Placemaking: 200 W. Adams

Transforming a workplace to improve how tenants live, work and interact

The renovation of 200 W. Adams focused not only on improving the building’s physical aspects, but also on blending public and private spaces to create opportunities for social connections among tenants.

For each of Gerding Edlen’s properties, the team develops a strategic plan that thoughtfully considers health and wellbeing; comfort and function; design and aesthetics; and sustainability, with the ultimate goal of creating environments that enhance our tenants’ daily experiences and provide opportunities to connect with each other and the broader community. The multifamily and office assets in our portfolios represent a diverse combination of new construction and acquired properties, and our strategic plans are executed to reflect this, whether through renovation, management or ground-up design.

In 2015, Gerding Edlen acquired 200 W. Adams—a 683,000 sq. ft., 32-story commercial office building located in Chicago’s CBD. Originally built in 1985, we executed an extensive renovation to improve the overall property; underwent a retro-commissioning effort to evaluate opportunities for increased energy efficiency and sustainability; and utilized our management expertise to develop a sustainable tenant engagement program. Today, 200 W. Adams is an excellent example of how transforming a workplace can change the way tenants work, live and interact.

A variety of highly sustainable materials and finishes were used in the renovation of 200 W. Adams. For example, the quartz countertops used in the amenity spaces are Living Building Challenge compliant, which is the highest sustainable certification available and means zero toxic chemicals were used in their manufacturing process.

The renovation of 200 W. Adams included the addition of new, highly desirable amenity spaces and a redesign of existing common areas:

  • The lobby underwent cosmetic upgrades which included a new concierge desk and comfortable seating areas. The redesign activated the lobby and created a gathering space for tenants and visitors where none had previously existed.
  • A new amenity floor was added on the 17th floor, which was previously unused mechanical space. Amenities include a fitness center, yoga studio, rock climbing wall, locker rooms, a tenant lounge and a conferencing facility.
  • To accommodate cyclists and encourage alternative transportation, a secure bicycle storage room was constructed in the basement with adjacent shower and locker rooms.

Keeping in line with our goals of reducing environmental impact and creating healthier spaces for our tenants, 200 W. Adams underwent a retro-commissioning effort, whereby an engineering specialist worked with the facility staff to examine current building operations relative to the building’s operational design criteria, and then made recommendations for programming changes. A number of measures, including a water conservation measure, were implemented at the building.

In 2018, 200 W. Adams earned its LEED re-certification under the USGBC’s new Arc platform. Through this platform, properties earn a Performance Score based on actual metrics in five key categories: energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience. 200 W. Adams received LEED Gold re-certification with a score of 73/100.

In addition to the renovations, we implemented several sustainability initiatives for the property’s tenants. A building-wide composting program—one of the first of its kind for commercial properties in the city of Chicago—became fully operational in 2016. Today, the program is successfully reducing the property’s waste, and approximately 35% of waste per year has been diverted since implementation. Additionally, in 2017, we invited tenants to join a new "Green Ambassador Program." The team, which consists of 15 tenant representatives, meets quarterly with building management to discuss promoting sustainability within their respective offices and to review building-wide programs.

Pictured here is the Green Ambassador Team at 200 W. Adams, which is one of many programs that have launched as part of our tenant engagement program.

These are just a few great examples of many, that combined with the successful renovations, have changed the daily experience for tenants of 200 W. Adams. It also affirms that through the built environment and operational improvements, we can make our planet, community and neighborhoods better, while also enriching individual experiences and improving overall asset value.