It’s official: McDonald’s Corp. is moving to Chicago.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based burger giant on Monday said it would move its corporate headquarters to the city’s West Loop neighborhood by the spring of 2018.
The company will also move its “Hamburger University” training facility to a space in the city.
“We are a brand on the move in more ways than one,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.
“Moving our headquarters to Chicago is another significant step in our journey to build a better McDonald’s. This world-class environment will continue to drive business momentum by getting us even closer to customers, encouraging innovation and ensuring great talent is excited about where they work.”
The move will mark a return to downtown, where the company had been headquartered from 1955 through 1971.
It also marks a departure from its expansive, Oak Brook headquarters. It is unclear what will happen with the tree-lined campus after the move.
“McDonald’s looks forward to returning to the Chicago community where we started and to building together the next chapter of success in the history of this great company,” Rick Hernandez, the company’s chairman, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement is about more than just a new location for us. It’s an important investment in our people as we look to create a state-of-the-art company headquarters they can use to move our business forward for many years to come.”
McDonald’s has been looking at downtown Chicago as a potential landing spot for months, according to local reports out of the city.
Earlier this month, local reports said that McDonald’s was negotiating to lease 300,000 square feet of space, which once housed Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios.
Company executives have apparently told employees that buildings on the company’s existing campus are in need of repair and becoming more expensive to maintain.
The company said that the new headquarters would provide “a state-of-the-art learning center” for the company’s employees. The company also said it would transform the space downtown into “a modern setting that fosters collaboration and connectivity.”
Chicago city leaders welcomed the move. “McDonald’s, welcome back to sweet home Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “McDonald’s has identified the keys to success to today’s global market, talent, technology, and access to transportation networks, and they recognize these as Chicago’s strengths.”
McDonald’s stock was up less than 1 percent this morning.