Renovation work is well underway for the lobby and exterior base of an office building at 303 E Wacker Drive, located near the northwest corner of downtown’s New Eastside neighborhood.
Completed in 1979, the office block was originally designed by Fujikawa Johnson & Associates. A steel and glass curtain wall covers its 28 floors above grade, with its lobby area set back from a large overhang supported by metal columns.
Beacon Capital Partners bought the 944,000-square-foot building from Hines in 2018 for a reported $182 million, according to RE Business Online. The firm serves as the property’s owner, manager, and developer of the current transformation.
A permit issued in February lists Roger Heerema of Wright Heerema Architects as the architect of record. The permit’s project description lists the changes currently underway, which includes paving infill, new paint underneath the overhang, and new linear light fixtures along the facade. No structural work is needed.
The marketing website highlights how the lobby is part of a larger renovation by Beacon Capital Partners. The modernization covers several amenity areas within the building, including a fitness center, conference center, and tenant lounge. Other features include on-site parking, bike storage, a cafe, and shuttle service for tenants.
Tenants can choose from several bus access points, including stops for the north and southbound on Route 124 at the adjacent Columbus & E Wacker (on N Columbus Drive’s lower level). Less than a block west along E Wacker Drive includes the additional 6, 20, 134, 135, and 136 buses. Other routes within a five-minute walking radius include buses 4 and 60 to the south, 66 to the north, and 3, 26, 143, 146, 147, 148, 151, 157, 850, 851, and 855 to the west.
The CTA L also has a variety of nearby stations just over a 10-minute walk southwest, including Lake station for the Red Line, Washington station for the Blue Line, and State/Lake station for the Orange, Purple, Brown, Pink, and Green Lines. Meanwhile, Red Line’s additional Grand station can be found on the other side of the river, a 14-minute walk northwest.
Clune Construction Company, LLC is serving as the general contractor. The $1.5 million project appears likely to wrap in the first half of next year.