THE MART Unveils Vision For Modern Workplace

Renovation of Chicago architectural icon THE MART will provide the future of office space to some of the country's most creative, forward-thinking companies.

This summer, Chicago architectural icon THE MART will unveil a new suite of tenant amenities, plus food and beverage retailers, to promote an integrated approach to work, life, and wellness. The renovation also includes revitalizations to the South Lobby and River Park, one of the few green spaces available to the public on the Chicago riverfront.

At 4.2 million gross square feet and owned and operated by Vornado Realty Trust, THE MART is the largest privately held commercial building in the U.S.

THE MART Chicago
THE MART’s River Park, Chicago’s new pedestrian-centric front yard where tenants and the public can eat, meet, and mingle. Courtesy of THE MART. Renderings by Evolution Virtual.


The latest developments, designed by Gensler, will provide the future of office space to some of the country’s most creative and forward-thinking companies, including Motorola Mobility, 1871, PayPal, and MATTER, as well as Fortune 500 companies Conagra Brands, Allstate, Medline Industries, Beam Suntory, Avant, and Grainger. It is also an important center for design in North America with more than 250 design showrooms offering resources for both residential and commercial markets.

The highly visible transformation will honor and challenge the building’s heritage and its existing Art Deco architecture to create an open and accessible meeting place, opening its doors as a marketplace of experiences, creativity, and ideas.

“Vornado acquired THE MART in 1998 and, 25 years later, we are proud to continue to build upon our successes and unveil this next phase of the building’s impressive history,” said Paul Heinen, Chief Operating Officer, THE MART. “Our new workplace strategy will complement THE MART’s existing offerings—expansive offices for industry leading tenants, sought-after brands in our design showrooms, and cutting-edge digital exhibitions at ART on THE MART—creating one of the most dynamic mixed-use developments in the city on the grandest scale.”

The upcoming transformation follows an earlier phase of improvements to THE MART in 2016 that saw the introduction of the Grand Stair and Marshall’s Landing, one of Chicago’s top dining destinations, and a new Food Hall with robust and varied offerings, as well as a new reception and information desk.

Spaces and new amenities opening in Summer 2023 include:

  • A revitalized approach to the South Lobby, one of the city’s most iconic Art Deco interiors, that includes the installation of new lounge seating to create a warm and welcoming environment for the public, with furnishings sourced exclusively from design showrooms at THE MART.
  • An extensive, centralized amenity experience on the second floor featuring a 23,000-square-foot health club with state-of-the-art equipment, studios offering a full range of classes, and a juice bar; an intimate tenant-exclusive speakeasy lounge overlooking the river; and a cluster of new curated retail offerings across beauty, health, and wellbeing.
  • 21,000-square-foot tenant-exclusive conference center and workspace with conference and meeting rooms, lounge areas, flexible programming space, and a private café, designed for quiet focus and productive collaboration.
  • A reimagination of THE MART’s River Park public space with a plaza for pedestrian traffic and gathering, a central lawn for community celebrations and programming, al fresco seating with new food and beverage offerings, and a localized approach to landscaping that introduces foliage and perennials from the surrounding Chicago region by landscape architects Hoerr Schaudt. The new River Park is part of a larger approach to make privatized space public by bringing the rooftop amenities to the street level, creating a new front yard for Chicago and one of few dynamic spaces available to the public on the riverfront.

THE MART Chicago
The entrance of WorkLife Wellbeing, a state-of-the-art gym with topline equipment, spin and yoga studios, luxury changerooms, and a juice bar.

THE MART Chicago
WorkLife Meetings tenant lounge at THE MART.

THE MART’s River Park, Chicago’s new pedestrian-centric front yard where tenants and the public can eat, meet, and mingle.

THE MART Chicago
One of the new conference rooms in Worklife Meetings. (Courtesy of THE MART. Renderings by Evolution Virtual.)

“The design approach at THE MART marries legacy and modernity to better serve the building’s tenants and the broader community,” said Todd Heiser, Managing Director of Gensler. “New spaces and amenities build on THE MART’s historic foundation by celebrating the building’s ornate Art Deco details and reimagining them for the contemporary workplace. This balanced intersection showcases THE MART’s position as an epicenter of workplace—of yesterday, today, and the future.”

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