Brookfield unveils plans for office project on Macy’s top floors

The firm will look to lure some of the companies that in recent years have chosen the West Loop and River North
By Joe Ward | August 09, 2019 02:11PM

 Brookfield’s Bruce Flatt and renderings of the redeveloped upper floors of Macy’s.

Brookfield’s Bruce Flatt and a rendering of the redeveloped upper floors of Macy’s.

Brookfield Asset Management is moving forward with its plans to redevelop the top six floors of the historic Macy’s building, unveiling floor plans and amenities that the firm hopes will attract companies being lured to River North and Fulton Market.

After buying floors eight through 14 in the State Street Macy’s for $27 million last summer, Brookfield finally detailed this week its plans for the space. The redevelopment will make way for 650,000 square feet of office space, a 40,000-square-foot fitness center and a 10,000-square-foot rooftop deck.

The office tenants will be greeted by a new entrance off Washington Street and a glass-enclosed lobby with 14 new elevators on the first floor of Macy’s in the existing beauty supplies and accessories department. Brookfield is also working on facade improvements for the historic former home of Marshall Field’s.

The offices, named 24 E. Washington, will deliver in mid-2020, where it will inhabit a changing Downtown office landscape just as other projects come aboard.

A rendering of the redeveloped upper floors of Macy’s.

A rendering of the redeveloped upper floors of Macy’s.

Later this year, 601W Companies plans to start delivering office space to tenants in the Old Main Post Office, the 2.8-million-square-foot office project where leasing is still underway. Shortly after 24 E. Washington is scheduled to open, Howard Hughes Company and Riverside Investment & Development plan to deliver the 800-foot 110 North Wacker Drive.

But those projects are in the outer reaches of the central business district. Brookfield’s project will be the most prominent new office space in the Loop, a fact that will work to the company’s advantage, said Alex Antolino, director of mixed-use development at Brookfield.

The Loop has been dealing with a number of high-profile tenant exits to other parts of the city. Many of the city’s financial institutions, including BMO Harris and Bank of America, will leave the Central Loop for new office towers in the West Loop, leaving a huge hole in some of Downtown’s most prominent buildings.

That’s not to say leasing activity in the Loop is frozen. Co-working companies have emerged as a large Central Loop tennant, including Convene’s recent 105,000-square-foot lease at 311 West Monroe Street.

Brookfield’s property has a leg up on its competition because of its location, according to the firm. The Macy’s building is connected to the Pedway, where workers can commute from the Blue Line or the Millennium Park Metra station without having to go outdoors. It’s also near the CTA’s ‘L’ lines and the Red Line.

Then there’s the floorplates. Rentable floors range in size from 110,000 to 130,000 square feet, according to Brookfield. In comparison, 110 North Wacker floorplates range from 26,000 to 30,000, according to the building’s website.

The massive loft-style spaces could be attractive to technology firms who have recently descended on the city, Antolino said.

Telos Group will lease the building. Conversations with tenants have been held, but no leases have been announced.