The recent news that online food-delivery service GrubHub is moving its global headquarters from a Bucktown loft to a new sapce at the Burnham Center in the Loop is being seen as the latest sign that the former start-up, which now employs more than 250 people, has outgrown its humble roots.
But the announcement also raised eyebrows among some observers who wonder how the trendy firm can retain it’s casual, creative culture in a corporate office building.
Crain’s Chicago Business weighs in on the subject here and asks JLL’s Matt Carolan about the factors at play when start-ups “grow up” and move downtown:
“These tech companies start in Ravenswood, in Wrigleyville, in Bucktown, but eventually they hit a size where they can’t grow because there’s just not enough concentration of office space in those areas. Plus, people get older. They have kids and move to the suburbs, and then you have to figure out how to attract a senior executive. If the only way to get to your office is by car, you’re unlikely to be able to get that talent.”
Carolan also notes that many fast-growing start-ups have “split the difference” and located in River North or the west side of the West Loop. But with options in those areas dwindling, space in the heart of downtown is becoming a more realistic option.