Groupon looks to sublet huge office space at Sterling Bay-owned building

Struggling digital coupon company wants to find a taker for 150K sf

Groupon space at 600 W. Chicago, Groupon interim CEO Aaron Cooper
Groupon space at 600 W. Chicago, Groupon interim CEO Aaron Cooper (Credit: Sterling Bay and Groupon)


Groupon is looking to unload 150,000 square feet of space at its Chicago headquarters at 600 W. Chicago Ave.

The digital coupon shop’s lease runs through January 2026 at the 1.65 million-square-foot building, known as the former Montgomery Ward catalog warehouse, according to the Chicago Tribune. The landlord is prolific Chicago developer Sterling Bay.

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Groupon’s sublease hopes could be a harbinger of what’s to come in Chicago’s office leasing market, with so many companies having laid off or furloughed employees in the wake of the virus.

Prior to the pandemic, Chicago’s downtown office leasing market was having its best year since before the last recession, with companies gobbling up more downtown space than any year since 2007. It’s terrible news for landlords that already had vacancies and companies in the middle of developing new office towers.

But like many other companies, Groupon is teetering on the brink. It plans to cut 44 percent of its workforce — about 2,800 employees — by the end of 2021. It had previously put up 40,000 square feet of space on the sublet market last year, before its stock fell and its CEO was ousted.

Other big companies have also signaled that they wouldn’t need all the space they’d signed on for. Uber told the Tribune last month it was delaying the build-out of its 463,000-square-foot Old Post Office space. [Chicago Tribune] — James Kleimann

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