Groupon To Renew Lease And Expand In Former Montgomery Ward Building

Groupon Wall

Groupon lobby area.

In 1908 it was known as the Catalog House, and for many years, the former Montgomery Ward building at 600 W. Chicago churned out just that—catalogs.

Since 2008, Groupon has used the space as its headquarters, through good times and some not so great. The daily deals behemoth apparently is having a good year, as it just renewed its lease. The terms also call for an expansion, and rooftop deck with a view of the skyline, according a report in Chicago Real Estate Daily. Equity Commonwealth owns the building.

Groupon spacecat

Groupon spacecat.

Groupon’s Box-designed office space is definitely on the funky side, with a tiki bar, jungle area and giant space cat (perpetually encased in a flying saucer). These features were probably not considered in the original plans drawn up by architect Richard E. Schmidt at the turn of the century.

However, the reinforced concrete building is ideal for Groupon’s operations, with wide open spaces where deals can be made by energetic staffers roaming about, armed with little more than a wireless headset and can-do spirit. Which, come to think of it, makes the Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpted “Spirit of Progress” a fitting symbol for the building.

Currently, Groupon uses about 315,000 square feet in the building for its 2,100 employees housed there. The Groupon space will grow to about 380,000 square feet.

Bill Motchan

Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at bill@ChicagoArchitecture.org.

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