Baker Development Corp. has completed the shell and core construction at 2017 N. Mendell, a 62,000-square-foot loft office redevelopment that is the first Class A office project completed in the North Branch Industrial Corridor since the adoption of large-scale zoning changes last year.
By repurposing a century-old industrial building between the Chicago River and Elston Avenue, the developer sought to bring together tech, industry and art to create an office environment strategically designed for entrepreneurial companies.
“With 2017 N. Mendell, we anticipated a demand for Class A office space in an area where development seemed inevitable as the city began to explore new land-use guidelines for the North Branch Corridor,” said Dan Slack, principal at Baker Development. “Today, entrepreneurial companies are looking beyond the central business district to attract young employees who want to work in loft-style creative spaces close to where they live and play. Until now, the cutting-edge infrastructure and amenities that are essential to these companies—and central to the design of 2017 N. Mendell—have been non-existent in this part of the city.”
Customizable spaces at 2017 N. Mendell range from 3,800 to 17,000 square feet. Aligning with emerging workplace trends, Baker Development incorporated high-tech design features like electrochromatic glass windows, a 3,000-square-foot rooftop deck overlooking the adjacent river and downtown skyline and a dedicated food truck court. The building has 50 on-site parking spaces in addition to the more than 100 spaces available on Mendell Street.
Tenants at 2017 N. Mendell will be surrounded by art on both the exterior and interior of the building. The 25-foot lobby atrium houses “The Process,” a custom multi-panel piece by Max Sansing that depicts the creative cycle from concept to completion. Artwork from Sansing, Hebru Brantley, ROA, Ruben Aguirre and Sick Fisher, all commissioned by Baker, also brightens the facades of neighboring industrial buildings.
Baker Development is currently in negotiations with prospective tenants and expects to deliver the first spaces during the second quarter of 2018. Adding to the appeal of the property is its pending Class 7B tax incentive, a 12-year program that reduces real estate taxes by about 50 percent—savings that are passed on directly to tenants. Office users also benefit from a streamlined interior build-out process, which allows businesses to more quickly occupy their space. This is achieved by choosing from pre-selected options for paint, lighting, flooring and wall partitions, substantially reducing the time and decision-making typically required when moving in. Tenants also have the ability to make their own finish selections for all or a portion of their space.
“We’re making it easy for early adopters to establish themselves in this area by offering a higher level of service with the build-outs,” said Slack. “Entrepreneurs will find the space they need to get down to business without having to spend valuable time working with architects or interior designers.”
Additional on-site amenities include a state-of-the-art security system with 24-hour monitoring and key fob/intercom access. Dock space will be available to ground-floor users, and all tenants will have access to indoor bike storage.
Another draw for tenants is 2017 N. Mendell’s advanced building systems and eco-friendly materials. The development is the first in Chicago to utilize View Dynamic Glass, with windows that automatically adjust to sunlight to reduce glare, improve temperature control and eliminate the need for window treatments. Other offerings include ultra-high-speed fiber optics, a photo-ionic air filtration system, high-efficiency heating and cooling system and sound-rated windows to reduce street noise.
“We have created the Ferrari of neighborhood office space by meticulously planning not only the building’s exterior, but also what’s under the hood,” said Slack. “This level of technological innovation—particularly for a project of this scale—along with the convenience and authenticity of the location have been key selling points for office users looking to plant their flag in the North Branch Corridor.”