A group that includes two founders of Groupon has bought the Wrigley Building, one of the most recognizable buildings in Chicago.
Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell are minority investors in the group lead by BDT Capital Partners who have purchased the two-tower 90-plus year-old building on the north bank of the Chicago River, the investors and the company said on Monday.
Neither Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co, which is owned by candy maker Mars Inc, nor the building's buyers would disclose the purchase price. The Wall Street Journal on Sunday put the price tag at about $40 million because of its high vacancy rate, citing one source.
Neither daily deal website Groupon nor any of the companies affiliated with investment fund Lightbank, co-founded by Lefkofsky and Keywell, have immediate plans to relocate to the Wrigley Building, the companies said.
Wrigley, which was founded in 1891, plans to move out of the building by the end of 2012 and into its headquarters in Chicago's Goose Island, where about 500 of its employees already are located.
About 250 employees remain in the Wrigley building. The buildings, which are joined by enclosed walk ways on several floors, were patterned after Seville Cathedral's Giralda Tower in Spain. A two-story clock tower featuring four dials, each more than 19 feet in diameter, is the most recognizable feature of the buildings.
The cornerstone for the 160,000 square-foot southern tower was laid in 1920. Four years later, the north tower, which is about 300,000 square feet, was completed and connected to the south section with walkways at street level and between the third floors. In 1931, a 14th floor walkway was put in place.
The consortium is in discussions with the city regarding landmark designation for the property, whose name will remain the Wrigley Building.
(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)