When McDonald’s announced that it would move its corporate headquarters to Chicago’s West Loop, Sue Rosenhain decided her company should have office space nearby.
“McDonald’s is one of our major clients,” says Rosenhain, president of the major marketing company Creata. You’ve seen their work whenever your child has opened a Happy Meal. “We wanted to have space close to them for the times when we need to work together.”
So Creata opened an office in WeWork Fulton Market. That puts her staff within easy walking distance of their client’s new headquarters.
Rosenhain says location is important for two reasons. WeWork’s proximity to the McDonald’s headquarters allows her staff to stay in close contact with their colleagues there. But the coworking company’s wide variety of common areas and conference rooms is also a major selling point for Rosenhain.
“It helps us serve our clients better if we have flexible space that we can make available for their use,” says Rosenhain. “If have a meeting with them, we can provide the space at WeWork.”
Rosenhain added that Creata is a global company, doing business with clients such as Nestlé, Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola. A WeWork membership gives her company access to locations in 64 cities.
“I can use a WeWork space anywhere in the world,” says Rosenhain. “I can go online wherever I am in the world and book the space I need right away. I love that flexibility.”
Companies say WeWork is a place they can grow
McDonald’s broke ground on the $250 million corporate headquarters at the end of 2016. The nine-story building opened this spring.
The move is something of a homecoming for McDonald’s, which was based in downtown before moving to the western suburb of Oak Brook in 1971. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the move will “bring an iconic American brand back to Chicago.”
There are six WeWork locations in Chicago — beyond Fulton Market, there are two in River North and three in the Loop — all of them a short drive from the McDonald’s headquarters. WeWork also plans to expand its footprint in the River North neighborhoodby the end of the year.
When East Balt Bakeries, which supplies baked goods for McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other companies, needed downtown office space it turned to WeWork Kinzie.
David J. Dvorak, the company’s executive vice president, says the location is exactly what they were looking for. But he also likes working in close proximity to a wide range of companies.
“I think it’s perfect,” says Dvorak. “I really enjoy the environment here. It’s pretty conducive to the kind of work that we do.”
Andreas von Pongrácz, vice president of Visual Art, says when his Swedish company wanted to establish a home base in this country, it also chose WeWork Kinzie.
“WeWork was a perfect match for our company,” he says. “We want to spend our time focusing on our clients, not running an office. WeWork takes care of all of that.”
The digital communications company — which has created eye-catching signage for McDonald’s around the world, along with companies such as 7-Eleven and Ikea — is looking at rapid expansion in the U.S.
“For us to be able to grow quickly, we need a space where we can expand to a 10-person office or a 50-person office when we need it,” says von Pongrácz. “That kind of growth is possible at WeWork.”
WeWork is hosting a Summer Solstice Soiree at an undisclosed River North venue on June 21. Readers of Chicago Tribune can RSVP here.