Motorola Mobility, the mobile-phone maker bought by Google Inc. (GOOG:US) in May, agreed to relocate its headquarters to Vornado Realty Trust (VNO:US)’s Merchandise Mart in Chicago, where it will be the building’s largest tenant.
The technology company, currently based in Libertyville, Illinois, will occupy almost 600,000 square feet (56,000 square meters) on the property’s top four floors and rooftop, according to a statement today from Motorola Mobility and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The 4.2 million-square-foot Merchandise Mart, completed in 1930, is the world’s biggest commercial building, according to its website.
“Today marks a homecoming for a company that was founded in Chicago over 80 years ago,” Emanuel said in the statement. “The company will bring jobs and economic opportunity to our city.”
The deal also provides a boost to Vornado, owner of more than 100 million square feet of U.S. commercial properties. The New York-based landlord, whose shares have fallen 15 percent in the past year, has been responding to shareholder complaints that its structure is too complex. On July 5, Vornado said it would sell showrooms in Washington, Los Angeles and Boston while keeping its flagship Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
Motorola Mobility will move to the building in mid-2013, according to today’s statement. The company didn’t disclose the terms of its lease.
The lease increases the size of the Merchandise Mart’s office portion to 1.73 million square feet, “continuing the right-sizing of the mix of office space and showroom space,” Vornado said today in a separate statement.
“We’re thrilled to bring our employees to downtown Chicago and infuse our company with the vibrant energy of the city,” Dennis Woodside, Motorola Mobility’s chief executive officer, said in his company’s statement. He called the building a great place to “honor our heritage” and “recruit top talent.”
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