United Way of Metropolitan Chicago has moved its more than 110 employees from its recently sold West Loop loft office to 28,000 square feet of collaborative, modern office space at 333 S. Wabash Ave.
Skender Construction served as the general contractor, Partners by Design provided architectural services and project engineering was provided by WMA Consulting Engineers. The new space represents a 30 percent reduction in overall square footage for United Way, a private funder of health and human services in Chicago, while still accommodating the organization’s need for staff growth and community meeting space.
As a nonprofit organization, United Way tasked the team to create an environment that will emphasize its role as a community convener within a space that would maximize its budget while improving upon the utilitarian loft office they formerly worked out of in the West Loop. Skender and Partners by Design helped create a collaborative space with an open floor plan with breakout spaces separated by custom graphic fabric that represents the organization’s mission and community work.
In the new office, each employee has a workstation with an uninterrupted view to the exterior, and a small number of glass-fronted offices are situated at the interior of the floor to take advantage of abundant natural lighting. Benching workstations serve as a workspace for visiting employees or relationship managers while “conversation hubs” provide a casual alternative to conference rooms for small groups to increase innovation, collaboration and team work.
“We were really happy to work with a project team that understood our organizational culture and values and translated those into a clean and collaborative space on a very tight budget,” said Joe Vanyo, chief operating officer for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.
The project was completed in a compressed time frame of just three months. Development Resources Inc. represented United Way and Cushman & Wakefield provided brokerage services for United Way.