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CHICAGO-SSK Partners is converting a 89,000-square-foot West Loop warehouse into office. Summit Design + Build LLC is serving as general contractor for the project to renovate the seven-story heavy timber warehouse into modern loft office space. The building at 1033 W. Van Buren St. features floorplates around 12,000 square feet and dates back before the mid-20th century.

“Like most other structures in the West Loop, it was a timber loft, seven-story storage facility that now is being converted,” Summit president Adam Miller tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re making some significant upgrades to some of the key systems in the existing building, including the elevators, HVAC, restrooms and mechanical rooms, so it’s ready for office tenant occupancy. The existing space is going to be reused with modern upgrades, and so when the right tenant comes along, the amount of work for tenant build-outs won’t be that extensive.”

The existing building included an old passenger elevator and a freight elevator, both of which will be replaced with new standard elevators. Work will also include the replacement of electrical services, installation of a new fire protection and sprinkler system, and core and shell work throughout the building. Miller declined to disclose an estimated cost for the conversion.

MRSA Architects and Planners provided architectural services on the project. Construction is being overseen by Summit project manager Mark Heffron and superintendent Erik Hauser. Chris Rogala of Chicagobroker.com is marketing space at the building.

The property offers visibility from Interstate 290 and proximity to downtown Chicago and public transportation including stops for the Jackson Street bus and Blue Line El a half-block away. “There’s a lot that attracts people to this thriving area in the West Loop,” Miller says. “It’s a great area, with galleries and art studios and great bars and restaurants all over the place, and these building are trying to take advantage of the amenities in the area. From an office standpoint, it’s a lower cost solution to the Loop with some great spaces with this exposed brick and timber and contemporary finishes inside.”

Tenants, including The Lord Cos. LLC, Phil Stefani Restaurants, Amcore Bank and Blue Plate, will stay on through the renovation and conversion project. The building is a little over 60% leased now, with about 35,000 square feet of office remaining available in the building. Asking lease rates for office are around $35 per square foot gross in the West Loop submarket, where overall occupancy is near 86%, according to CB Richard Ellis’s mid-year CBD office market report.

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