Skender Named Finalist for 2024 Indiana GC of the Year

REjournals has named Skender a finalist for its 2024 Indiana General Contractor of the Year. The honor, which recognizes outstanding construction operations and achievements in the Hoosier state, follows another recent award for Skender’s Indianapolis office.

In March 2024, Skender won the Indiana Subcontractors Association award for Project of the Year in the category of construction projects under $10 million. Skender was also a finalist for General Contractor of the Year at that ceremony.

Skender began working in Indiana in 2020 with a focus on building relationships and providing outstanding service and value. Project volume in the firm’s Indianapolis office jumped by 300% from 2022 to 2023, and 90% of its work last year came from repeat clients or referrals.

REjournals Indiana award winners will be announced on May 16.

Skender Named Finalist for Two 2024 Interior Contractor of the Year Awards

Skender has been named a finalist for Interior Contractor of the Year at the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Skender won the prestigious award in 2022, 2018, 2016 and 2015. This year’s winners will be presented on May 1.

UPDATE 5/2/2024: Skender was awarded the 2024 Interior Contractor of the Year at last evening’s ceremony. This marks the fifth time since 2015 that Skender has won the trophy.

Also, Illinois Real Estate Journal named Skender a finalist for its Interior General Contractor of the Year Award. Skender has won the magazine’s top contractor honor in the office category each of the previous two years. The 2024 award winners will be announced on June 5.

Both awards, among the highest honors in the Chicago commercial real estate industry, are based on 2023 performance.

In 2023, Skender completed over 2.3 million square feet of interior construction, including 13 floors of LEED v4 Platinum Interiors for Salesforce at the brand new Salesforce Tower; the largest suburban buildout since 2018 for Ace Hardware, transforming 250,000 square feet at the former McDonald’s campus into a state-of-the-art headquarters for the hardware retailer; and a 110,000-square-foot “city and parks”-themed workspace for healthcare company Vizient on two floors of the historic Old Post Office.

With a strategic focus on its people and delivering the premier construction experience across all project types, Skender has earned multiple industry accolades recently, including:

// 2023 Best Places to Work (No. 4 in large companies category, 7x winner since 2013) – Crain’s Chicago Business

// 2023 General Contractor of the Year Winner (Office Construction) – Illinois Real Estate Journal

// 2023 Indiana Project of the Year Winner (Under $10 Million) – Indiana Subcontractors Association

// 2023 Indiana GC Of the Year Finalist – Indiana Subcontractors Association

// 2023 Science Project of the Year Winner (Hazel Tech) – Illinois Real Estate Journal

// 2023 Large Project of the Year Winner (Salesforce) – CoreNet REAL Awards

// 2022 General Contractor of the Year Winner (Office Construction) – Illinois Real Estate Journal

// 2022 Interior Contractor of the Year Winner (Owner Projects) – Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards

// 2022 Interior Project of the Year Winner (Walgreens Tech Center) – Chicago Building Congress

// 2022 Preservation Excellence Award Winner (Maywood Supportive Living) – Landmark Illinois

// 2022 Safety Award Winner – Great Lakes Construction Association

// 2022 Redevelopment of the Year Finalist (1100 W Fulton) – Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards

Skender Breaks Ground on Lurie Children’s New Outpatient Center in Schaumburg

Skender, as general contractor, broke ground today on a new 75,000-square-foot outpatient center for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Lurie Children’s Outpatient, Primary Care and Infusion Center will be located at 1895 Arbor Glen Blvd, Schaumburg, Illinois. The center will offer primary care, ancillary and diagnostic services, orthotics and prosthetics, laboratory and pharmacy services, as well as an ambulatory infusion center with the capacity to expand services.

In addition to the main hospital in downtown Chicago, Lurie Children’s offers children and their families convenient access to the same expert teams of medical and surgical specialists with the same leading treatments and kid-focused technologies at 17 outpatient services locations, six primary care locations and 10 partner hospitals throughout the Chicago area. In Fiscal Year 2023 (September 1, 2022–August 31, 2023), Lurie Children’s had more than 900,000 outpatient visits.

The new outpatient center will grow Lurie Children’s footprint in the northwest suburbs and serve as a replacement to the smaller locations at Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates and Huntley. The project, with 40 exam and treatment rooms, is expected to be complete in the summer of 2025 and see its first patient in August 2025.

“The opportunity to bring critical healthcare services to the youngest and most vulnerable patients makes us extremely proud,” said Brian Kane, Vice President at Skender. “It’s another example of how healthcare that is closer to home can change lives,” he added.

