The Pritzker administration’s ruling that office workers could return to their workplaces this month resulted in a slow trickle back downtown. Many landlords and tenants say they are going to take it slow, and learn how well offices can function with the necessary health and safety restrictions before they hit 50% capacity, the current limit mandated by the state.
As the downtown repopulates, owners of its loft-style buildings, along with developers of new, boutique offices, say workers will find it easier to come back to their properties. Cramming onto elevators is not required, and with keyless access points, tenants can get in and out each day with a minimum of personal contact. The low-rise buildings also provide more light and air than traditional office towers.
“You can walk out by hustling down a few stairs, instead of getting in an elevator and having to walk through a lobby, so people will feel more comfortable coming back to our buildings than ones with thousands of people,” North Wells Capital Principal of Asset Management Tony Lindsay said.
His Chicago-based firm, the investment management affiliate of Urban Innovations, which in the 1980s pioneered the use of River North lofts, owns 10 buildings in that neighborhood and has a total of 145 tenants.If workers in loft offices return at…
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