After 47 years in the suburb of Oak Brook, America’s favorite fast-food chain is moving its headquarters back to Chicago.
The new headquarters in the West Loop neighborhood officially opened on Monday after being unveiled from beneath a 70-foot tall, 470-foot wide wrap dotted with Big Macs.
McDonalds CEO Steve Easterbrook said the move back to Chicago would help the company attract top talent and adapt to contemporary tastes. “We firmly believe that part of the importance of the move downtown is that it gets us closer to our customers, it gets us closer to competition, it gets us closer to the trends that are shaping the future of society,” he said at the opening. In a slightly more ominous turn, Easterbrook welcomed McDonald’s (mcd) employees to their new “home,” adding, “Now that you’re here, we’re not letting you go ever again.”
The new headquarters is located within blocks of restaurants owned by famous chefs such as Grant Achatz, Graham Elliot, and Stephanie Izard in an area known for its night life.
The new office will play host to about 2,000 McDonalds employees. It features “work neighborhoods” to give employees their choice in what environment will suit their work best, with open floor plans, communal tables, huddle rooms, and even an on-site “IT Tech Bar” modelled after Apple’s Genius Bar.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who attended the opening, said the construction of the new headquarters had generated $3.2 million for a fund created to rebuild impoverished neighborhoods. McDonald’s reportedly did not receive any subsidy or incentive for returning to Chicago.