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Developers Buy Former OfficeMax HQ, Plan to Bring Trendy Fulton Market Vibe to West Chicago ‘Burbs

Franklin Partners, Bixby Bridge Capital Plan to Deliver 'Unmet Need' for 'Amenity-Rich Workplace' to Naperville
April 23, 2018
A pair of developers is proposing to transform the vacant former OfficeMax headquarters in Naperville, IL into a hip, amenity-rich downtown-like office building catering to millennials in the west Chicago suburb.

That’s according to Ray Warner, partner at Naperville-based Franklin Partners, which in a joint venture with Bixby Bridge Capital, acquired the 354,000-square-foot office building at 263 Shuman Boulevard. Formerly an office location for AT&T and, later, the headquarters of OfficeMax, which was bought out by Office Depot in 2013, the buyers plan an extensive building makeover designed by Chicago-based Wright Heerema Architects.

"There’s an unmet need to deliver an amenity-rich workplace experience in the heart of Chicago’s western suburbs," Warner said. "We are redeveloping this high-quality Class A office building that’s been under-utilized for many years to deliver a unique, millennial workforce-friendly destination."

The project will bring some needed pizazz to the Western East/West corridor, which is dotted with mostly 2- and 3-Star properties, according to CoStar research. The last 15 years have seen many new buildings spring up, but few have the heft of a major office building, which could be contributing to vacancies and weak absorption numbers.

Franklin and Bixby Bridge, based in Northbrook, bought the 263 Shuman building, situated in the Naperville Office Park off I-88, last week for an undisclosed amount. In 2016, it was assessed at $9.86 million, according to CoStar research. The 5-story property, which was built in 1986 and renovated in 2006, has been vacant since OfficeMax moved out three years ago.

The developers plan to redesign the full-height atrium lobby with a grand staircase and stadium seating, a full-fitness center, co-working lounges and "other amenities more typical of a Chicago high-rise than the surrounding suburban offices," according to the companies.

"Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of suburban millennials - and they are beginning to demand the same types of workplace amenities as their more urban counterparts," said Wright Heerema principal Roger Heerema. "From the baristas and wellness amenities to a foodie-friendly marketplace, we’re bringing Fulton Market to Naperville."

Construction is scheduled to begin later this year and wrap up in early 2019.

For the record:

Francis Prock and David Florent of Colliers International's office advisory group have been tapped to market the renovated offices on behalf of ownership.

For more information on the sales transaction, please see CoStar Comp #4235065.

Jennifer Waters, Chicago Reporter  CoStar Group   
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