The project team includes HKS as the architect, Skender as general contractor, IMEG Corp. as the structural and mechanical engineers, and V3 Companies as the civil engineers.

Skender’s Mike Matyja Named 2024 Outstanding General Contractor Project Manager by ASA Chicago

The Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates (ASA) Chicago named Skender Project Manager Mike Matyja as its 2024 Outstanding General Contractor Project Manager. The award recognizes outstanding communication, collaboration and empathy between general contractors and their trade partners.

Mike manages multifamily construction projects for Skender, which includes an extensive portfolio of affordable housing, senior living, supportive living and market-rate multifamily work. Mike has 15 years of construction experience and an architecture degree from the University of Illinois Chicago.

ASA Chicago shared that the industry trade members who nominated Mike for this award noted his hands-on approach, accessibility, responsiveness, and noteworthy success in running efficient projects.

“Our team is immensely proud of Mike and thrilled for him to receive the prestigious award for Outstanding GC Project Manager by ASA Chicago,” said Skender Senior Vice President Afshan Barshan. “This honor is a testament to Mike’s exceptional work and meticulous attention to detail, as well as his unwavering commitment to excellence and client service. We congratulate Mike on this well-deserved recognition.”

Skender’s Ashlee Pforr Discusses How Legal Workplaces are Evolving with the Times

Today’s law firms face the same challenge as other businesses across industries— how to create a space that is enticing for its employees. Previously designed primarily as a tool that demonstrated status and prestige to clients, law firms are now being more responsive to their employees’ work needs and are adapting to support new ways of working. At the Steelcase showroom at THE MART, panelists recently discussed this topic of evolving legal workplaces and what the future of legal workplace design and construction looks like.

Moderated by Keith Bujak, research principal at Steelcase, panelists were Todd Lippman, vice chairman at CBRE; Neil Schneider, design director and principal and IA Interior Architects; Ashlee Pforr, project executive at Skender; and Marty Festenstein, senior managing director at Savills.

When asked about how law firms are rethinking their spaces as leases come up for renewal, reflecting on the dramatic changes brought by COVID, Lippman highlighted the contrast between home efficiency and office productivity. He emphasized the challenge of fostering culture in a hybrid work setting, prioritizing talent over cost. Schneider echoed those sentiments, pointing out the pivotal role of the office in cultivating organizational culture and advocating for spaces that mirror the firm’s identity and strategic location choices. The panelists agreed that flexible leases are critical for today’s law firms and said that the importance lies in focusing on hybrid policies, space design and lease terms that align with business goals.

The discussion also touched on the shifting landscape of law firm locations in Chicago. Panelists highlighted the conservative nature of location choices, citing challenges in areas like Fulton Market due to court access and transportation constraints. Pforr, however, noted a gradual influx of law firms into Fulton Market that are seeking newer, tech-oriented buildings. Despite the allure of these buildings, adapting spaces to suit law firm requirements remains a challenge, panelists said, while also emphasizing the importance of aligning building choices with organizational culture.

Addressing supply chain issues and longer-term challenges in law firm design implementation, Pforr pointed out the significance of early contractor involvement and innovative procurement strategies.

Overall, law firms are pushing the boundaries and are at the forefront of technological integration, investing substantially in technologies aimed at enhancing productivity. While virtual collaboration remains a work in progress, optimism persists regarding the advent of hybrid work environments. Nonetheless, concerns still linger about preserving organizational culture and sustaining long-term relationships.

Skender Wraps Construction of The Leo, a New Multifamily Rental and Retail Tower in River North

On behalf of developer VISTA Property, Skender has completed construction on “The Leo,” a 21-story, 201,000-square-foot mixed-use multifamily tower located at 741 N. Wells Street in River North.

The new boutique luxury rental building, designed by Antunovich Associates, has 168 open-concept apartment units – including 50 studios, 101 one-bedrooms and 17 two-bedrooms – and 3,877 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Construction officially kicked off in August of 2022.

“River North is experiencing remarkable growth and we are witnessing an increasing demand for spaces that blend living, working, and recreational opportunities within the vibrant core of downtown Chicago,” said Ark Latt, Chief Development Officer at VISTA Property. “With The Leo, this team has introduced the newest luxury apartment tower that not only meets the sophisticated needs of its residents but also significantly contributes to the fabric of a strong and thriving community.”

The Leo’s apartments have luxury features, including floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping downtown views, state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, in-unit laundry, private balconies, and expansive nine-foot ceilings. Property amenities include an in-gym yoga studio, an outdoor pool with lounge area, a rooftop deck complete with a fire pit and grills, a kitchen café and a group fitness terrace. Residents also have access to a private meeting and events room, an elegant lobby entrance, a dog run and spa, EV charging stations, dedicated parking and a bike room.

