Google unveils Thompson Center’s new look

Tech giant to move into renovated building in 2026

Google Unveils New-Look Thompson Center

From left: Mike Reschke and Quintin Primo along with a rendering of the new Thompson Center (Getty, LinkedIn)

Google finally gave a glimpse of what the Thompson Center could look like after an ambitious renovation project.

Google, which hopes to move into the 1.2 million-square-foot property by 2026, unveiled exterior renderings of the Thompson Center, in its first project update since July 2022, the Chicago Sun-Times reported

Construction is set to start early next year, with Chicago developers Mike Reschke and Quintin Primo teaming up with the tech giant.

“We’re working with the building’s original architects at Jahn to help bring the design into the 21st century while maintaining its iconic form,” Google’s Karen Sauder told Crain’s.

The building’s distinctive glass exterior and 17-story light-filled atrium will be retained, but with energy-efficient glass. The exterior rings will feature outdoor terraces, enhancing the building’s aesthetic and functionality. Plus, the covered colonnade at the building’s base will be redesigned to create a better ground-floor experience, incorporating more food and beverage options and seasonal activations of the plaza.

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The mechanical systems will be redone to meet Google’s clean-energy goals. Outdated heating and cooling equipment will be replaced with high-efficiency systems capable of managing Chicago’s varied seasons.

The Thompson Center, which Reschke and Primo purchased from the state of Illinois last year, will be acquired by Google after redevelopment. Interior demolition is set to begin early next year. Exterior construction, including glass replacement, is expected to start later in the year.

The renovation is poised to reignite the Central Loop as a vibrant office submarket. Google’s presence is expected to attract development and foot traffic, influencing the area’s resurgence. 

Governor J.B. Pritzker expressed excitement about Google’s arrival.

“I couldn’t be more excited to see Google’s transformation, and rejuvenation of the James R. Thompson Center, as we continue to show global companies that Illinois is the place to be,” Pritzker said.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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