The 28-story tower at 200 W. Jackson Blvd. in Chicago’s Loop features a new fitness center, part of a major upgrade to the property. The tower will host TV ratings and analytics firm Nielsen, which already leases offices in the building but is expanding its space and moving in all of its Chicago-area workers. (James Steinkamp / White Oak Realty Partners)
TV ratings and data analytics firm Nielsen plans to move all of its Chicago-area workers to one large space in the Loop, becoming the latest company to shift a large number of jobs downtown from the suburbs.
The Nielsen Co. has leased 215,000 square feet in the 28-story tower at 200 W. Jackson Blvd., the company and the building’s owner said.
Nielsen confirmed plans to consolidate all its Chicago-area employees into one office, but did not say how many workers it has in the area.
Typically, a 215,000-square-foot space could accommodate more than 800 employees.
"As a standard practice, we regularly review our real estate and facilities needs to ensure that they align with the needs of our business," Nielsen said in an emailed statement. "We recently entered into an agreement to expand our downtown Chicago offices to house all of our Chicagoland associates in a single location. As a company with deep roots in the Chicago community for more than 90 years, we view this move as win-win. Not only does it provide more opportunities for collaboration and increased operational efficiencies, it also streamlines costs by consolidating our offices from multiple locations into a single downtown Chicago hub."
The company is leaving a large office in Schaumburg, where it leases about 190,000 square feet, and smaller offices in Evanston, West Dundee and Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.
Nielsen is already a tenant at 200 W. Jackson, leasing about 71,000 square feet on four floors, according to Tom Saletta, a principal at building owner White Oak Realty Partners. Nielsen signed a new long-term lease in which it will add another eight floors, increasing its space to about 215,000 square feet, Saletta said.
The new deal includes naming rights and signage atop the building and in the lobby, Saletta said. Nielsen will occupy about 45 percent of the building after the moves are completed.
In moving workers from the suburbs, Nielsen is continuing a trend of urban migration among many well-known companies.
McDonald’s, Motorola Mobility, Kraft Heinz, Hillshire Brands and Motorola Solutions are among the corporations that have signed deals to move their headquarters downtown from Chicago’s suburbs in recent years. Other companies based in the suburbs have created secondary offices downtown, citing some of the same reasons — company branding, access to younger employees and proximity to public transportation.
Nielsen, best known for television ratings, also measures and analyzes data on sales of consumer products. Nielsen’s services also include advertising and media planning. The company was formerly known as ACNielsen.
Nielsen’s U.S. headquarters are in New York. Parent company Nielsen Holdings is based in England.
Chicago-based White Oak and New York-based investment partner Angelo Gordon & Co. bought the building on Jackson for more than $73 million in 2015. They bought the building with the knowledge that online lender Enova International was set to leave more than 150,000 square feet, moving to a building across the street.
Knowing they would have a big hole to fill, White Oak and Angelo Gordon made major upgrades to the building, including a lobby overhaul and creating a lounge and fitness and conference centers.
The building is now more than 80 percent leased, and is expected to be more than 90 percent leased by the end of 2017, Saletta said.
"We were in constant communication over the last year and a half," Saletta said. "We were fortunate that the timing of them deciding their future coincided with us finishing the renovations and improving the quality of the building."