Good, thoughtful designs make a difference. Whether you’re dining at a new foodie spot, taking in views from a rooftop or exploring the art-covered exteriors of a city block, our surroundings have the ability to alter our feelings like few other elements can.
Luckily, the Chicago area has no shortage of gorgeous spaces where you can live, work and play. Coincidentally, amenity spaces continue to rank among one of the most important considerations for prospective buyers, renters or office tenants. Amenities are highly influential in motivating one’s decision about where they ultimately choose to reside or work, and also contribute to the overall level of satisfaction.
The specific types of amenities available will vary from one property to the next. However, overall size, planned scope of infrastructure and available resources typically carry the most weight. New or emerging trends, interests unique to a specific geographic region and natural features of the area can also influence amenity planning and design.
It was with that mindset that Epstein approached the renovation of a new tenant amenity space at the 600 W Fulton office building, which happens to be our Chicago headquarters.
The project, designed, engineered and built by Epstein, includes a new fitness center, complete with cardio and strength training equipment, as well as a yoga studio. The renovation also has a new tenant lounge, which is equipped with a shuffle board, a kitchen with healthy vending options, private telephone rooms, an 80-inch television and ample seating for any occasion.
Epstein's team worked with the owners of the building and CBRE to create these two stunning spaces from a previous storage space. While we specifically targeted the tenants, we also aimed for an environment designed to maintain the building’s competitive edge in the marketplace for years to come.
“Ownership was looking to create a common space for our tenants to come regardless the occasion – meeting, lunch, private phone call, event, etc.,” Jamie Rogalski said, CBRE General Manager. “They wanted the space to have numerous seating arrangements, while still being flexible to re-arrange or remove to accommodate different types of functions. They are very happy with the outcome!”
Just steps away from The Loop, the 9-story, 214,000-square-foot building was originally built in 1901. Epstein purchased the building in the early 80’s and converted it from a warehouse to a loft style office building in 1982. While Epstein sold the building in 2000 to US Equities, who was then purchased by CBRE, it has been continually renovated since. It now features classic architectural styling, modern high-speed elevators and exposed ceiling systems with innovative lighting.
“This was a fun project that seemed to keep growing in scope,” said Epstein’s Joe Barrins, who served as the Construction Manager for the renovation.
As with any project, however, there were several challenges. The biggest was getting the floors in order. According to Joe, there were multiple areas where the wood flooring had deteriorated, rotted and was damaged.
“As a result, we had to borrow wood from other locations that were going to be covered by the rubber flooring and use that material to keep the weathered look,” Joe added. “Reworking the floors was very labor intensive, and dirty! But attention to detail pays off, and it turned out looking very nice.”
Epstein was pleased to embark on this unique opportunity to improve our own work spaces. Each element of the renovation was meant to offer tenants a natural and inviting extension of their offices, better supporting engagement and connectedness. There they can work, grab a cup of coffee, and socialize or network with coworkers and other tenants.
Epstein employees can typically be found enjoying the change of scenery in the space throughout the lunch hour!
“One of the most rewarding parts of the 600 West Fulton amenity space project was that it allowed our staff the ability to see and utilize on a daily basis the great work being produced by their fellow design, engineering and construction professionals,” said Noel Abbott, Epstein’s Vice President, Director of Marketing and Public Relations.