Uber doubles space up for sublease at Old Post Office

Anchor tenant at 601W’s redevelopment has put 150K sf on secondary market

The Old Post Office and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (Getty, rendering by Gensler)
The Old Post Office and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (Getty, rendering by Gensler)

When Uber agreed to anchor the redevelopment of the Old Post Office in 2019, the lease was among the largest Chicago had seen in five years. Now the company is looking to sublease nearly a third of its footprint.

Uber has come to the secondary market with 150,000 square feet of its 460,000-square-foot spread, Crain’s reported.

Before it grew its Chicago headcount, the tech firm had been looking for a short-term tenant to sublease 65,000 square feet of its office space. But many of the company’s employees began working from home when the pandemic struck.

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Old Post Office and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (Credit: Wikipedia, Uber)
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The ride-hailing company said its decision to sublease doesn’t mean it’s rethinking its plans to grow in Chicago. It has 1,000 employees in the city and previously said it planned to add 2,000 in the coming years.

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Chicago, like many other major cities including New York and Los Angeles, is experiencing a record high of space up for sublease. There is 5.3 million square feet of downtown office space on the secondary market, nearly twice as much as a year ago, according to CBRE.

601W Companies’ $800 million overhaul of the Old Post Office made that part of downtown more of an office destination. The New York–based developer purchased the 2.3 million-square-foot property at 433 West Van Buren Street, which had sat empty for nearly two decades, for $130 million in 2016. Other tenants include anchor Walgreens, PepsiCo and Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Uber occupies 20 percent of the property, paying a base rent of $30.91 per square foot on a lease that runs through 2030. It began building out its offices at the redevelopment last spring, though the pandemic put the process on hold.

[Crain’s] — Danielle Balbi