Uber Freight HQ coming to Old Main Post Office in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Uber announced a major expansion in Chicago, bringing the company's Freight headquarters to the city along with thousands of jobs.

The new office will not only serve as Uber Freight's headquarters but it will also serve as the freight's first engineering hub outside of San Francisco.

"Today's announcement is a testament to Chicago's place as both a global transit hub and world-class destination for the tech industry to grow and thrive," said Mayor Lightfoot. "This investment also represents an important step in creating economic growth that is both dynamic and inclusive, with Uber leading by example through its collaboration with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, helping ensure the jobs of the future are available for every resident, and no Chicagoan is left behind."

On Monday, Uber said that it would be bringing 2,000 jobs and $200 million annually to the new Freight headquarters. This will effectively make Uber one of the largest tech companies in the city as it continues to battle it out with Lyft to dominate the ground transportation market.

"Uber has long recognized the incredible history, innovation, and talent that Chicago has to offer, and we're excited about the thousands of new jobs our businesses will help bring as we become one of the city's largest technology employers," said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. "Chicago is the heart of America's transportation and logistics industry, and there is no better place to continue to grow our teams and open our dedicated Freight HQ."

"Welcome to Chicago and I'm going to say welcome to 'Silicon Chicago,' 'Silicon Prairie.' Who needs a valley?" said Rep. Robin Kelly.

Earlier this year, Uber announced a 10-year lease for more than 460,000 ft. of office space inside the Old Main Post Office. Uber will officially take over the space on Jan. 5, 2020.

"We are taking something that was dead and dying and turning it into something exciting, vibrant and leading the charge in changing business," said Andrea Zopp, CEO of World Business Chicago.

As part of the expansion, Uber said it is partnering with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, which will receive more than $80,000 in grant funding.

"We are honored to be the first recipient of Uber Technologies' Community Impact Initiative grant. With these funds, we will decrease transportation barriers for people seeking work. Additionally, we are pleased to serve as a source of untapped and diverse talent for the 2,000 jobs with Uber Freight," said Karin M. Norington-Reaves, CEO Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. "Whether in information technology, logistics, distribution or professional services, our clients have the drive and ability to successfully contribute to Uber's labor force."

In addition to the Uber Freight HQ announcement, Uber said it is also launching a new feature in its app that will allow Chicago users to view public transit routes and departure and arrival times. This feature comes as Lightfoot's office proposed a congestion tax to address overcrowded downtown streets blamed in part on rideshare drivers and to help plug the city's massive budget hole.

"We are looking forward to working with the mayor's office to come up with a solution that's not targeting one small part of congestion, but really the whole ecosystem, and we'll be a part of that," Khosrowshahi said.
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