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Bisnow Exclusive: Inside The Wrigley Building

Zeller Realty Group’s Jan Goldsmith and Bob Six give Bisnow Chicago Real Estate Reporter Marissa Oberlander a tour of the newly redesigned Wrigley Building.

by: Marissa Oberlander | July 11, 2013 |




Bisnow Exclusive:
Inside the
Wrigley Building

Three names stand out on Chicago’s skyline: Willis, Hancock, and beloved Wrigley. The 1920s Michigan Avenue mainstay just got a$70M makeover, and Bisnow got a look inside.



We snapped Zeller Development Corp president Jan Goldsmith and Zeller Realty Group COO Bob Six in the North Tower lobby, their pride and joy. (We won’t tell their kids.) Zeller is a minority investor in a consortium that bought the skyscraper in September 2011, led by majority investor BDT Capital Partners and including Eric Lefkofskyand Brad Keywell as minority investors. After becoming a Chicago landmark and certified historic structure, Wrigley’s comprehensive renovation kicked off in July 2012. Updates: revamped and reconfigured lobbies to recapture ground floor retail opportunities, new bathrooms, sprinklers, life safety, emergency power, HVAC (it was Chicago’s first air-conditioned office building), etc, with offices demoed to the shell for tenant build-outs.



And of course a historic remodel comes with surprises, Jan laughs, saying corners weren’t always square and old plans didn’t necessarily reflect reality. The team that plowed through and brought the Graham, Anderson, Probst & White-designed building’s classic charm to the modern era included Goettsch Partners as architect, ESD as mechanical engineer, and Power Construction as GC. Bob says the building’s “ready for primetime” lease-up now that the barricades have come down (which makes us think there could be a historic property reality show idea in there somewhere). Above: the completely refreshed plaza, ready for shoppers to splurge and diners to schmooze.




Jan and Bob are mum on potential retail tenants, but visibility and foot traffic are strong and more space has been made available on the concourse level, first, and second floors. On the office front, the460k SF of space is about a quarter full, one of the big reasons the renovation ran smoothly and on schedule. Zeller’s planned for athree-year lease-up from the start of this year, which a goal of 100k SF in new leases this year that they’re on track to meet. Snapped: a peek in Zeller’s office on the third floor, where they show off the magical possibilities of exposed ductwork and funky light fixtures (a killer combo with the facade’s stately terra cotta).




So far Wrigley’s had over 600k SF of prospective new tenantseyeing the building. And the momentum has been in the spec suites(about $65/SF to build), which they can’t complete fast enough (though you can see they’re working hard, above on the 16th floor of the South Tower). Spec suites are currently available on three floors, in sizes ranging from just under 1,000 SF to 7,000 SF. Some even come with furniture, and tenants like that nothing is left to the imagination, Bob says. Rental rates are $31 to $32/SF gross in the North Tower and $33 to $34/SF in the South Tower.