Report: McDonald's planning HQ move to former Harpo studio campus

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The fast food giant could be moving into the former Harpo Studios campus. (WLS)

McDonald's is about to close a deal to move its headquarters to the former Harpo studio campus on Chicago's Near West Side, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

Currently, the fast food giant is based in suburban Oak Brook. More than 2,000 employees work there.

A spokesperson for McDonald's said the company would not speculate on the report.

"We are thrilled with the prospect of McDonald's moving to the Fulton Market in the West Loop," said Roger Romanelli of the Randolph Fulton Market Association.

Romanelli represents business interests that for a generation now have turned a former meat packing district into a culinary, professional and residential destination. His group knew reinvention was key as Harpo Productions shrunk and eventually stopped business at the West Loop campus last year.

"We had a heavy heart knowing that she was leaving," Romanelli said. "Now replacing one world-class institution in Harpo Studios with a new and standing world-class institution in McDonald's would be a massive win for the West Loop in Fulton Market

Reports said the building's owners, development company Sterling Bay, will demolish most of the old studios and put in place a new McDonald's headquarters by 2018.

Developer Alan Lev, CEO of The Belgravia Group, has a condo building going up nearby

"This is where their workforce is," Lev said. "It is not the work force of 20 years ago. They want the millennials and the millennials don't want to do the reverse commute and go all the way out to Oak Brook."

The village of Oak Brook seemed resigned, even though they did not tax hamburger giant's property.

"We don't know what facility they are talking about moving or if they are talking about moving the entire facility downtown," said Oak Brook Village Manager Riccardo Ginex.

Neighbors are mixed about possibly welcoming the Golden Arches.

"Now it is going to be so crowded and if they tear down the Oprah building and build I don't know how many stories they are going to build, just so much overcrowding," said Nell Schneider.

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businessmcdonald'sChicago - Near West Side
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