From Soldier Field to Wacker Drive, the Chicago Bears are making a move to fresh views after hiring a new coach.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bears plan to move about 30 workers who are currently based at Soldier Field to its leased, 11,000 square foot space at 123 N. Wacker Drive.
The office is slated to open this summer in the 30-story tower. The move will not affect the Bear’s Halas Hall headquarters in Lake Forest where the team has around 185 employees.
“Relocating our downtown offices creates an exciting opportunity for our staff to work in the heart of the city, where we’ll be closer to our partners and have workspace that will allow for stronger collaboration and future growth,” said Ted Phillips, Bears President and CEO in a news release confirming the lease.
After years of financial distress under a previous ownership group, the Bears’ future office building is about half leased. A fund of Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management is the building’s new owner, implementing a $30 million renovation that will boast new outdoor spaces, a tenant lounge, conference center, bike room and renovated lobby.
The top-floor tenant lounge will feature 20-foot ceilings as well as a glass wall that opens during Chicago’s warmer months to create outdoor space.
“The Bears are a great brand and a great representation of what we’re trying to do here,” said managing director at LaSalle Investment Management, Ty Spearing. “We believe tenants today want buildings with great amenities. We think what we’re doing is not just checking the box on having those amenities, but incorporating unique elements with all of our amenities to take them a step farther.”
Team spokeswoman Meghan Bower said the Bears plan to convert the previous offices at Soldier Field into conference rooms where staff can work on game days.
JLL’s David Miller represented the Bears while the landlord was represented in the lease by broker Chris Cassata of Jones Lang LaSalle.
According to the team’s press release, J.C. Anderson Inc. has offices in Chicago and Elmhurst and will build out the Bears’ new office space.
The team also shared that JLL and J.C. Anderson are new corporate partners of the Bears.
In just over a year, the Bears’ deal follows about 60,000 square feet of other leases by LaSalle Investment Management.
The LaSalle fund purchased the tower at Wacker and Randolph Street for $146.5 million in January 2017.