Former OfficeMax headquarters to be renovated to attract millennials

The former OfficeMax headquarters in Naperville has been purchased and will be redeveloped into a multi-tenant office building designed to attract millennials, officials said Monday.

Franklin Partners, in a joint venture with Northbrook-based Bixby Bridge Capital, acquired the property at 263 Shuman Blvd. last week.

The 350,000-square-foot office building has had a long life as a corporate headquarters, dating back to its initial development in 1987 for AT&T. OfficeMax left the building about four years ago when 1,600 jobs left Illinois after the company merged with Florida-based Office Depot.

The main entrance and atrium will be redesigned with a grand staircase and stadium seating leading down to a bright lower level featuring baristas, a market-style deli, fitness center, co-working lounges and other amenities more typical of a Chicago high-rise than a suburban office. The redevelopment plans are in progress, with construction scheduled to begin later this year and completion set for early 2019. No tenants currently occupy the building, which is located off I-88.

"There's an unmet need to deliver an amenity-rich workplace experience in the heart of Chicago's western suburbs," said Ray Warner, partner at Franklin Partners based in Naperville. "We are redeveloping this high-quality class A office building that's been underutilized for many years to deliver a unique, millennial workforce-friendly destination."

"Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of suburban millennials - and they are beginning to demand the same types of workplace amenities as their more urban counterparts," said Roger Heerema, principal at Wright Heerema Architects, a partner in the project. "From the baristas and wellness amenities to a foodie-friendly marketplace, we're bringing Fulton Market to Naperville."

Pew Research Center defines millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1996.

Franklin Partners and Wright Heerema, based in Chicago, have redeveloped properties together for more than 15 years in Chicago, its suburbs and in Western Michigan, bringing amenities typically found in popular city centers to smaller cities and suburbs.

For example, at Grand Rapids' 99 Monroe and 25 Ottawa buildings, the team brought popular amenities such as fitness centers, tenant lounges and a Wi-Fi-enabled interactive lobby as part of a larger redevelopment that has reinvigorated the city's downtown. Other collaborations in the Chicago area include 980 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago; 1900 Spring Road in Oak Brook; Lake Bluff's Carriage Point medical offices; and 55 Shuman Blvd. in Naperville, just down the street.

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The 350,000-square-foot office building in Naperville will be reinvented as a multi-tenant building after a long life as a corporate headquarters, dating back to its initial development in 1987 for AT&T.
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