Press Release
July 24, 2014

Mayor Emanuel, Alderman Reilly, O’Donnell Investment Company and William Blair & Co. Break Ground on 150 North Riverside

Project will Create More Than 1,500 Construction Jobs and 1.5 Acres of New Open Space Along the Riverfront
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Brendan Reilly, O’Donnell Investment Company CEO John O’Donnell and William Blair & Company President and CEO John Ettelson today broke ground on 150 North Riverside, a new 1.2 million-square-foot Class A office tower being built at Randolph and River in the West Loop. The nearly $500 million project will create more than 1,500 construction jobs, 150 permanent jobs and 1.5 acres of new open space as well as an amphitheater and a block-long riverwalk. Global investment banking and asset management firm William Blair & Co. has signed on as the anchor tenant and will lease 318,000 square feet when the building opens in 2016.

“Projects like 150 North Riverside are helping to rebuild and reimagine the Chicago river, and as importantly they are creating solid middle class jobs for Chicago’s workers,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “The construction on this site not only supports commerce but also improves quality of life for residents here in the City of Chicago.”

Designed by Goettsch Partners and Magnusson Klemencic Associates, the $500 million project will cantilever above active Metra and Amtrak rail right-of-ways along the South Branch, creating a soaring architectural profile while enabling unprecedented public access and movement along the water between Randolph and Lake Streets.

"This project will be a fantastic addition to downtown Chicago's 42nd Ward," said Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward). "Not only will it deliver a world-class commercial building for William Blair, but it will also cover unsightly railroad tracks with a beautiful 1.5 acre public park that promises rolling hills and ample green space. This project, combined with two projects currently underway to the north of the site, will deliver more than 4.5 acres of public open green space along the Chicago River. I am very proud of the public benefits associated with this project."

When complete, 150 North Riverside will rise 53-stories and have approximately 1.2 million square feet of rentable space. The building will offer 12,000 square feet of on-site food service, a 7,000 square foot fitness center and a bike room with capacity for more than 100 bikes. The building, which will have a 100% green roof, has also received LEED-CS Gold pre-certification from the US Green Buildings Council.

“We are proud to join all of our project partners here today to break ground and begin the transformation of this long-vacant plot into a world-class architectural addition to the city's riverfront,” John O’Donnell, principal of O’Donnell Investment Co. said.

Improvements along the Chicago River at 150 North Riverside include reconstruction and modernization of the site’s riverwall, upgraded traffic and pedestrian signals at several intersections outside the property, and the connection of the Riverside Plaza riverwalk, which extends north from Van Buren Street but currently terminates at Randolph Street. The Public Park and plaza areas will include a number of different seating and assembly zones, along with overlook points for enjoyment of the river, and feature 24/7 security, public restrooms and access to a range of onsite food and beverage options.

“William Blair & Company has been proud to call the City of Chicago home for nearly 80 years. Our people are our greatest assets, and our future home at 150 North Riverside will provide our employees with the technological resources and workspace they need to continue delivering exceptional service for our clients in the decades to come,” said John Ettelson, William Blair president and CEO.

150 North Riverside is one of 16 mid- and high-rise projects underway in Chicago’s Central Business District. In the first quarter of 2014, office vacancies in the Central Business District were at the lowest level in five years.

"This is a good project for the City with more than 1,500 construction jobs being created,” said Bob Reiter, Secretary-Treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor. “I hope we will see this growth continue for months to come.”

Since 2011, the City and private developers have invested in 27 different projects along the river – a total of 7.1 miles of redevelopment that encompasses new plantings and riverbank improvements, new access points and construction on the Chicago River Boat House, Ping Tom Park, A. Montgomery Ward Park, the Addison Riverwalk, Main Branch Riverwalk and 150 North Riverside, among other projects. The City has invested over $189 million since 2011 on improvements along the Chicago River.

The plan for 150 North Riverside was approved by City Council earlier this year, along with the vacation of a public right-of-way on a portion of the two-acre site.

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About O’Donnell Investment Company
The O’Donnell Investment Company is a strategic and multi-functional real estate company, with capabilities across a variety of market sectors and asset classes. It was founded in 2010 by John O’Donnell, who has over 35 years of local development experience.

About William Blair & Company
William Blair & Company is a global investment banking and asset management firm. We are committed to building enduring relationships with our clients and providing expertise and solutions to meet their evolving needs. An independent and employee-owned firm, William Blair is based in Chicago, with offices in 13 cities across five continents. For more information, please visit williamblair.com.