330 North Wabash Renovation Complete

330 North Wabash Street

330 North Wabash Street

Got a press release today stating that the major renovations at 330 North Wabash are now complete.  You may remember 330 as the old IBM Building or One IBM Plaza, Mies Van Der Rohe’s massive black slab along the Chicago river that used to loom so menacingly over the Sun-Times building before it was neutered by Donald Trump.

There have been complaints on the internet from people who think the treatment of the lobby has been rather ruthless, but for the 99% of Chicagoand who only see this building from afar, no damage has been done.

The building is interesting to watch at night because the top dozen floors form a black hole in the city’s skyline while office lights tinkle and burn in other buildings around them.  It’s because that section of the building is being redeveloped as a luxury hotel.  There is no opening date for that hotel yet.  At a public event about six months ago, the developer said he was in no hurry to complete the project, especially considering the state of the economy.

The full press release about the redevelopment of 330 North Wabash follows:

Prime Group Realty Trust Completes $24 Million Base Building Redevelopment of Mies van der Rohe’s 330 North Wabash


CHICAGO, April 29 /PRNewswire/ — Prime Group Realty Trust (PGRT) announced today the completion of the base building redevelopment of landmark building 330 North Wabash, a 52-story mixed-use tower designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe. Located on the banks of the Chicago River in the bustling River North neighborhood, 330 North Wabash is Mies’ last and largest American building. With PGRT’s $24 million base building redevelopment complete, 330 North Wabash is well positioned to meet the most modern and technological needs of today’s office space users, while adding to the highest standards of presentation at one of Chicago’s most architecturally significant buildings.
PGRT’s redevelopment of 330 North Wabash focused on enhancing Mies’ original structure by modernizing the base building, operational systems and select common areas. This included the restoration of the building’s intricate and expansive granite and Italian travertine lobby, one of the largest in Chicago.  Now completed, the 330 North Wabash lobby has been fully restored to the original state that Mies envisioned and provides a dramatic entrance for the building’s many tenants, visitors and guests.
“Our main focus throughout the renovation was to preserve the architectural integrity of Mies’ work while modernizing the building with state-of-the-art systems and infrastructure,” said Jeff Patterson, president and CEO of Prime Group Realty Trust.  “330 North Wabash’s tenants now enjoy all the modern amenities and surroundings of a new building, yet have the opportunity to office in an iconic, visionary landmark high-rise in a thriving area of downtown.”
The building’s solid existing infrastructure provided a strong foundation for updating various components of 330 North Wabash’s operational systems, including the installation of new building automation technology and deployment of a modernized master security, fire and life safety command center. In addition, PGRT refurbished much of the building’s common areas. This included updating restrooms with new fixtures and elaborate tiling, renovating the elevator cabs with modern finishes and installing a state-of-the-art HVAC system on redeveloped floors.
With the base building redevelopment complete, PGRT will continue to renovate and modernize individual tenant spaces and common areas as new leases are signed in the building’s tower rise floors 37-47. The company has a $50 million loan commitment from GE Capital to redevelop the building’s tower rise floors, which will become available for occupancy in 2011, for future tenants.  In addition to enjoying modernized common areas and building amenities, including a conference center, spa, health club and restaurant through the five-star hotel slated to open in 2013, a major tenant will also have the opportunity to display its corporate brand on the newly installed exterior building pylons.
“The completion of 330 North Wabash’s base building redevelopment reinforces our commitment to continually investing in the asset to ensure it maintains its position as a classic, architectural icon, in addition to being a desirable, technologically-advanced place to office,” added Patterson.
Completed in 1973, 330 North Wabash embodies architect Mies van der Rohe’s less-is-more design aesthetic and communicates the engineering of the building through its structural design. To ensure that all renovation efforts aligned with Mies’ original vision, Prime Group Realty Trust consulted with architect James DeStefano throughout the process. DeStefano, of DeStefano Partners, studied directly under Mies and is steeped in the famed architect’s vision for the building.
The renovation of 330 North Wabash accompanies the building’s recent addition to the National Register of Historic Places and commendation from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency for its innovative use of modern materials, environmental awareness and straightforward structural expression.  The building has also received numerous accolades for its operational and sustainability efforts including a BOMA 360 designation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious ENERGY STAR certification, as well as the 2007/2008 “The Office Building of the Year” (TOBY) Award in the over one million square feet category. Most recently, 330 North Wabash applied for its U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification and expects to attain Silver designation this spring.
About Prime Group Realty Trust
Prime Group Realty Trust is a fully-integrated, self-administered, and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) which owns, manages, leases, develops, and redevelops office and industrial real estate, primarily in metropolitan Chicago. The Company currently owns 7 office properties containing an aggregate of 3.2 million net rentable square feet and a joint venture interest in one office property comprised of approximately 101,000 net rentable square feet. The Company leases and manages approximately 3.2 million square feet comprising all of its wholly-owned properties.
About 330 North Wabash
330 North Wabash is a 52-story mixed-use tower, landmarked by the City of Chicago, and is the last and largest office structure designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe.   The building won The 2007/2008 Office Building of the Year (TOBY) award for the North Central Region in the category of over 1 million square feet, competing against buildings in more than five other states for the prestigious award, sponsored by the Building Owners and Managers Association.  A luxury, five-star hotel, with approximately 335 guest rooms has acquired twelve floors of the building. The hotel will feature 17,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities for meetings and social events, a ballroom with spectacular river views, a chef-driven restaurant, fitness center, indoor pool, and a destination spa.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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