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River North’s old Sports Authority to live again as massive coworking space

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The high-profile building has been vacant for nearly two years


Previously home to downtown Chicago’s iconic Sports Authority, the eight-story building at the corner of Ontario and LaSalle is preparing to reopen as one of the city’s largest coworking facilities.

Amsterdam-based company Spaces signed-on to occupy the entirety of the 80,000-square-foot structure, reports the Chicago Tribune. The property was vacated in 2016 when Sports Authority closed and liquidated its retail locations nationwide.

Skokie-based developer Next Realty announced plans to redevelop 620 N. Lasalle in early 2017. Though the group considered replacing the older structure with a new commercial high-rise, Next ultimately decided to preserve and convert the former warehouse into loft-style offices.

620 N. LaSalle circa 2016.
Google Street View.

Over the past year, workers removed the building’s oversized exterior signage, red awnings, and handprint casts of famous Chicago athletes. The latter, according to the Tribune, are in storage at Next Realty and may be reincorporated into the renovated building’s facade. Other upgrades include dozens of new windows, a coffee bar for tenants, and a planned rooftop deck.

Spaces will move into its new River North home in early 2019. In the meantime, the coworking company plans to open its first Chicago locations at 1500 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park and 159 N. Sangamon in the Fulton Market District.

Next Realty is also transforming Lakeview’s shuttered Sports Authority at 3154 N. Clark Street into a new facility for Advocate Medical Group. Additionally, the company leased out old Sports Authority locations in suburban Schaumburg and Niles to others retailers.