Related Midwest veers Fulton Market plans to office tower

New office proposal comes at a time of record office availability in the city

Related Companies' Curt R. Bailey along with a rendering of 725 West Randolph Street (Getty, Related Companies, Related Midwest & KPF)
Related Companies' Curt R. Bailey along with a rendering of 725 West Randolph Street (Getty, Related Companies, Related Midwest & KPF)

Related Midwest is scrapping its original plans for a Fulton Market mixed-use apartment and hotel tower and taking a chance on the office market instead.

The Chicago-based developer has proposed building a 41-story, 1 million-square-foot office tower on the lot at 725 West Randolph Street, Crain’s reported. The new proposal veers from previous plans to build a hotel and apartment complex on the site, which the city council approved in 2020.

Related Midwest reconsidered the best use of the site after conversations with its partners and office leasing experts. They convinced the firm employees will continue to desire Fulton Market workplaces for the collaborative nature of the neighborhood’s office environment as it’s surrounded by trendy retail, with a limited supply of such properties in the market right now, Related Midwest CEO Curt Bailey told the outlet.

The change of plans comes at a rocky time for Chicago’s overall office market, though. Available office space in the city has hit an all-time high with more companies sticking to remote or hybrid work models even after the pandemic’s slowdown. Yet Fulton Market has withstood the broader disruption of the market, continuing to attract a steady stream of tenants into newly developed buildings.

Related has planned a tower with 931,000 square feet of office space with a tapered design with smaller floorplates at the top and larger ones at the bottom. Previous plans called for 370 apartments, office space and an Equinox Hotel & Club.

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Designs show private terraces, loggias and both indoor and outdoor amenity spaces. There will be a fifth-floor rooftop pool for office tenants, a 17,000-square-foot restaurant and a two-story flagship Equinox Fitness Club & Spa. There will also be more than 11,000 square feet of public open space.

In October, a venture of Related Midwest bought a 15,800-square-foot building at 800 West Washington Boulevard for $10.1 million. The site is located across the street from 725 West Randolph Street, suggesting Related wanted to control the land around the development or take advantage of unused development rights.

The City Council’s Zoning Committee, as well as the full city council will still need to approve the plans before Related can begin work on the project.

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— Victoria Pruitt