Developers who overhauled Chicago's Old Post Office just revealed the "after" of the historic building's $800 million makeover, and the once-vacant post office at the end of the Eisenhower Expressway is nearly unrecognizable.
Now stocked with a 3.5-acre rooftop park, a 28,000-square-foot fitness center, 10,000 square feet of meeting space and plans for a big food hall, the post office project was described by developers as "the largest historic redevelopment in the country."
"The sheer scale of this building, spanning three city blocks, allowed us to do what almost no other building can do in terms of amenities," said Brian Whiting, president & CEO of The Telos Group, in a statement. "The Old Post Office sets the new standard for Chicago."
Workers started renovations three-and-a-half years ago with a court order from the city to essentially bring the building back to life. First they had to make sure the building, built in the early 20th century, was completely void of any mold, lead and asbestos.
The "new" Old Post Office reopens on Nov. 1 with about 14,000 employees expected.
Currently 75% of the building is committed to employees for companies such as Walgreens, Uber Technologies and Ferrara Candy Company. More than 4,900 of those jobs are new to Chicago.
Ferrara Candy, founded in 1908 in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood, was among the first companies to move to the Old Post Office. The company announced last December it would move its headquarters from Oakbrook Terrace to the city and a 77,000-square-foot space in the Old Post Office.
"Nearly 400 of our team members move back downtown in two weeks," said Todd Siwak, CEO of Ferrara Candy.
Nearly 1.4 million square foot is expected to be occupied by June 2020, The Telos Group said.
"The grand reveal of Chicago’s Old Post Office marks a day long awaited by Chicagoans who have seen proposals for its development come and go," the group said in a statement. "This project has not only transformed the building itself but has revitalized the entire Southwest corner of the Loop. The redevelopment of The Old Post Office invites Chicago, and the nation, to imagine what is possible."