Fulton East, a 12-story, 90,000-square-foot office and retail building located at 215 N. Peoria Street in Chicago’s Fulton Market District, has implemented designs to specifically address employee health, safety and wellness in today’s post-COVID-19 business environment.
In the past two months, the Fulton East development team invested intense research into identifying new, leading-edge products that enhance the health, safety and wellness of its tenants’ employees. The building now includes the world’s first new-construction installation of Canada-based MAD Elevator Inc.’s Toe-To-Go (T2G) hands-free elevator system. This will also be Otis Elevator Company’s first-ever installation of the T2G elevator system, which utilizes foot-activated call buttons for a hands-free elevator experience, reducing the spread of germs.
In addition, Fulton East will be the first multi-story office building to employ airPHX (“air fix”) non-thermal, plasma technology throughout the entire building to help reduce cross-contaminant risks and provide employees with cleaner air and work surfaces. The airPHX technology is currently in use in hospitals, dental clinics, college athletic facilities and commercial settings where independent, on-site testing has shown reductions of 90 to 99 percent of viruses, bacteria and mold, both on surfaces and in the air.
“We have made a major investment of time and capital to bring Fulton East to market as a next-generation office building that prioritizes health, safety and wellness for our tenants’ employees in a coordinated and comprehensive way,” said Bob Wislow, chairman and CEO of Parkside Realty, Inc., the developer of Fulton East. “We believe this is extremely important today, as every employee and their family are acutely aware of—and deeply concerned about—safety and well-being in the workplace environment.”
“As an under-construction, boutique office building, we fortunately had the opportunity to modify Fulton East’s design in response to COVID-19 in real time, allowing us to thoughtfully address employers’ increased concerns for their employees’ office experience,” Wislow continued, “and create an environment where hygiene, health, safety and wellness are holistically considered.”
In addition to T2G hands-free elevators and airPHX air and surface disinfection technology, Fulton East includes the following health, safety and wellness enhancements:
• Touch-free thermal scanning at the lobby security desk to check people’s temperatures.
• Rosslare’s touch-free key fob access and security system, pre-wired for future BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) access via a mobile phone.
• Butterfly, touch-free, after-hours security/building access/intercom/elevator access system.
• Private, in-building, exclusive parking providing direct, touch-free, secure access to tenant floors.
• Sherwin-Williams Paint Shield, a unique, EPA-registered, microbicidal paint that kills greater than 99.9 percent of Staph, MRSA, E. coli, VRE and Enterobacter aerogenes within two hours of exposure on painted surfaces, applied on washroom walls.
• Sloan’s touch-free, solar-powered faucets, soap dispensers and flush valves and SloanTec Hydrophobic Glaze on all vitreous washroom fixtures.
• All washrooms constructed with one fixture more than Chicago city code to help enhance social distancing.
• Building facade of continuous, floor-to-ceiling, Low-E glass and 12-foot floor-to-floor spans to provide the maximum amount of light, air and views to benefit tenants’ health and well-being.
• 10,605-square-foot floor plates optimal for single-tenant use, providing private, exclusive, non-shared use of washrooms, corridors and 9-by-27-foot private outdoor balconies on each floor, offering a fresh air and sunshine respite for employees.
• Only three columns on each floor, enabling flexibility in office design to easily accommodate social distancing guidelines, including two distinct wet column areas providing the opportunity for two separated cafes and kitchens.
• Ability for larger employees to increase employees’ access to light and views, reduce density in washrooms and corridors and increase access to outdoor space by leasing multiple floors for separate departments or teams—conveniently connecting these floors via Fulton East’s natural light-filled and secure interior connecting stair system, making it easy for employees to communicate from floor to floor.
• An 8,000-square-foot rooftop garden park available for the exclusive use of building occupants, offering comfortable seating for individual relaxation and small group meetings. In addition, a spacious, amphitheater-style seating area with a large screen TV with state-of-the-art connectivity is available for comfortable outdoor presentations, training sessions, company meetings, entertainment and casual gatherings, all in a space designed to incorporate appropriate social distancing.
“By offering an array of such features in a small, flexible footprint, right in the heart of Chicago’s hottest downtown submarket, we believe that Fulton East will be a role model for the future of safe and healthy office buildings,” said Wislow.
Chicago-based Clayco, one of the nation’s largest design-build firms, is leading the Fulton East design-build team, in collaboration with Lamar Johnson Collaborative (LJC) as the building’s architect. Nationally renowned, Chicago-based interior designer Holly Hunt designed Fulton East’s unique lobby.
“We’ve been impressed by the forward-thinking vision and hands-on approach of Fulton East’s developers throughout the entire design process, and especially as they recently did extensive research to quickly implement even more of today’s most advanced health, safety and wellness features,” said architect Lamar Johnson. “Smaller floor plates provide a greater percentage of natural daylight per square foot of occupied space for all employees’ benefit. Countless studies have proven that access to daylight and views improves performance, provides numerous health benefits and even reduces employee sick days. Along with unique office building features like the airPHX technology and the Toe-To-Go elevators, Fulton East is primed to offer employers a distinctive, elevated and safe workplace environment to keep and attract today’s health-focused employees.”
Fulton East’s exterior design, which incorporates Prodema sustainable wood features on its all-glass facade, pays a respectful nod to the historic Fulton Market neighborhood and its evolution. In recent years, the area has transformed from a meat, fish and poultry market to Chicago’s fastest growing, cutting-edge tech and business center and the city’s hottest and highly walkable, live-work-play neighborhood. Fulton Market is now home to global headquarters for McDonald’s and Mondelēz, tech campuses for Google, Glassdoor and Dyson and leading advertising, design, professional and financial services firms, with many of the city’s most lauded restaurants and cafes easily accessible for the neighborhood’s workers and residents.
“We believe we have entered a new era where many firms will be less inclined to pursue large floor plate buildings filled with a huge number of employees or multiple companies on each floor sharing washrooms, corridors and public areas or high-rise buildings with crowded lobbies and long waits for the elevators,” said Wislow. “Fulton East will house only 400-500 people at full occupancy, and at just 12 stories tall, employees may choose to use our hands-free elevators or sunshine-filled staircase to access their space. The experience of a safer, healthier and more controlled office environment will help tenants attract and retain top employee talent for years to come.”
Fulton East, which is now leasing for a summer opening and will accommodate the safe and healthy return of employees to the office, features state-of-the-art wellness technology and efficient 10,605-square-foot floor plates to enable flexible, custom planning options designed to accommodate safe social distancing.