Groupon Founders Consider Acquiring the Wrigley Building
Groupon to Purchase Chicago Landmark?
A recent report has linked Groupon founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky as potential buyers to one of Chicago’s most historic skyscrapers, the Wrigley Building. The plan would be to move most of Groupon’s operations to 400 N. Michigan Avenue, while still occupy space at its current address, the former Montgomery Ward & Co. catalog building at 600 W. Chicago Avenue. Acquiring the Wrigley Building would actually serve a couple different purposes for the Chicago-based tech company: First, Groupon has largely outgrown its current space in Chicago’s Near North Side neighborhood and the Wrigley Building would provide ample space for not only the Groupon venture, but other tech startups funded by Keywell and Lefkifsky. When Groupon was first launched roughly three years ago, the company boasted just $94,000 in total revenue. Since then, Groupon has experienced monumental growth and already seen $1.5 billion in revenue through just the first half of this year alone. And with nearly half of Groupon’s 7,000 employees being located in Chicago, additional office space has continued to be a top priority. In addition to a much-needed expansion, a high-profile headquarters, such as the Wrigley Building, would certainly set Groupon apart from the growing number of start-up daily deal websites, as ChicagoBusiness.com explains when the story first broke earlier this week. Since the start of Groupon back in 2008, dozens of imitators such as LivingSocial, Groop Swoop, CityDeal, GiltCity and countless others have tried to cash in on this new “group-buying” craze, however it’s unlikely all will succeed, according to most consumer economists who believe even the most avid coupon collectors can only check so many websites and emails in one day. Real estate experts in Chicago value the Wrigley Building at $35-$45 million, depending on how much updating needs to be done to the roughly 90-year-old structure and current negotiation prices for purchasing the building are still unknown.