McDonald’s to move to Chicago

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NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s is moving back to Chicago and taking over the old home of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

The world’s biggest hamburger chain said Monday that it signed a lease to move its corporate headquarters in 2018 from the leafy suburbs of Oak Brook, Illinois, to downtown Chicago. McDonald’s was previously based in the city from 1955 to 1971.

McDonald’s is moving to the site that once housed Harpo Studios, where filming of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” took place until 2011. Harpo Studios sold the site to developers in 2014 for more than $30 million.

The fast food company said the move is a way for it to attract workers who want to live in cities. Other companies, including Kraft Heinz and General Electric, have announced plans to trade the suburbs for big city headquarters.

McDonald’s Corp. CEO Steve Easterbrook said the new site will encourage innovation and ensure that “great talent is excited about where they work.”

The company said it plans to turn the space into a “modern setting that fosters collaboration and connectivity.” Its new headquarters will also house a Hamburger University, a learning center for future executives and other employees.

The move will put McDonald’s in the fast-growing West Loop neighborhood. Its corporate neighbors will include Google owner Alphabet Inc., which opened its Chicago offices there last year.

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