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Want to get a jump-start on upcoming deals? Meet the major Chicago players at one of our upcoming events!

We're exploring properties in development outside  of downtown— from Oak Park  to  Lake Villa  to  Hyde Park, new projects bringing holiday cheer to the end of '09.
Nevin Hedlund Architects' Lauren Hepner, Nevin Hedlund, and Will Gamble, with attorney Masaru Takiguchi

Madison Highlands, Oak Park, 74k SF - Adding a new touch of class to Frank Lloyd Wright's classic Oak Park style are Nevin Hedlund Architects' Lauren HepnerNevin Hedlund, and Will Gamble, with attorney Masaru Takiguchi  and the not-pictured Mary Jo Schuler and Frank Muriello. The LEED-Silver project will include retail and office. Nevin calls Oak Park an ideal suburban Chicago office location because it's on the L and Metra lines and equidistant from both airports. He also expects it will help keep small businesses in town, rather than heading into the city.

The development will be the  first office space constructed in Oak Park in 40 years and will include a parking deck with doors directly into the second story office, low-flow toilets, highly insulated building envelope, solar panels, and a green roof. The project is part of a larger effort to redevelop Madison St, home to multiple car dealerships. Many of the architects are Oak Park and River Forest residents, and they tried to fit the structures into the town?s historic character.

ID Label Warehouse, Lake Villa, 20k-SF -  In May, we covered the groundbreaking; now, the new office and warehouse for label maker ID Label is wrapped up with a big ribbon. Principle Construction's Jim Brucato (second from right) says completing the project on a tight timetable was helped by the owner's quick decisions on building specs. The new flex space is next door to the company's old haunt on Park St. Wintrust Financial  provided the loan.


ID Label events always have the best name tags. But if you can't read 'em, we'll tell you that's the ID and Principle teams (including Principle's Mike Long, right), celebrating with a newly engraved crystal water pitcher on Friday. The LEED-certified warehouse includes motion-sensor lighting, a TPO roof, and low-flow plumbing. The company is growing, having recently bought a Boston labeling company, so they also left room to expand the building and parking lot. Now, they'll just need a bigger beer pitcher.

Wexford's Bernie Craig and MRSA's Liz Peron and Michael Semenzin

IIT's Soft Landing Center, South Side, $20M Renovation - Another ribbon-cutting was taking place on Thursday, where MRSA Architects  completed the renovations of Wexford Science and Technology's Soft Landing Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology. We snapped Wexford's Bernie Craig and MRSA's Liz Peron  and Michael Semenzin showing us a biotech business space. The small offices and research spaces are designed to support small businesses getting off the ground on campus. Yes, there is life outside of downtown, sometime by giving life to life science entrepreneurs. Isn't life crazy?