2017 New Year Resolution: Become a Tech Friendly Building!

January 24, 2017

Tech Office Spaces Author

Washington D.C. Team Market Expert | Assistant Director, Savills Studley | DC/MD/VA Licensed Real Estate Broker

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And this is exactly the vision of the landlord of 25 E. Washington (“25EW”) in Chicago. The building is in final stages of a renovation that has our attention. The location has always been a plus (which I’ll get to below), but it’s the multi-million dollar investment being spent on the common areas, as well as the available space that puts 25EW back on the map. The renovation is bringing back the original lobby, upgraded lighting/flooring in common corridors, and improved building amenities.

Rendoring of Renovated Original Lobby

What’s really in store for tenants in the market is the renovated fourth floor. This is a full floor (20,000 rsf) opportunity allowing someone to control the design features from the moment you step off the elevator. The 13′ ceilings and 10′ windows provide plenty of natural light, and the original Marshall Fields wooden floor adds a little Chicago history. As the picture below shows the open ceilings, a future tenant has the option to keep this look or drop in a partial/full ceiling. The restrooms are being redesigned to keep up with modern build out trends. 25EW is also unique in that they operate with single floor HVAC units, keeping after hour costs at a minimum. But what has captured our attention is the asking rent, which is at the low end of East Loop averages.

Open 4th Floor – 13′ Ceilings & 10′ Windows (Note: can be divisible)

Possible 4th Floor Plan: 175 rsf/person

So much of tech talk is spent on Chicago’s West Loop, Fulton Market and River North. It’s easy to forget about the East Loop, but as the East Loop is home to Centro, Thought Works, WeWork, AOL, and Band Digital, let’s not make the mistake of giving this submarket it’s due credit. With unlimited casual dining, upscale food options, and plenty of local businesses, it’s no surprise that Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotel and the Chicago Athletic Association chose the East Loop as home in the last two years (Cindy’s at CAA is a must). Millennium Park and Grant Park are just blocks away. And it’s not uncommon to see people break from their work day and hit the bike path along the lake (also blocks from 25EW).

Chicago’s East Loop: Millennium Park

As for commuting, the East Loop used to be difficult for those arriving via Union or Ogilvie Metra Stations, or even coming from the West Loop. But with Chicago’s new Loop Link project and the designated bus lanes, commuting from either station above is no longer a challenge. For those riding the El or a CTA bus, all stop withing steps of the building. The Washington/Wabash El station is at the corner of 25EW and will be completed this year (this serves the orange, purple, brown & green lines). The building does not offer parking, however, the valet service across the street at Macy’s, and the below surface Millennium Garage serves as two reasonable options. 25EW does have a bike room if you are one of the brave individuals that bike to the office. This is also a good time to mention the Chicago Pedway, which is accessible from the lobby of 25EW. From here, tenants can walk through the network of tunnels, ground-level concourses and bridges without weathering Chicago’s cold/windy seasons. A few destinations that can be reached from the Pedway are Macy’s, the Chicago Riverwalk, the City Hall, the red and blue El lines, Millennium parking garage and train station, Renaissance Hotel, Fairmont Hotel, Hyatt Regency, as well as many others.

Chicago Riverwalk – Blocks from 25EW

A building renovation of this scale wasn’t thought up over night. Ownership partnered with architect Eastlake Studio last year to plan their vision. Eastlake, a Chicago based architect, is know for their work with Pandora, Origami Risk, Avant Credit, Interactive Data, and LinkedIn.

For more information on the East Loop, 25EW, or any general real estate questions, you can reach me HERE.

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