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Braintree Opens New Office at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart

15 Oct 2014, 3:19 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Merchandise Mart Chicago

Braintree, a fast-growing global payments platform and subsidiary of eBay Inc. recently celebrated the opening of a new office on the eighth floor of the Merchandise Mart building. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was there to cut the ribbon on Braintree’s new office, showing his support for the city’s growing tech community.

The Chicago-based company moved into the new 65,000-square-foot headquarters on October 9, and is expected to create 216 new jobs in the city in 2016 and another 144 jobs in 2017 to fill out the new space. According to a news release, Braintree currently employs 180 people in the city of Chicago.

“Braintree’s commitment to growth in Chicago is a testament to the depth of talent in our workforce and the vitality of the city’s tech economy,” Emanuel says. “In three years, Chicago has added 10,000 new jobs in technology and companies like Braintree are critical to continuing that growth and helping to achieve our goal of doubling the City’s tech workforce in the next decade.”

The Merchandise Mart is home to a number of other tech companies such as Razorfish, Motorola Mobility, GoHealth, MATTER and technology hub 1871. San Francisco-based company Yelp has also signed a lease for over 50,000 square feet of space on the building’s fourth floor, and intends to hire up to 300 people in the new office in the next couple of years.

Braintree’s former 27,000-square-foot office at 111 N. Canal in the West Loop will be subleased by Chicago-based tech company Signal. 111 N. Canal will also house the corporate headquarters for Illinois-based wireless provider Gogo, which is expected to take over 232,000 square feet of office space.

“Mayor Emanuel has been an incredible supporter of Braintree and the Chicago tech community,” says Bill Ready, chief executive for Braintree. “We’re honored to have him open the doors to our new Chicago office.”

 Image courtesy of Merchandise Mart.com



Method’s Manufacturing Plant to House World’s Largest Rooftop Farm

11 Oct 2014, 2:57 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Method manufacturing plant

Just a few months after revealing plans for its first U.S. manufacturing plant, San Francisco-based Method is raising the bar once more. The company, together with New York-based Gotham Greens, recently unveiled plans to build the world’s largest rooftop farm at Method’s new manufacturing plant in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood.

Intended to become the world’s first LEED Platinum certified facility in the consumer packaged goods industry, Method’s new manufacturing plant will house a state-of-the-art agricultural greenhouse facility on its roof, designed and built by Gotham Greens. According to a news release, the greenhouse will produce up to 1 million pounds of fresh, pesticide-free produce every year.

“Chicago has shown remarkable leadership in urban farming and green building over the past decade,” said Viraj Puri, co-founder and CEO of Gotham Greens. “We’re particularly honored to be partnering with Method and the Pullman Park development and community. We are dedicated to providing our customers and local residents with the freshest and best tasting, hyper-local produce available, 365 days of the year.”

The fresh produce will be distributed amongst local Chicago farmer’s markets, restaurants and retailers. Gotham Greens’ irrigation methods eliminate the need for pesticide use, minimize the risk of foodborne pathogens like E. coli and salmonella, and eliminate the carbon footprint linked to shipping produce across the country by growing produce locally.

“Gotham Greens shares our goal of using business as a force for social and environmental good,” said Drew Fraser, Method CEO. “We are thrilled to partner with a like-minded organization, who has demonstrated that the innovative, adaptive use of urban space can make a significant impact on local communities.”

Method’s innovative manufacturing plant is slated for completion in early 2015.

Rendering courtesy of Method



Inland Real Estate Corp. Pays $25M for Prairie Crossings Shopping Center in Frankfort, IL

9 Oct 2014, 7:11 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Prairie Crossings Shopping Center

Illinois-based REIT Inland Real Estate Corporation, a company with $2.9 billion in assets under management and a substantial presence in the Chicago retail market, recently announced the acquisition of a power shopping center in Frankfort, Ill. The company purchased the Prairie Crossings shopping center for $24.7 million in cash, according to a news release.

Inland’s latest acquisition offers about 109,000 square feet of leasable space, with more than 83,000 square feet of inline retail space and two multi-tenant outlot buildings. Prairie Crossings currently houses a number of national retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Office Depot, Sports Authority, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Red Mango, Famous Footwear, Game Stop, and Hair Cuttery among many others.

Located roughly 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, the Prairie Crossings shopping center serves the communities of Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox and draws clients from a population base of about 95,100.

“Prairie Crossing’s high quality roster of national retailers, attractive market position and solid demographic profile make the center a perfect fit for our portfolio,” said Scott Carr, executive vice president and chief investment officer for Inland Real Estate Corp. “Our acquisition of Prairie Crossings, following our purchase of the neighboring Mokena Marketplace earlier this year, expands our presence in this vibrant regional submarket.”

