WIN: One Prudential Plaza to Receive $50M Renovation But Will Lose Anchor Tenant

One Prudential Plaza complex rooftop deck, 1955, Naess & Murphy, 130 E Randolph Street and 180 N. Stetson Ave. Photo credit: Eric Allix Rogers
One Prudential Plaza complex rooftop deck, 1955, Naess & Murphy, 130 E Randolph Street and 180 N. Stetson Ave. Photo credit: Eric Allix Rogers
One Prudential Plaza complex rooftop deck, 1955, Naess & Murphy, 130 E Randolph Street and 180 N. Stetson Ave. Photo credit: Eric Allix Rogers
Proposed rooftop renovations at One Prudential Plaza complex, 1955, Naess & Murphy, 130 E Randolph Street and 180 N. Stetson Ave. Rendering credit: Wright Heerema Architects

“A renovation has been announced for the Prudential Plaza complex at 130 E Randolph Street in New East Side. Located on the corner with N Stetson Avenue and across the street from Millenium Park, the complex is currently owned by Wanxiang America Real Estate Group. The US-based real-estate developer is part of Wanxiang Group, a Chinese automotive manufacturer.

“The original 41-story Prudential Plaza was the first skyscraper built in Chicago after the Great Depression, as well as one of the first to utilize air rights to build over the rail lines below it. In 1990 the complex welcomed the second 64-story tower before Prudential sold it in 2000 for $380 million. Wanxiang then purchased it for $680 million in 2018, recently renegotiating an extension on its loan.

“Now its namesake company has announced its departure from the tower, trading their current 50,000-square-foot lease for a 28,000-square-foot space at 150 N. Riverside and taking their naming rights as well. Due to all of this Wanxiang is embarking on a $50 million renovation to the building and its amenities designed by Wright Heerema Architects.

“The work will include a major overhaul and expansion of the rooftop deck on One Prudential’s setback, this will include direct access from Two Prudential, new seating, bar, pickleball court, and putting green. The existing tenant lounge will be redesigned with more seating, golf simulators and remodeled gym. A new 20,000-square-foot amenity space will be created within Two Prudential’s 11th floor with a conference center, lounge, and entertainment space.

“The work will also update the furniture in the lobbies of both buildings, adding a coffee shop as well. Wanxiang reports the complex is 78 percent leased and is looking to secure a new anchor tenant looking for naming rights as well, however the iconic rock sculpture on the facade will stay. (Achong, Chicago YIMBY, 1/22/24)

“One Two Pru was one of the first skyscrapers built in Chicago after World War II. It had the highest roof in the city at the time, slightly taller than the Chicago Board of Trade Building. This 41-story Art Deco-influenced Modernist behemoth was built above Illinois Central Railroad air rights. It was one of the first and largest Chicago buildings to be built over existing rail lines. It essentially sits atop stilts that meet the ground at 500 separate spots. Each small piece of land was acquired individually from the railroad in anticipation of the building.

“A bas relief of the Rock of Gibraltar (Prudential’s logo) by sculptor Alfonso Iannelli is prominently visible on the exterior of a 1968 addition. A 73-foot broadcast antenna for WGN was also added. “Since the 1990 completion of neighboring Two Pru, the building has been referred to as One Pru.

“The plaza includes a 7,000-square-foot terrace above with lakefront and skyline views, grassy lawn, multiple lounge spaces, amphitheater seating and an Airstream food truck throughout spring, summer and fall.” (Open House Chicago)

Read the full story at Chicago YIMBY

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