos Group, which oversees leasing of the building for 601W Companies.

Other tenants include Walgreens, PepsiCo, Ferrara Candy, Kroger and CBOE Global Markets.

[Tribune] -Brianna Kelly


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