McDonald's Corp. Monday officially departed Oak Brook and opened its new corporate headquarters in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood by unveiling the state-of-the-art building which had been covered in a 70-foot tall and 470-foot wide wrap dotted with Big Macs for the grand opening.
McDonald's President and CEO Steve Easterbrook was joined by employees, owner-operators and suppliers, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and local community and civic leaders for the unveiling.
"Our move back home to Chicago is about more than a building -- it's symbolic of our journey to transform our brand and become more closely connected with our customers," Easterbrook said. "Our new location enables us to better listen, learn and engage with our customers while providing a modern, worker-friendly headquarters that fosters collaboration and re-energizes employees."
McDonald's Corp. announced two years ago that it was selling its Oak Brook headquarters and moving its offices and nearby training facility to the former Harpo Studios, the longtime home of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," at 1045 W. Randolph St. The suburban property has not yet been sold but is one of the locations that is under consideration for the new Amazon headquarters.
The move of the nearly 2,000 employees marks a return to Chicago where the company was headquartered from 1955 to 1971.
The new headquarters features "work neighborhoods" with open floor plans that give employees the flexibility to pick the environment which best fits their needs any time of day and serve as a home base for departments. Neighborhoods include huddle rooms, communal tables, workstations, private phone rooms and personal lockers.
It also features a 700-person conference center, work cafe, fitness center and several outdoor terrace spaces.
The ground floor is home to a one-of-a-kind McDonald's restaurant that features a rotating menu of favorites from around the globe -- as well as classic menu items -- connecting McDonald's international reach to Chicago.
The building was developed by Sterling Bay; Gensler served as architect of record; interiors were designed by IA Interior Architects and Studio O+A; and the general contractors were McHugh & ECI Executive Construction Inc.
McDonald's office space, including Hamburger University will occupy 490,000 square feet of the building, the company said.
• Business Writer Kim Mikus contributed to this report.