“The Leo represents the phenomenal outcome of high-performing teamwork,” said Alex Panici, Vice President at Skender. “This was a truly collaborative effort and we were thrilled to be part of the team that brought this vision to life.”

The project team consisted of: VISTA Property (developer), Skender (general contractor), Antunovich Associates (architects) and Luxury Living Chicago Realty (marketing/sales). The development was financed with a first mortgage loan from Huntington Bank.

Skender Wins Indiana Project of the Year Award

Skender won the Indiana Subcontractors Association award for Project of the Year in the category of construction projects under $10 million at a ceremony in Indianapolis yesterday.

The award recognized Skender’s office buildout for the technology company Kainos in the Salesforce Tower in Indianapolis.

In addition to winning the Project of the Year award, Skender was also a finalist for General Contractor of the Year.

Skender began working in Indiana in 2020 with a focus on building relationships and providing outstanding service and value. Project volume in the firm’s Indianapolis office jumped by 300% from 2022 to 2023, and 90% of its work last year came from repeat clients or referrals.

Skender Wins Top Safety Award for Second Consecutive Year

The Great Lakes Construction Association (GLCA) awarded Skender the Safety Achievement Award for the second consecutive year, and the fourth time since 2016. The award recognizes outstanding safety achievements during 2023 in the category of 500,000+ worked.

Skender’s blended approach of safety, production and quality is part of its lean, human-centric project delivery. Our certified safety team develops comprehensive, job-specific safety plans, which consist of weekly project inspections, meticulous planning, predictive analysis, reporting systems and diligent coordination and communication with all stakeholders.

“Safety on our jobsites is paramount to our teams at Skender,” said Dan Torres, Safety Director for Skender. “From our trade partners to our field staff, we empower our people to focus on what matters: Producing quality work, keeping themselves and their teams safe, and getting home to their loved ones.”

With this honor, Skender has earned eight construction industry safety awards since 2013. Another measure of safety in the construction industry is the experience modification rate (EMR), which the National Council of Compensation Insurance uses to calculate the past cost of injuries and future chance of risk. Skender’s EMR is 43 percent better than the national industry average.

Bisnow: ‘I Think It Can Change Lives’: How Skender’s Lisa Latronico Is Building A Diverse Construction Workforce

The below article was first published by Bisnow on September 17, 2023.

When Lisa Latronico started as a receptionist at Chicago-based Skender Construction in 2001, she fell in love with its family-oriented, welcoming culture and decided to stick around for a while.

Over two decades later, as the company’s newly promoted chief people officer and longest-serving employee, she’s the first person to greet every new hire after they pass through reception on Day 1.

Latronico’s drive to connect with each new employee is critical for an organization leading the way in workforce diversity and employee engagement. Construction as a whole has historically struggled with diversity, particularly when it comes to women in the field. Per the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry snapshot, women accounted for 1.2 million of those employed in the construction industry, or just 1 in 10 workers.

Skender’s workforce tells a different story. Women make up 50% of the company’s C-suite and 26% of its leadership team, according to data submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and reviewed by Bisnow. In the Skender workforce at large, there are 17% female and 35% minority employees — both above industry averages.

“At Purdue a couple of years ago, there was this talk that females should really apply to Skender because they treat them really well over there,” Latronico said. “This came to me through the grapevine, and I thought, ‘What a great recruiting tool. Do the right thing for the employees that you have, and word will travel fast.’”

Latronico has been at the forefront of Skender’s efforts, and People and Culture Manager Colleen O’Brien said diverse recruitment efforts are baked into the company’s DNA. Attracting diverse talent starts with increasing brand recognition in the areas ripe for recruitment, targeting the right job boards and going to a swath of career fairs at different schools, she said.

“We’ve been very intentional about ensuring that we are bringing on women across the board,” O’Brien said. “Lisa has been instrumental in that. We want our recruitment to always be organic because it becomes part of who we are and not a box we have to check or a statistic we have to hit.”

The number of women on staff was immediately striking to Project Manager Lily Lawrin. Lawrin, who was hired 11 months ago, said the number of women at the company provides great bonding opportunities and chances to connect with people with similar perspectives.

“It’s definitely noticeable,” Lawrin said. “It was honestly actually one of the first things I noticed when walking around the office on my interview, and I didn’t think it was something that would sway me, but it’s a really positive thing … There’s so many women. They’re everywhere.”

The federal government is looking to emulate the success of companies like Skender to bring more women into the construction industry. In August, the federal government awarded a $1.35M grant to the Illinois Department of Labor to aid efforts to train and support the entry of more women into infrastructure and construction careers.

