Spec Office Development Returns to Oak Brook



The building at 2100 Swift will have a new look, and many significant changes, including a set of windows that will allow natural light to flood the space.

The office market in Oak Brook took a big hit with the announcement by fast food giant McDonald’s that it planned to move its global headquarters into downtown Chicago. But some developers are still quite bullish on the prospects for luring tenants into new space in the west suburban town.


Schaumburg-based REM Builders recently began a 60,000 SF speculative office redevelopment at 2100 Swift Rd. in Oak Brook that involves stripping the existing three story building down to the columns and completely rebuilding it to class A quality. CBRE has been retained to market the property, which REM plans to deliver in late 2016.


“Oak Brook is probably the most mature part of the I-88 corridor,” Jeffrey Mann, senior vice president at CBRE, tells GlobeSt.com, with its multi-tenant buildings having an average age of about 38 years. But today’s tenants are most eager to occupy new office space that incorporates the latest thinking on interior design and how that impacts employees’ quality of life. “There is a real niche in this market for buildings that have a new, fresh feel and for all intents and purposes, this is a new construction delivery.”


Tenants at the renovated 2100 Swift will find a set of offices modeled on the product now found in Chicago submarkets such as the West Loop and Fulton market, says Pete Adamo, senior vice president at of CBRE, who along with Mann will market the property. “We think suburban tenants want that as well.”


“The building has been stripped down to the slabs and will be entirely reconstructed,” he adds. And the developer will replace all of the vital building systems, upgrade all of the interiors and exteriors and deliver all of the standard amenities for today’s office users. That includes designing open offices that users can turn into the collaborative spaces most desired by the millennial generation, and greatly expanded windows that will flood the interiors with natural light.


This is not an entirely new strategy for Oak Brook developers. As reported in GlobeSt.com, in 2014 Golub & Co. and its partner Alcion Ventures bought Oak Brook Executive Plaza, a 1970’s-era office complex on W. 22nd St., and have transformed it into Oak Brook 22. However, that 389,000square-foot development “has not been renovated to the extent that 2100 will be,” says Adamo. In that respect, “2100 will be unique.”


The parking structure at 2100 Swift is also unique for the suburbs as the four-level parking deck allows for six spaces per 1,000 square feet, double the typical suburban setup of three spaces per 1,000 square feet.


“As new workplace strategies have evolved to encourage a more densely populated office environment, the suburbs have often been hindered by parking restrictions,” says Adamo. “That is not the case with this project. It is one of the few buildings in the suburbs that will be able to house a large-scale workforce and still provide the convenience of ample parking. This property will work for any large firm, whether it be technology, consulting, financial or marketing.”