333 North Michigan is a 35-story commercial property long held by the Wirtz family. The building was designed by Holabird & Root and completed in 1928 in an early art deco style. Over many years of ownership, little capital improvement was undertaken on the public side of the building. Recently, the owners realized that with retail development moving south toward Millennium Park, a highly visible renovation was required in order to maintain the property’s relevance on an important corner in Chicago.
The renovation of the building included both infrastructure and retail-focused changes. This work incorporated adding another floor of retail to the ground-floor offering, moving from only ground-floor retail to both ground- and second-floor retail space. The original building entry, which had previously been removed and “modernized” over the building tenure, was recreated, and the lobby was designed to be more functional and truer to the original architect’s vision. Elevator cabs were renovated to be more in keeping with the original vision as well.
The building further needed new two-story retail windows and enclosures, as the originals had rusted through and required full replacement. A new retail master plan was also created to develop locations for new entries to retail and adjust with leasing activity.
New infrastructure in the form of new and renovated mechanical rooms and distribution, as well as a new electrical bus duct, brought the building up to modern standards. New corridors and standards for tenant entries were implemented. Bathrooms are being renovated on a floor-by-floor basis as they become available and as tenants are replaced. The floors that housed the former Tavern Club are being transformed into “special” office space, with taller ceilings, renovated outdoor terraces, a new exterior enclosure, and sweeping views up and down Michigan Avenue.