(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp, working to remake itself as a "modern, progressive burger company," will move its corporate headquarters from an Illinois suburb to the former home of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios in downtown Chicago by the spring of 2018.

The move marks a homecoming for the world's biggest restaurant chain, which was headquartered in Chicago from 1955 to 1971. No tax incentives were involved in the move, a spokeswoman said.

"Moving our headquarters to Chicago is another significant step in our journey to build a better McDonald's," Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

Easterbrook said the move would bring the company closer to customers and offer employees an exciting work environment. The new headquarters also will house Hamburger University, one of seven worldwide McDonald's employee training centers.

Several high-profile U.S. corporations are returning to cities in a bid to attract young talent. Another big company, General Electric Co, announced this year it would move its headquarters to Boston from Fairfield, Connecticut.

Crain's Chicago Business first reported McDonald's plan to relocate to 1045 W. Randolph Street in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. McDonald's confirmed that plan on Monday.

Easterbrook took the helm at McDonald's in March 2015 and has begun reviving sales and profits by cutting costs, simplifying menus and rolling out all-day breakfast in the United States.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio and Andrew Hay)