Herman Miller leaving Mart for Fulton Market

A furniture company and longtime tenant in the Mart is leaving the building after eight decades for a new home in the Fulton Market District, following the lead of another prominent furniture maker that recently made the same move.

Herman Miller, which opened its first Mart showroom in 1939, leased an entire mixed-use development planned at 1100 W. Fulton Market, where it will move late next year, the company confirmed.

Zeeland, Mich.-based Herman Miller, which includes a group of nine furniture and interior design brands, will move its Chicago showroom and retail space to a 45,000-square-foot building proposed for the northwest corner of Fulton and Aberdeen streets. A venture of Chicago developer Fulton St. and Oak Brook-based Huizenga Capital Management still needs final City Council approval to redevelop the site, which is one block west of Google's Midwest headquarters.

The Herman Miller deal comes after publicly traded furniture maker Knoll left its longtime showroom at the Mart for newly built space at 811 W. Fulton Market. The furniture companies add to an increasingly diverse roster of tenants in a neighborhood transitioning from a corridor of meatpackers and food wholesalers into a hotbed of corporate users and upscale hotels, restaurants and retailers.

At Herman Miller's future home, the Fulton St.-Huizenga venture plans to add a rooftop level to a landmark two-story brick building on the corner and build an adjoining five-story office and retail building on a vacant lot next door. The owners bought the property for $6 million in March 2018 from Chicago developer Sterling Bay, according to Cook County property records.

"We're excited to create a space where our entire family of brands can come together under one roof and where contract and retail customers will experience endless design inspiration and ideas," Tim Straker, senior vice president of marketing and customer experience at Herman Miller, said in a statement.

The company's Mart showroom will remain open through the end of 2019, the statement said.

Several old-line manufacturers and showrooms for which the Mart was historically known have left or been relocated in recent years as tech companies have gravitated to the riverfront giant. The emergence of Fulton Market and its historic building stock, meanwhile, has offered companies like Knoll and Herman Miller a chance to stand out from their showroom counterparts in a highly visible location.