Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, Chicago Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz - the United Center Joint Venture - and Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. to announce construction of a new, standalone office building adjacent to the United Center. The new facility will house Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, Levy Restaurants and United Center employees who currently operate out of the United Center, as well as a new Blackhawks and Bulls retail store. The new facility, which is expected to create up to 300 jobs during construction, is part of more than $400 million in public and private investment in Chicago’s Near West Side.
“The United Center is more than a great sports venue. It is an important economic anchor for the Near West Side and this new office building will bring even more opportunities for people who live and work in this growing neighborhood,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Investments like this new office building can have a multiplier effect and bring more economic development in their wake, which is why I am excited about this latest addition to the United Center and what it means for the entire community.”
The location planned for the new 190,000 square foot building is the current United Center Parking Lot H, which sits on the east side of the United Center on South Wood Street between Monroe and Madison Streets. The building, which will be privately funded, will break ground this spring with construction scheduled to be completed in fall 2016.
The new structure will include a 10,000 square foot ground-level Bulls and Blackhawks retail store, which will front on Madison Street. Bridging the new building and the United Center will be a public atrium for fans and guests to gather before, during and after games or events. The United Center Box Office will be moved next to the retail store.
“Today’s announcement about the new office building represents another step in our continued commitment to encourage growth on the West Side of Chicago,” said Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “This project is an investment in our people and our neighborhood. As we did with the Advocate Center, we are focused on creating a state-of-the-art work environment for Bulls, Blackhawks and United Center employees in this new building.“
“We are pleased to continue our investments in our Near West community,” said Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz. “We anticipate visitors from across the city and around the world will be drawn to our neighborhood to see the new atrium with incredible amenities and fan friendly public attractions such as the new Bulls and Blackhawks retail store.”
The modernized workplace will feature high-tech workspaces for approximately 300 employees from the Bulls, Blackhawks, the United Center, and Levy Restaurants. Other amenities include conferencing, project, and meeting rooms, a common lounge, and other features to increase innovation, collaboration and teamwork. The vacated office space within the United Center is expected to be repurposed with fan amenities.
“I am proud to continue the redevelopment efforts in the 27th Ward with the Bulls, Blackhawks and the United Center,” said Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. “They have been incredible neighbors and we have accomplished a lot over the last few years in this community.”
HOK, will serve as the lead project architect for the new building, and McHugh Construction has been named the General Contractor.
The United Center is committed to providing opportunities for Chicago-based companies, including women and minority owned businesses, during the construction project.
The Eisenhower Corridor, which includes the Near West Side, is one of seven “opportunity areas” identified as part of the Chicago Neighborhoods Now (CNN) initiative that is coordinating new economic development, housing, and quality of life improvements across seven Chicago communities.
The Eisenhower Corridor area has experienced over $400 million in planned and completed investments that include improvements along the Blue Line, development of the Viceroy Apartments, the Union Park Playground and additional streetscape and resurfacing projects. Across the neighborhood area, projects are creating more than 4,500 permanent and temporary construction jobs, strengthening economic development and attracting new retail to the area.