CHICAGO—Seven months after acquiring 311 W. Monroe, GlenStarProperties is ready to kick-off a major re-development ofthe 380,000 square-foot office tower. The West Loop property wasbuilt in 1969 as the headquarters for BMO HarrisBank. But the bank departed in December, leaving thebuilding 18% leased to a mix of short-term tenants.

“Right now you can walk past the buildingand not even know it's there,” GlenStar managing directorChristian Domin tells “But we'regoing to do a full-gut renovation, including an expansion of thelobby and putting in a canopy on Monroe.” Most dramatically, thecompany plans to re-skin the building with a new, energy efficientglass envelope that will give new tenants floor-to-ceiling windows.In addition, the building will get a new fitness center, a videoconferencing center and other amenities now considered standard fora class A property.

As reported in, GlenStar haslaunched similar projects in downtown Chicago, includingrenovations of 55 E. Monroe St. and the Chicago Board of Trade Building, as demand for officespace in the CBD continues to grow. And when GlenStar finishes the311 W. Monroe rehab, it will be the largest contiguous block ofspace available in Chicago's CBD.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.