Uber opens new office at Old Post Office

Uber had people on Tuesday to show off its new digs.

It was the official ribbon cutting in the company’s sparkling new space at the old post office, where more than 2,000 employees will begin work over the next few days.

Uber’s 461,000 square foot space (over four football fields) encompasses the entire ninth floor and parts of the eighth and 10th floors. It will serve as the global headquarters for Uber Freight and the regional headquarters for Uber Eats and Uber Rides.

The company plans to use approximately 310,000 square feet of the space, at least initially, leaving room for growth and subletting.

The ninth floor contains a cafeteria with healthy food (no soda, try sparkling water instead), a “mirror room” with a wall covered with over 1,300 side mirrors (the kind you’ll find on a large dish). shape) and conference rooms designed to resemble shipping containers.

The lighting in the massive space is set to mimic natural daylight and automatically adjusts.

“I think it’s officially Uber’s coolest desktop. It’s a technical term at Uber. ‘Coolest’ is praise,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi joked Tuesday.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaks at the inauguration Tuesday of Uber’s office at the old post office.
Pat Nabong / Sun-Times

A large spiral staircase connects the eighth and ninth floors.

Gensler, a San Francisco-based architectural firm with an office in Chicago, designed the space.

To encourage collaboration, none of the approximately 1,200 workstations in the office will be dedicated to an individual employee.

Khosrowshahi plans to hire hundreds more employees in Chicago as the company focuses on diversity within its ranks.

“Chicago will spearhead this diversity within the Uber ecosystem,” he said.

The company also has a rooftop space that it plans to build next year. It is adjacent to existing walkways, gardens, assembly areas, two pickleball courts and a basketball court.

Uber’s new digs will replace the office they operated in at 225 W. Randolph St.

Lior Ron, director of Uber Freight, said the old post office “was the natural fit for us” because the building was the largest logistics hub of its time when it was erected a century ago.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot thanked Uber executives for choosing Chicago.

“We highlighted this fact by talking with other companies about why Chicago should be the hub of their business operations, especially other tech companies. You made us cool in this world, ”she said.

Uber, which has a vaccine mandate for its office workers but not its drivers, will expect its employees to spend at least half of their time in the office. The other half can be spent on telecommuting.

Other tenants at the old post office – a behemoth of a building on the South Branch of the Chicago River – include Walgreens, Cisco Systems, Ferrara Candy, and PepsiCo.

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