Chicago’s Fulton Market Continues To Sizzle

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Sterling Bay’s 345 North Morgan, in Chicago’s Fulton Market, is the developer’s newest property, a … [+] boutique office building proving appealing to design firms.

© Kendall McCaugherty

Over the past several years, as the fortunes of other Chicago neighborhoods waxed and waned with economic cycles and a planet-wide health crisis, Fulton Market has remained the steadiest of all Windy City nooks.

Situated immediately west of the Loop central business district, the enclave’s popularity with developers, restaurateurs, office and retail tenants, home buyers and renters has remained nothing short of white hot.

What not so long ago was a down-at-the-heels meatpacking and industrial area has morphed into what is arguably the Midwest’s focal point for chic live-work-play lifestyles. Following cutting-edge eateries and breweries and highly-paid young professionals into the area has been a wave of high-profile employers, with the opening of McDonald’s global headquarters in 2018 setting the tone for such arrivals as Teknion, Boston Consulting Group, Google’s Midwest headquarters and Dyson’s U.S. headquarters.

Those who bemoan the decline of the city’s once-glittering “Magnificent Mile,” North Michigan Avenue, must admit Fulton Market has picked up where Boul Mich left off.

Holding strong

Throughout Fulton Market, developers have discovered fertile ground for new projects.

Among the more prominent developers in the district has been Sterling Bay, which has created more than $3 billion worth of office space, while also developing several residential properties.

The company’s latest is the 11-story boutique office building 345 North Morgan, which notched a 90% lease-up in under a year, despite having launched in the 2021 pandemic year. Furniture maker Allsteel, which recently unveiled a 24,000-square-foot showroom, has led a migration of design firms into Fulton Market, lured by its appeal to innovators.

“Our employees and clients can take advantage of some of the city’s best restaurants, hospitality and cultural establishments right outside our doorstep,” says Jennifer Petersen, Allsteel’s vice president marketing. “The building’s flexible spaces and amenities, including the roof deck and lounge, encourage collaboration and give our team members a great work experience.”

Also being developed by Sterling Bay is 360 North Green, a Gensler-designed, 24-story, 500,000-square-foot office tower slated for completion in 2024. The building is already 70% preleased to a pair of major corporations, a rarity in this day and age.

“Fulton Market has transformed from a former industrial warehouse district into the international business destination it is today,” says Andy Gloor, Sterling Bay CEO. “Fulton Market continues to defy pandemic trends as it now houses not only global corporations but also the hottest new restaurants and bars, trendy hotels and hospitality-designed residences.

“Even in what has been considered a tough office market in Chicago and across the country, Fulton Market has seen immense success as employers know that in order to attract top talent, they need to offer amenity-driven workspaces in an environment that encourages collaboration and creativity.”

Also rising

Of course, Sterling Bay is not alone on the Fulton Market development scene. The 19-story 800 Fulton Market, from THOR Equities Group and QuadReal, is a Class A office building filling an entire city block at North Green and West Fulton. Office tenants include DineAmic Hospitality, Inscape, The Aspen Group, John Deere and more.

Another office asset, the three-year-old Shapack Partners development 167 Green Street, is a 17-story building with cutting-edge amenities whose office tenants include Foxtrot’s headquarters, Hologram, The Oakville Grill & Cellar, WeWork and others.

Residential buildings include The Dylan, which topped out this year at 160 N. Morgan and this autumn will take the wraps off 282 upscale apartments, along with a fulsome amenity suite and street-level retail. Another property is Related Midwest’s The Row, a luxury, 300-unit rental building with amenities that include a landscaped recreational deck and pool. Not to be overlooked is 225 N. Elizabeth, a 28-story residential tower that represents the second Fulton Market residential development from Sterling Bay.

Bet on lots more employers following young professional residents into the district. “From leading design firms to renowned professional services companies, everyone wants to set up shop in Fulton Market for its energy and vibrancy,” Gloor says. “And we expect this velocity to continue as we bring even more options to the area.”

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