Upgrading the Chicago Board of Trade Building
Most office tenants see the 44-story Art Deco high-rise as “almost like a closed, clubby building” where traders buy and sell everything from corn to stock index futures, says Mr. Klein, principal at Chicago-based GlenStar Properties LLC. He wants to change that in a push to expand the tower’s tenant base. “What we’re going to do is really open the building up,” he says.
The building is the anchor of LaSalle Street and has serviced traders for many years. About 30 percent of the building, ~400k square feet, is vacant. Klein says the building’s power supply, about four times the supply of a typical downtown office, and its access to telecommunications makes it a plug and play offering for technology, high frequency trading, and other companies that want a well-equipped building with iconic views of the LaSalle Street Canyon. Klein notes that no other building has the view down LaSalle Street to the lake which gives the CBOT tower a unique appeal to businesses.
The tower has had its place in popular culture having appeared in films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Untouchables and it also served as the fictional headquarters of Wayne Industries in Batman Begins. It even housed the classic 1970’s dance show Soul Train on the 43rd floor.
Surrounding buildings are competing for the same tenants but its iconic status, beautifully maintained art deco design and its stunning view gives it an appeal that many of the newer buildings just don’t have. Klein plans to invest in the building to boost the building’s income and value with hopes of raising its profile to make sure that this landmark building continues its important place as part of the city’s fabric.