Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Building gets makeover

The Wrigley Building in Chicago is getting a makeover.

The Wrigley Building on Chicago's Michigan Avenue has long been one of the unwavering landmarks of the city's esteemed skyline, and reports have surfaced that a makeover the building is undergoing will soon be complete. The building has been under construction for roughly a year.

In an effort to reposition the building among the city's expanding retail district, The New York Times reported that an investor-turned-developer used $70 million to modernize the office complex.

"It's more of a boutique kind of building," John Goodman, executive vice president for national office tenant representative Studley, told The Times. "And if you are a company looking for 10,000 to 20,000 square feet of office space in downtown Chicago right now there are a lot of options to choose from."

BDT Capital Partners, the building's developer, gutted everything above the first floor to turn the Wrigley Building into a modern office complex. The building already has a commitment from an anchor tenant at street level. Leasing plans for the upper floors are ongoing.

"The gravity of Michigan Avenue from a retail perspective has continued to shift south since the development of Millennium Park in the Loop in the early 2000 s," Keith Largay, executive vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle, told The Times. "That whole stretch of Michigan Avenue south of the Wrigley Building that used to be mom-and-pop retail is now being renovated to accommodate larger stores and national retailers."

No name change here
The Wrigley Building, first built in 1924, will keep its name.

"There aren't that many buildings in Chicago where you don't have to use an address when you get into a taxi, but the Wrigley is certainly one of them," Ari Glass, Zeller Realty's executive vice president, told The Times.

Zeller Realty is in charge of the leasing for the newly renovated building.

Changes to the building
The Times reported exterior changes to the Wrigley Building that include the repair of its elaborate Spanish baroque terra cotta facade. Roughly 2,000 exterior windows were also replaced.
On the inside, the updates included doubling the amount of retail space to around 65,000 square feet on the first and second floors.

Ground-floor retail rents along Michigan Avenue have been seen in the $500-range per square foot, according to the Times. Retail rent is dwarfing office rents in the area, which are said to be going for $30 to $40 a square foot.

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