Ad giant WPP moving Chicago offices to Fulton Market

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Advertising giant WPP Group plans to move its Chicago offices to a proposed building in the Fulton Market district.

Advertising giant WPP Group plans to move its Chicago offices to a proposed building in the Fulton Market district in a major deal that further cements the former meatpacking hub as an office market.

WPP has leased about 260,000 square feet from developer Sterling Bay, which plans to put an office building on land it owns on Green Street along the edge of Halsted Street and the Kennedy Expressway, according to sources.

It is the fourth-largest office lease in downtown Chicago in 2017.

WPP plans to consolidate in the building offices from multiple downtown properties, including the neighboring Merchandise Mart and River North Point, sources said.

It's unclear exactly how large a building Sterling Bay is planning on the site, but it's believed to be at least 500,000 square feet. Sterling Bay managing principal Andy Gloor declined to comment.

London-based WPP is the world's largest advertising company, with a roster of agencies in Chicago that includes Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson, GroupM and Wunderman.

A WPP spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

WPP is the latest big tenant Sterling Bay has coaxed to the area in recent years, as the district has shifted from meatpackers and food wholesalers to office tenants, high-end restaurants, boutique hotels and retail shops.

Sterling Bay brought Google's Midwest headquarters to a redevelopment of a former cold storage building, and the Chicago developer is building Oak Brook-based McDonald's future headquarters nearby. Sterling Bay is close to completing its Fulton West office development, where tenants include online employment website Glassdoor and the North American headquarters of vacuum cleaner maker Dyson.

"It's another huge boon for the neighborhood," said Jack McKinney Jr., an office leasing broker at Cushman & Wakefield who is not involved in the WPP deal. "It adds another really respected corporate name to a growing list of respected corporate names. I don't know that the neighborhood needed further validation, but it bolsters its exposure and appeal as a place where progressive office tenants can find a home outside the Loop."

The lease is believed to be large enough for Sterling Bay to kick off construction just east of the former Coyne College building at Green and Wayman streets. Sterling Bay bought the two-story building and development land from the trade school for $25 million in July 2016.

WPP was represented by Todd Lippman and Lisa Konieczka of CBRE.

Sterling Bay also owns several other existing buildings and development sites in Fulton Market.

Outside of that area, Sterling Bay is close to completing an approximately $680 million acquisition of the two-tower Prudential Plaza office complex near Millennium Park. The firm on Wednesday unveiled plans for a $10 billion redevelopment of the former A. Finkl & Sons steel plant and neighboring land along the Chicago River on the North Side, which it is calling Lincoln Yards.

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Article Ad giant WPP moving Chicago offices to Fulton Market compiled by www.chicagotribune.com