The parent of a popular social media app is planning to more than double the size of its office in Chicago and move it to a new Fulton Market District building, while a fast-growing Chicago-based transportation logistics firm has an even larger deal lined up to join them.
In one of two leases that are close to being finalized at 167 N. Green St., Santa Monica, Calif.-based Snap is in advanced talks to lease about 25,000 square feet at the 17-story building, according to sources familiar with the deal. Snap, best known for its disappearing photo and message app Snapchat, would relocate its local office there from a boutique office building the company leases today at 648 N. Clark St. in River North.
In the other deal, third-party logistics provider MoLo Solutions is nearing a lease of more than 93,000 square feet in the building, where it would relocate from the roughly 33,000 square feet it leases today nearby at 120 N. Racine Ave., sources close to the discussions said.
The negotiations are poised to add to the recent leasing streak in the trendy former meatpacking district, despite an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has kept deal activity relatively sluggish elsewhere downtown, with office vacancy at a record high.
Companies including Kimberly-Clark, TikTok, Hazel Technologies, Calamos Investments and Tock have signed on for new Fulton Market workspace this year, following the lead of corporate giants Google, McDonald’s, Glassdoor and Mondelez International.
If the Snap and MoLo deals are finalized, they would also notch another pair of big leasing wins for Chicago developers Shapack Partners and Focus, which completed the 750,000-square-foot Green Street building late last year. Not including Snap and MoLo, the building is close to 70% leased, with a tenant roster that includes auto insurance claim software provider CCC Information Services, professional services firm Kroll (formerly Duff & Phelps), convenience store company Foxtrot Market, aviation maintenance company Jet Support Services and co-working provider WeWork.
It’s unclear how much Snap is planning to expand its local workforce as part of the move, and a spokesperson for the company couldn’t be reached. But the planned expansion signals Snap will join the run of major tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Glassdoor and others that have beefed up headcount in Chicago in recent years, largely drawn to its affordable talent pool.
Snap is eyeing part of the 16th floor at the 17-story Green Street building, space that comes with a 2,000-square-foot outdoor deck. The building also includes a full-size basketball court on its top floor that converts into a large meeting space.
Publicly traded Snap is coming off a second quarter in which its year-over-year revenue more than doubled to $982 million and its user base surged to 293 million daily active users, a 23% jump from the same period in 2020, according to the company.
MoLo Solutions—whose name is short for Modern Logistics—is slated to lease two floors at the Green Street building, an expansion triggered by its rapidly growing headcount. The company has hired around 300 people this year alone, bringing its total workforce to around 520 people, according to a source close to the company.
Spokesmen for MoLo and Shapack Partners couldn’t be reached.
MoLo last month ranked 41st on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the country and was the fastest-growing in Illinois based on percentage revenue growth from 2017 to 2020.
The firm is adding to a trend of transportation logistics firms in Chicago bulking up on office space as the pandemic-induced surge in online shopping has boosted demand for services from businesses that help distribute products people buy on the Internet. While many companies in other sectors have been downsizing their office space after adjusting to life with remote workers, Chicago’s robust collection of third-party logistics and freight tech companies have been on hiring sprees and adding to their office footprints.