Bay Area software firm tripling its Fulton Market space – Crain’s Chicago Business


A San Francisco-based software company is snapping up more office space in the Fulton Market District, another in a series of West Coast tech firms expanding in the trendy corridor.

Intercom, whose platform is used by businesses to communicate with and track customers, announced that it signed a 52,676-square-foot lease in the Fulton West building at 1330 W. Fulton St. The space is almost three times the size of its current office in the building, where it moved in 2017.

The deal is a familiar one for the neighborhood, which has transformed from a meatpacking district to a hotbed of upscale restaurants, retailers and hotels and corporate giants including McDonald’s and Google. Tech firms from the Bay Area have ramped up hiring in Chicago, drawn to its pool of Midwest tech talent that is generally more affordable and easier to retain than on the coasts.

That trend has delivered wins for downtown Chicago landlords, especially in Fulton Market. In addition to Google, which recently expanded into its second building in the neighborhood, online job marketplace Glassdoor and Santa Clara, Calif.-based ServiceNow have recently beefed up their Fulton Market presence.

Intercom showed up in Chicago in 2016 with a small office before expanding to its current one a year later. A company spokeswoman declined to say how many of its 600 total employees are in Chicago or comment on its local hiring plans, but an Intercom statement said the expansion will allow it to build out its “Chicago-based sales and support teams.”

“We love the culture here and have had great success finding the type of people we love to work with,” Intercom co-founder and CEO Eoghan McCabe said in the statement announcing the lease.

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A number of big California tech companies have initially focused on sales rather than engineering hires for their Chicago outposts, which give them access to the area’s diverse and deep roster of companies. But some have started to staff up locally with data scientists and software engineers, boosting the city’s reputation as a hub for tech sector innovation.

Intercom is subleasing its new office from Chicago-based Sterling Bay, which developed Fulton West and recently sold the building to a German real estate investor for $168 million. Now that it has cashed out, Sterling Bay is moving its headquarters from the building to a new 19-story office building it just finished on the eastern edge of the neighborhood at 333 N. Green St.

Kevin McLennan of real estate services firm CBRE represented Intercom in negotiating its new lease. Sterling Bay leasing brokers Joy Jordan, Russ Cora and Gillian Keebler represented the developer.



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