The grant comes as part of the Biden administration’s implementation of the $1.2T Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, expected to create 800,000 new jobs in construction.

“We may still have a long way to go in dismantling decades’ worth of barriers, but we’re making progress on building that future today,” Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said in August.

In addition to breaking down barriers for women, Latronico has also spearheaded Skender’s efforts to partner with nonprofits to place individuals from underrepresented communities into roles across the company, particularly through pre-employment and pre-apprenticeship programs.

The construction industry has historically skewed heavily white, especially in management roles. Black workers constitute 12.6% of the overall U.S. workforce, but just 6.7% of construction workers, per 2023 EEOC figures, and only 5.3% of construction management positions. Hispanics are represented at double their numbers in the overall workforce, making up 34.2% of construction workers, though they are “significantly underrepresented” in higher-paying positions, according to the EEOC.

In hopes of changing that, one of Skender’s pre-apprenticeship partnerships is with Genesys Works, a program for youth from underserved communities, providing skills training and career development opportunities. The nonprofit pairs students from certain Chicago Public Schools with Skender. Those students go to school for half the day during the week, then work at the company’s office in the afternoon.

Skender has partnered with Genesys Works for several years and even hired a full-time information technology specialist to provide financial aid to help them go to college at the program’s conclusion.

“It’s been something that doesn’t happen overnight,” Latronico said. “You have to take some chances. And you have to really understand how to support people who may have no experience in construction, what is that going to look like? So lots of meetings, lots of education, lots of volunteerism, to make sure that everyone is bought into it.”

For Latronico, the impact of bringing people into the construction industry who are traditionally underrepresented in the field extends beyond the individuals themselves. These job opportunities can inject wealth into families and introduce communities to people with direct experience in a previously opaque field, she said.

To find groups of people that aren’t from a traditional pipeline of ready-made college graduates with construction-related majors, companies have to do a lot of outreach and look at other avenues to find talent, Latronico said. The untapped talent is important to the construction industry overall, she said, not just at Skender.

“I want … every contractor or even any company to be able to look to those nonprofits and help people,” Latronico said. “We all have a responsibility to do that. I really truly believe that. And I think it can change lives. I think it can change the trajectory of families.”

It’s no coincidence that Latronico is passionate about these types of programs — she came from one herself.

In Latronico’s senior year of high school, she took the train into the city every day around lunchtime and worked for a human resources department, learning how to write recruitment letters and use a computer — not as second nature in 1988 as it is today.

When presented with the opportunity to partner with Genesys Works and high school students, Latronico jumped at the chance to pay it forward.

“​​If it doesn’t work out, that’s OK,” Latronico said. “It’s a leap of faith, we have a super-strong culture, our foundation is strong. We know that we’ve got strong managers and coaches here at Skender. We’re willing to take that chance, we’re willing to take those risks. If it betters someone’s life, we’re going to do it.”

Latronico has been a part of large-scale growth as the company’s longest-tenured employee. When she joined Skender in 2001, the firm had 15 employees and $20M in gross annual revenue. This year, the company rosters 317 employees and enough projects to bring in $600M in gross annual revenue.

Chief Operating Officer Jerry Ball, who joined Skender about 18 months after Latronico, said her ability to create relationships with fellow employees is unmatched.

“Her overall leadership and relationship skills to pull all of that together has been the one single point of taking our culture from a good culture when I came 20 years ago … but then putting it on steroids and taking it to the next level where I would rival the Googles of the world,” Ball said.

It’s one thing to tout qualitative company triumphs — Skender boasts quantitative success as well. The company has earned 30 best-place-to-work awards in the last 15 years from three separate organizations, each based on comprehensive workplace evaluations and employee surveys.

Per a Gallup survey of employee engagement, 76% of the company’s workforce is “engaged.” To put that number into context, the average employee engagement in the U.S. is 32%. Skender’s figure is in line with the engagement levels at companies Gallup defines as “best-practice organizations.”

High engagement levels lead to better client results and increased revenue, Latronico said. Lower turnover is a result, too: Skender’s 2022 turnover rate was at 9.4% compared to a construction industry average of 21.4%, per an oft-cited statistic attributed to the BLS.

Start with engagement, Latronico said, and everything else will fall into place. “I always think about getting people involved in the decision-making process and really letting people have a voice,” Latronico said. “If you give employees a platform for doing that … that can go such a long way.”

That said, maintaining a high-level culture comes with challenges. In difficult situations like the height of the pandemic in 2020, Latronico stressed the importance of leading with vulnerability. Economic impacts of the pandemic led the company to close a manufacturing facility in California and shutter its San Francisco office.

