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Pinterest Joins Tech Expansion in Downtown Chicago

Advertising Team Moving to 31,000-SF Space at 111 N. Canal as Revenues Double
August 9, 2018
Another West Coast technology-based company is expanding in Chicago, following a trend that has picked up noticeable speed in recent months.

Pinterest, the inspirational social network site where users "pin" ideas and photos through a digital arts and crafts bulletin board, is moving its Chicago-based advertising team to 30,978 square feet at 111 N. Canal.

The Pinterest ad sales team, which started in Chicago in 2014 as a one-person operation, has mushroomed into a 115-person crew at 320 W. Ohio that handles much of the brand and ad agency relationships for the company.

That division has exploded, on pace to nearly double revenues to $1 billion on a year-over-year basis, according to CNBC. The site has become a magnet for big-name fashion and beauty brands, not to mention food and other consumer products brands that sponsor Pins to put before 200 million monthly active users.

"Chicago is an important and growing office for Pinterest," Mike Mayzel, communications manager for Pinterest, said in announcing the company's new lease. "We're excited to take this next step for Pinterest in Chicago, as we continue to support some of our most strategic relationships with brands and agencies."

Pinterest joins a growing legion of tech companies large and small, as well as tech divisions at companies in other industries that are finding bigger spaces in the city’s downtown neighborhoods, particularly the West Loop and River West.

Google, which moved into 362,048 square feet at 1K Fulton in December 2015, has already outgrown its sales space at the former Fulton Market Cold Storage building and is expected to add another 100,000 square feet in the neighborhood next year.

Facebook reportedly agreed to lease more than 200,000 square feet at 151 N. Franklin, adding to the 98,515 square feet it already occupies around the corner at 191 N. Wacker.

Walgreens announced in June that it would relocate some 1,800 of its digital and tech employees into about 200,000 square feet at Chicago's old main post office at 433 W. Van Buren. The 2.7-million-square-foot historic building, which has been vacant for 20 years, is undergoing an $800 million redevelopment by owners 601W Cos.

At 111 N. Canal, Pinterest joins an array of tech firms, ranging from Gogo, the building’s largest tenant with 234,833 square feet, to SAP Fiberglass, Uber, Twitter, Level 3, Vivid Seats, TekSystems and ComTek International, according to CoStar research. Not exactly a tech company, but one that probably feeds those tenants treats, the Doughnut Vault has a retail site there.

Meanwhile, Chicago city leaders are waiting to hear if the bid to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the city, a proposition that could bring as many as 50,000 new workers who could ultimately share offices in as much as 8 million square feet, according to Amazon’s request for proposal.

Apple is also a Chicago target for its search for 200,000 square feet of space.

Jennifer Waters, Chicago Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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