Joined by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Google Chicago Site Lead Karen Sauder, Prime | Capri Interests today marked the start of construction for the James R. Thompson Center located at 100 W. Randolph. Prime | Capri is leading the build-to-suit redevelopment project under an agreement with Google, which intends to purchase the building once renovations are completed.

“As the transformation of the Thompson Center begins, I want to thank Google once again for reaffirming their commitment to Chicago and preserving this historic building while updating and modernizing this iconic space,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said. “The Google employees who will call this building home will be another piece in the complex, thriving puzzle of the Loop’s infrastructure and ecosystem, making our economy and our skyline stronger.”

Thompson Center Redevelopment PlazaJahn/

"As we begin construction on the Thompson Center redevelopment, I want to express our city's gratitude to Google and Prime | Capri Co-principals Michael W. Reschke and Quintin E. Primo III for their work in reimagining this iconic Chicago landmark as a beacon of innovation and sustainability," Mayor Brandon Johnson said. "This project brings numerous construction opportunities to our city while also preserving a vital transit hub, which reinforces our shared commitment to accessibility. And as a future home for Google, this site will undoubtedly stand as a symbol of Chicago's stature as an inclusive hub for business and technology on the global stage.”

Work started the week of April 1 as construction equipment from Clark Construction was put in place and protective fencing was installed around the building’s perimeter and outdoor plaza. The Thompson Center’s Clark/Lake CTA L station, where six train lines converge, will remain open throughout construction. 

Thompson Center RedevelopmentJahn/

Designed by the late Helmut Jahn, the Thompson Center is a Postmodern icon known for its soaring 17-story atrium. The building was called the State of Illinois Center when it opened in May 1985 and was renamed in 1993 to honor former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson who commissioned the building. 

Jahn—the namesake firm of the original architect Helmut Jahn—has led a thoughtful design that will restore and modernize the Thompson Center while seamlessly integrating elements of the building’s original design with contemporary advancements.

Thompson CenterShutterstock

The high-tech renovation honors Jahn’s signature design for a postmodern town square with strategic design improvements that enhance the building as a community destination. New elements include a heightened entry colonnade redesigned to allow a renewed ground floor experience, three levels of covered terraces with more natural light, access to green spaces and biophilic design elements. 

Prime | Capri shares Google’s commitment to the importance of sustainable building. As such, the renovation of the Thompson Center will make it an all-electric building designed to meet LEED Platinum sustainability targets. The building’s facade and internal systems will be replaced, and a new triple-pane glass exterior will improve the facility’s thermal performance. Additionally, the Thompson Center’s previous heating and cooling systems will be replaced with high-efficiency equipment that can manage Chicago’s seasonal weather.