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New McDonald's HQ Plans To Be Revealed At Meeting Next Week By Sterling Bay

By Stephanie Lulay | June 14, 2016 8:34am
 Sterling Bay will reveal its plans of for the old Harpo Studios site, slated to be the new McDonald's headquarters, at a meeting next Wednesday in the West Loop.
Sterling Bay will reveal its plans of for the old Harpo Studios site, slated to be the new McDonald's headquarters, at a meeting next Wednesday in the West Loop.
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Flickr/Rose Trinh

WEST LOOP — Developer Sterling Bay will reveal plans for the new McDonald's headquarters at a community meeting next week. 

The developer's team will present plans for the redevelopment of the Harpo Studios site at a 6 p.m. meeting June 22 at Revel Fulton Market, 1215 W. Fulton St. The meeting, open to the public, will be hosted by the West Loop Community Organization and Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th). 

At the meeting, the developer will also answer questions about the planned development of the old home of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" located at 110 N. Carpenter St., said Carla Agostinelli, executive director of the group. 

Stephanie Lulay with more on the latest tenant moving into the West Loop.

McDonald's officially confirmed Monday that the company would move its headquarters to the former Harpo Studios in the West Loop. The company is expected to relocate its headquarters from suburban Oak Brook by spring 2018. 

Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said bringing McDonald's workforce to the West Loop means more support for the restaurants, hotels and other amenities in the neighborhood. Burnett said McDonald's representatives have not told him how many employees would move to the new Chicago headquarters. 

"It think it fills a void that we lost when Harpo moved," Burnett said Tuesday. "A lot of people don't know that Harpo was a pioneer in the neighborhood, and there are restaurants that wouldn't have survived if it wasn't for people [working] at Harpo holding them up." 

Earlier this month, Crain's Chicago first reported that McDonald's was in advanced negotiations with developer Sterling Bay to move its headquarters to a new building the developer plans to build at the site in Fulton Market. McDonald's is likely to be leasing more than 300,000 square feet of space in the building, according to the report. 

Renderings leaked in June 2015 show the largest studio building on the Harpo campus would be demolished. On Randolph Street, the renderings show a large retail or restaurant area being developed with office space. 

McDonald's was reportedly poised to take over 350,000 square feet at One Prudential Plaza downtown last year before backing out of the deal. It also has office space in River North.  

Harpo's move 

Harpo Studios announced in March 2015 that Winfrey would not renew the lease on the lot, meaning TV shows being filmed there would leave the site. Harpo's move from Chicago to a new state-of-the-art studio in West Hollywood comes after the OWN Network relocated to The Lot in California.

Oprah's — and Harpo's — move from Chicago began when Winfrey filmed her last episodes of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011. The set subsequently housed "The Rosie Show," hosted by Rosie O'Donnell, for less than a year.

In March 2014, Winfrey announced she had sold Harpo Studios to West Loop-based developer Sterling Bay for $32 million.

Iconic signs that hung from the Harpo Studios building were removed in January. The studio closed for good in December 2015.

Before it became home to Winfrey's studio in 1988, the largest building on the Harpo campus was formerly a cold storage warehouse, a temporary morgue, an armory and a roller skating rink, according to the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

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