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A First Look Inside the Fields, Chicago's Most Ambitious Adaptive Reuse

Sitting on 22 acres, The Fields is one of Chicago's most ambitious and anticipated adaptive reuse projects in the pipeline. Today we give you a hard hat tour of the 1.5M SF mixed-use project. You can find out more about The Fields and other redevelopment projects at Bisnow's Chicago Property Management and Adaptive Re-Use Revolution at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Sept. 29, at 7am.

Merit Partners partner Paul Fishbein

The Fields' developer and one of our panelists, Merit Partners partner Paul Fishbein (pictured), says the plans for The Fields call for 300k SF of office space, 150k SF in residential lofts ranging from 800 SF to 3k SF, 150k SF in retail, 400k SF in heated indoor parking (enough to accommodate 700 cars), and the rest will be warehouse space. He tells us the sheer size of the property made it ideally suited for a range of uses, and The Fields' location near Logan Square (as well as in neighboring Avondale and Hermosa) will be able to meet growing demand for office, retail and residential in the area.

The Fields, Chicago, IL

The Fields' history dates back to 1928, when Olson Rug Co built it as a warehouse for its inventory and employed 1,400 employees. Olson sold the building in 1965 to Marshall Field & Co, which owned it until Macy's acquired the company in a 2005 merger

A First Look Inside the Fields, Chicago's Most Ambitious Adaptive Reuse

Snapped: part of The Field's planned office space. Paul says companies are continuing to consolidate workers in one comfortable, centralized location, instead of spreading into cubicles across several floors. This encourages more interaction between departments, and increased productivity. The office spaces at The Fields will benefit from plenty of natural sunlight and high ceilings. Paul believes The Fields will be able to attract tech and startup tenants that want modern office amenities, but with rents 40% lower than the going rates downtown and in hip markets like River North and Fulton Market.

A First Look Inside the Fields, Chicago's Most Ambitious Adaptive Reuse

The Fields' lobby (shown) will include three glass-encased elevators that will shuttle passengers to their offices and apartments. The lobby will also house a restaurant and serve as the entrance to a 70k SF Cermak Fresh Market, which Paul says will be the grocer's flagship store. Paul adds that the parking will be completed by the end of the year.

A First Look Inside the Fields, Chicago's Most Ambitious Adaptive Reuse

Merit Partners has already moved its offices into The Fields. Pictured: Merit's lobby. The space features a spacious conference room with beautiful views of the downtown skyline.

A First Look Inside the Fields, Chicago's Most Ambitious Adaptive Reuse

Another of our panelists, The Fields' designer and Hirsch Associates president Howard Hirsch (shown), says he was attracted to The Fields because of Paul's idea of a "vibrant" mixed-use building, something that would have been unthinkable in years past. Hirsch is also involved in 2500 Bradley Place, which features a gymnastics studio, a baseball facility, warehouse space, medical offices and the Midwest's first collectors' car garage.To learn more, please join us for Bisnow's Chicago Property Management & Adaptive Re-Use Revolution event, at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Sept. 29, at 7am. Register here.

See Also: Here's How Sterling Bay and NAI Hiffman Keep Their Office Buildings Full.