Inland’s expansive retail portfolio consists of high quality shopping centers in strong geographic markets such as the Chicago and Minneapolis metropolitan areas, and currently holds interests in 135 properties totaling roughly 15 million square feet of gross leasable area.

“Our strategy of owning multiple assets within a trade area provides leasing flexibility to merchandise our centers with the optimal mix of tenants, enhancing consumer traffic across all of our properties in this market,” Scott Carr explained.

Image courtesy of Inland Real Estate Corporation



Construction Begins on New Clubhouse at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, IL

6 Oct 2014, 5:42 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Rendering of the new clubhouse

Construction on a brand new clubhouse has begun at the Mistwood Golf Club, one of the Best New Courses of 2013 and the host of the Illinois Women’s Open. The popular resort has undergone extensive renovation work over the last two seasons, the most notable development being the new Performance Center, placed among the country’s best by Golf Range magazine.

Work on the site began back in August when the previous building was demolished, and the new clubhouse, designed by Chicago-based Daniel Wohlfeil Design, is expected to open in the summer of 2015. Owner Jim McWethy, one of the original investors when the club opened in 1998, has not disclosed the cost of the project, but insists it will be worth it.

Clubhouse exterior

“It’s going to be spectacular,” says McWethy. “Almost nothing will be as innovative, creative and attractive as this will be.”

According to a news release, the new development will consist of two buildings that will share the architectural style of the Performance Center, also designed by Daniel Wohlfeil Design.

One of the new buildings will have two stories, the upper one used for staff offices and the lower one housing a pro shop and locker rooms for 80-100 players. The two buildings will also share an expansive underground basement area for storage and golf carts. Additionally, one of the two new structures will also house a restaurant and banquet facility.

“You need to build a great golf course, which I think we’ve done, and we have a Performance Center without peer,” McWethy says. “The clubhouse facility is the third piece of the puzzle and I believe we will have one of the finest golf facilities in the Chicago area.”

Originally designed by Michigan architect Ray Hearn, who also handled the renovations of 2012-2013, the Mistwood Golf Club has also hosted major events for the Chicago District Golf Association and Illinois PGA.

Renderings courtesy of the Mistwood Golf Club



JLL Signs 15-Year Extension Lease at The Aon Center in Chicago

2 Oct 2014, 6:17 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

The Aon Center Chicago

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. recently announced that Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), one of the world’s most trustworthy companies, has signed a 199,730-square-foot, 15-year extension lease through 2032 at Chicago’s iconic Aon Center. According to a press release, the extended lease contains pre-term expansion and contraction rights that would allow the company to increase or decrease its leased square footage by one floor.

The 1,136-foot, 83-story tower located at 200 E. Randolph St. has served as JLL’s global headquarters since 1996. Designed by Edward Durell Stone and Perkins+Will, the iconic marble-clad tower was completed in 1974 as the Standard Oil Building and is currently Chicago’s third tallest building, after the Willis Tower and the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

“Of all the options that we considered, Aon Center is best suited to implement the newest, best-in-class workplace designs,” says JLL American CEO Greg O’Brien.

The Aon Center, currently managed by JLL, is home to a plethora of high-ranking tenants, including Microsoft, United HealthCare, Aon, KPMG, and Federal Home Loan Bank. The LEED Silver-certified tower is a past winner of the international TOBY Award and has current BOMA 360 and Energy Star designations.

200 E. Randolph St.

The former Amoco Building features a tubular steel-framed structural system, with columns specially designed to resist earthquakes, reduce sway and minimize column bending. The same construction model was used on the former World Trade Center Towers in New York City. The Aon Center was acquired by Piedmont Office Realty Trust in 2003 for close to $480 million.

Steve Smith and Mark Georgas of JLL, together with Piedmont’s Damian Miller, CFA, Senior Vice President, Asset Management and Carroll A. Reddic, IV, Executive Vice President, Real Estate Operations, represented the landlord in the lease transaction. Jeff Liljeberg, Rob Schmidt and Mike Sessa of JLL represented the tenant.

“Completing a lease transaction of this size is a major win for both parties, and a testament to the long-standing relationship with JLL,” says Donald Miller, CFA, President and Chief Executive Officer for Piedmont Office Realty Trust. “We are pleased that JLL has decided to make an ongoing commitment to 200 East Randolph and the East Loop – we look forward to continuing this positive and collaborative working relationship in the years ahead.”

Images courtesy of urbansplatter.com and Aon plc’s Official Facebook Page







One Response to Chicago Archive

  1. Joselyn Overley

    Sep. 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I just think it’s too hard for small businesses to try to purchase a property, renting or leasing is their only real option

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