North Wells Capital, the investment affiliate of Chicago-based Urban Innovations, recently broke ground on 306 W. Erie in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. ARCO/Murray is acting as general contractor on the development with NORR serving as architect. JLL is the leasing agent for the building and Urban Innovations will continue providing property management services.
“We’re extremely excited about this project, as it preserves the traditional brick and timber construction, but also provides state-of-the art amenities and infrastructure that appeal to River North’s business and resident community,” said North Wells CEO, Jim Fox.
North Wells Capital acquired the existing, 45,000-square-foot building in May 2017, with plans to more than double its size. The expansion, designed by NORR Architects, integrates the existing brick and timber loft structure with a modern, floor-to-ceiling glass, five-story addition which includes an outdoor terrace and amenity space. The renovated and expanded building will boast floorplates of 15,295 rentable square feet and will be 93,535 rentable square feet in total.
306 W Erie’s large landscaped rooftop terrace will incorporate a fire pit and dining/kitchen area. Additionally, there will be a tenant lounge, ground-level retail, as well as fully modernized mechanicals, elevators and restrooms. “306 W. Erie ushers in a new era for office buildings in River North,” said Howard R. Conant, Jr., chairman of Urban Innovations. “It’s the perfect location and design to help tenants attract and retain talented workers. And its size makes it ideal for growth-oriented companies looking for a presence and visibility at the center of Chicago’s innovation community.”
North Wells Capital also controls nearby sites at 311 W. Huron—where a 154,000-square-foot office building is planned—and at 320 W. Huron, where the team is currently working to secure entitlements for another office development that will be more than 265,000 square feet. The three planned buildings have been branded as “Verso,” with aims to reframe River North by offering Class A buildings in Chicago’s original creative office submarket.
River North is a hub for creativity attracting Chicago’s highest concentration of incubators, startups and tech companies. 306 W. Erie, and all of Verso, are near major office users like Groupon, Salesforce, Paypal and CCC, as well as high-end hotels, high-rise apartments, award-winning restaurants and Chicago’s gallery district.