On October 6th, Jeff Shapack and his team at Shapack Partners presided over a development workshop for students about his vision for the redevelopment of Chicago’s Fulton Market. The night before, Shapack was awarded the Graaskamp Center Innovator Award for his innovative developments shaping Fulton Market and Chicago.
During the workshop, Jeff and his team shared the importance of a multi-asset class market. They highlighted the challenges and requirements of developing hospitality, retail, office, and residential properties in a multi-asset class market like the Fulton Market. To innovate and change markets, Jeff shared that you often need to change people’s behavior to build a neighborhood.
The development of Fulton Market was unique in that it started with hospitality and restaurant businesses due to the commercial and manufacturing zoning of the area. The market attracted office and retail space before residential because of zoning requirements. Because of this, Fulton Market has a significant housing shortage.
After providing an overview of developing the four major asset classes, the Shapack team shared two specific developments: 167 Green Street and 220 Ada Street.
The Shapack team shared the design and lease-up process of 167 Green, a unique office development project including an NBA basketball court, curated art collection, and ground-floor retail. One of the drivers of the building design was the hotelification of the office, meaning all aspects of the design create a warm hospitality feel. From the parking structure design to the lobby receptionists, 167 Green was designed to feel more like a boutique hotel than a traditional office building.
One major challenge faced with the development was leasing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because it was difficult to find large multi floor tenants, the team shifted to leasing partial floors to smaller tenants. The building was also leased from bottom to top to maintain the building’s brand. The lobby design incorporated their Mews to decrease unrented space in the building, adding an open air privately owned public space through the center of the building.
220 Ada Street
The Shapack team also shared their process of rethinking residential properties for space optimization. While traditional residential buildings are rectangular or “L” shaped, 220 Ada Street is a square building promoting efficiency. Unit design optimized privacy and storage through the placement of doors and utilizing wardrobe space instead of closet space.
Colors and fixtures were selected to create a homey feel in an apartment space. Common areas were also designed to promote community, with a coworking space, pool, and fitness center. Illinois also requires an affordable housing component, which the Shapack team believes will help create a more diverse resident community.
Jeff told students, “Why not think differently,” with regards to the entire development process. Both 167 Green and 220 Ada Street designs highlight his innovative thinking and questioning of the status quo. By thinking outside the box and challenging preexisting notions, communities benefit from real estate development. Jeff Shapack develops to benefit communities. By sharing his processes at the workshop, he inspired the next generation of real estate professionals to also ask “Why not think differently,” to benefit communities and continue to drive the real estate industry forward.