GlenStar Properties, USAA Real Estate Companies bringing high-end amenities to Chicago Board of Trade building

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(REJblog) by Dan Rafter – When GlenStar Properties and USAA Real Estate Company purchased the Chicago Board of Trade Building in 2012, the new owners promised to make changes at the iconic building in downtown Chicago.

And the companies made good on that promise, launching a $25 million capital-improvement campaign at the site.

The latest amenity that is part of that campaign debuted in late February, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center managed by Fitness Formula.

Christian Domin, managing director at GlenStar, said that a building as important as the Chicago Board of Trade building, with its long history in the city, deserves an extensive amenities package.

And higher-end amenities are something that more tenants expect at the city’s more prestigious locations.

“People are demanding residential-level amenities in their office spaces,” Domin said. “Our competitors are upping their game. We have had to, as well. The quality of amenities has to be so much higher now than what we saw five, seven or 10 years ago.”

As an example, Domin points to the new gym at Chicago Board of Trade building. The gym isn’t just a collection of exercise machines crammed into a small room. This gym covers 10,000 square feet. It comes with its own shower facilities. It offers personal training services and massage therapy.

In other words, it’s a real operating gym.

“When tenants consider office space, they’ll spend an extra 14 to 20 minutes looking at the gym and conference center,” Domin said. “You can’t just throw some equipment in a room and check ‘corporate gym’ off your list of amenities. You have to go beyond that.”

The same holds true for conference rooms. In the past, a conference room was simply a room with a table that could seat 30 people. Now, conference rooms require video-conferencing and multi-stream presentation capabilities.

“No doubt about it, this trend is only going to continue,” Domin said.

Fitness Formula, the manager of the new Chicago Board of Trade gym, now manages 13 health clubs in Chicago.

“One of our goals was to breathe new life into the property by adding modern amenities for our tenants,” said GlenStar principal Michael Klein in a written statement.

The fitness center isn’t the only change that GlenStar and USAA Real Estate Company have brought to the building. The improvement campaign has resulted in a new lobby, updated 12th-floor atrium and newly renovated conference center.

“We are thrilled to be a part of transforming one of the most iconic buildings in Chicago,” said Klein.