CHICAGO—When the Chicago office of Studley was hired by the Big Ten Conference near the end of 2010 to help think through its real estate needs, Executive Managing Director Robert Sevim knew it was a big job. The conference had been in their Park Ridge headquarters at 1500 W. Higgins Rd. for more than 20 years, but had outgrown the small, roughly 25,000-square-foot building, and could have opted for any number of solutions including renovation, expansion, or selling it and renting a new space, or developing a new headquarters from scratch.

“They didn’t necessarily have all the answers,” Sevim says, but during a six-month strategic planning process, “we looked at every possible solution.” And although many companies have recently decided to leave the suburbs and settle downtown, for the Big Ten this possibility was dismissed rather early.

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