Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is planning to open a new multipurpose solution center in Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood. BCBSIL has leased nearly 130,000 square feet of space in a recently shuttered Target at 119th Street and Marshfield Avenue.
The center will become the second South Side location for BCBSIL following the April opening of the Blue Door Neighborhood Center in Pullman. Located in the Marshfield Plaza shopping center, the new Morgan Park site will combine community health outreach with employee workspace.
“It’s exciting to be able to give these spaces new life,” said Anthony Zahner, principal at zpd+a, the architecture firm tasked with designing the new space. “Creating a new multi-use work space that will provide regional jobs, while reusing existing infrastructure, helps support many needs within the community, and is a smart development decision.”
A key component of the adaptation of this big box retail space into office use is inserting two 3,600-square-foot courtyards to allow for more natural light into a deep floor plate, creating an opportunity for an interior/exterior relationship despite the overall mass of the building.
“This further expansion into Chicago’s South Side demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting and empowering our local communities,” said Maurice Smith, president of Health Care Service Corporation, BCBSIL’s parent. “This new center will eventually bring 550 jobs to Chicago’s 34th Ward—most of those will be new positions. Our aim is to create a multifunctional space for both employees and the local community once we open our doors in 2020. The site will integrate our capabilities at a local level to meaningfully improve health outcomes and experiences.”
Marshfield Plaza is owned and operated by DL3 Realty, a full-service real estate development firm committed to accelerating the transformation of emerging communities through high-impact commercial real estate projects. Construction will begin later this summer to reimagine the space to accommodate the multiple functions planned for the site, with doors likely to open in the second quarter of 2020.
“We are excited to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to reinvigorate Marshfield Plaza, and their impressive commitment of over 500 jobs will encourage other anchor institutions to venture south and explore new opportunities,” said Leon Walker, managing partner DL3 Realty.
“This facility represents the type of collaboration, partnership and investment we need to improve the lives of residents while also boosting the economic development of our communities,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “I am grateful to Blue Cross and Blue Shield for recognizing the bright talent and value available across Chicago, as well as their commitment to our citywide mission of growing jobs, creating opportunity and improving the health and life outcomes for all Chicagoans.”