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Art Deco Riverfront Highrise to Get the Sterling Bay Treatment

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Chicago-based developer Sterling Bay has made a name for itself in the last few years by acquiring aging buildings, renovating them into the modern loft-style offices, and filling them with high profile tenants. Their work in the Fulton Market area has played a big role in the area's active revitalization, and just this week they sold their Canal Street building for a huge profit after filling it with tech companies who wouldn't have imagined having their offices in the West Loop a few years ago. For their latest project, Sterling Bay has set their eyes on the LaSalle-Wacker building at 121 West Wacker Drive.

The 41-story tower was designed by Holabird & Roche with classic Art Deco throne-style massing was and completed in 1930. It stands along the Loop side of the main river corridor, front-and-center for architecture cruises. Last year, Sterling Bay bought close to 90% of the building, and this year it intends to work its magic to increase the profile of the property and attract newer companies who value design and modern amenities. The lobby will be redesigned, the elevator cars upgraded, and a floor will be devoted to new tenant features like conference rooms, fitness facilities, and possibly a rooftop space.

The building stands across the river from Merchandise Mart, which recently sprang to life as a hub for tech jobs, and with the Sterling Bay touch could begin to pull some of that new energy into the northwest corner of the Loop, an area of downtown that's been slow to see much commercial activity lately. Imagine if that part of town became a cool place to work instead of that honor always seeming to orbit the Loop but never quite land inside.

·Sterling Bay to buy Wacker Drive tower [Crain's]
·Sterling Bay selling West Loop building for $305 million [Crain's]
·More Sterling Bay news [Curbed Chicago]