Rejuvenating Chicago’s older buildings with new ideas from new places

There is an exciting shift currently occurring in corporate buildings across Chicago.

Owners, developers and designers are rejuvenating older buildings by rethinking the traditional concept of common spaces. Lobbies and public areas previously designed to function solely as entry points and security checks are now hospitality-infused destinations.

Spaces previously only active at key moments during the day (arrival, lunch, departure) are now “places to be” all day long with food service, retail, group seating, art installations, concierge service and other unique features.

This real estate shift is fueled by multiple drivers, including:

  • A need to attract today’s workforce, a group seeking more choice, collaboration, flexibility and balance in their lives and work
  • The need to capitalize on underutilized spaces and opportunities within the existing building footprint to help ensure all building spaces are highly-utilized, thus enhancing value for tenants
  • Pressure to compete with a stock of newer buildings designed to introduce collaboration, community and modern amenities throughout

Given the large quantity of Chicago buildings designed and constructed decades ago, there are numerous spaces in the city ready for this evolution. In fact, Michigan Plaza at 205 and 225 N. Michigan is currently in the midst of a project that will rejuvenate its lobby and public spaces.