Business leaders might not have all the solutions in tough circumstances, but they have to be available to answer employees’ questions and not shy away from honesty, Latronico said.

“It is not a utopia,” Latronico said. “We are not perfect. No one is, and not every day is this place where you walk in and it’s all sunshine and roses. Some days are hard and we work in a challenging industry. Try and do your best, try to communicate, reach out to people, show that you care about them and take the time to learn about what’s stressing them out or causing any kind of burnout. If you do that, I think that makes a big difference for people.”

Skender VP Brian Kane Moderates Bisnow “State of Life Sciences” Panel Discussion at Chicago Summit

How is the Chicago life science market developing to compete with the industry’s coastal hubs?

On January 23, Skender’s Brian Kane moderated a panel at the Bisnow Chicago Life Science Summit, which explored this question and discussed the past, present and future of the city’s life science market. The panel was made up of Amy Lin of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health; Dr. Suzet McKinney of Sterling Bay; Gary Pachucki of IBT Group; Rob Korslin of Harrison Street; Max Zwolan of JLL; and Singerman Real Estate’s Neil Ostrander.

While the high interest rate environment has certainly slowed life sciences development in the last couple years, signs from the Fed indicate that rates may have hit their peak. As a result, panelists predicted that deal flow in the Chicago life science market would begin moving again once leasing interest and capital picks up in larger markets like Boston, San Francisco and San Diego.

The panelists agreed that Chicago — with its comparatively low cost of living, access to public transportation and close proximity to several large universities — is well-positioned for growth in life science, so long as life science tenants are supported through their growth lifecycles by their landlords. While commercial real estate is often a somewhat transactional experience, in the life science industry, relationships really matter.

In order for life science companies to thrive in Chicago, they need 24/7 from the owners and operators of the buildings they inhabit. From providing space for growth to ensuring that access to critical power isn’t disrupted even during inclement weather, life science tenants in the city are looking for landlords who are willing and able to both understand and provide for their unique needs.

Six Skender Projects Recognized for CoreNet Chicago Awards

We are honored to announce that six Skender-built projects have been named as Project of the Year finalists at this year’s CoreNet Chicago REAL Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements and groundbreaking advancements in corporate real estate. The winners will be announced on January 17, 2024.

The Skender projects being recognized include:

// Salesforce (with IA Interior Architects)
// Vizient (with Partners by Design)
// Confidential Tech Client Event Space (with Stantec)
// VTS (with VVA Project & Cost Managers)
// HNI+Allsteel (with Partners by Design)
// Drive Capital (with Lamar Johnson Collaborative)

Skender Kicks Off 2024 With Key Leadership Promotions to Support Growth, Innovation and Client Service

Skender, one of the nation’s top building contractors, today announced six promotions among its leadership team to support the firm’s strategic goals for growth, innovation and continued operational excellence in the new year.

The promotions are as follows:

Courtney Boatwright, promoted to Creative Director, from Senior Creative Manager. Since joining Skender in 2011, Courtney has steadily embodied Skender’s core values through her internal interactions and her external deliverables alike. Her branding and design talents have long influenced and guided Skender’s marketing initiatives, and her deep impact to the brand’s bottom line has been felt companywide. In her new role as Creative Director, she will be responsible for overseeing all creative production aspects of Skender’s brand, marketing campaigns and initiatives.

Kate Calenberg, promoted to Director of Learning & Development, from Talent Development Manager. Kate joined the Skender team in 2004 and, after a decade in project management, jumped into learning and development, carefully cultivating the new hire onboarding process. Always willing to go the extra mile to mentor employees and carve out time to help collaborate and resolve issues, Kate is extremely process-oriented and works diligently to help other employees embrace those fundamentals. In her new role, she will be responsible for the effective development, direction and presentation of training and development programs for all operational employees.

Patrick Sullivan, promoted to Director of Field Operations, from Senior Superintendent, Team Leader. Since joining Skender in 2015, Patrick has been an invaluable resource in managing field activities and operations for crucial client projects, including recent large-scale buildouts for Salesforce Chicago and Bank of America. His keen insights and communication skills make him an asset in ensuring the fast and safe completion of various projects, and he is adept at executing key construction and administrative activities to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget. In his new role, he will help oversee field operations, guiding projects and teams to safe, timely, on-budget completions.

Brian Bukowski, promoted to Senior Vice President, from Vice President. Brian joined Skender in 2007 and has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. Since 2021, Brian has co-led the Interiors group, focusing on driving financial success, efficient operations, and the team’s vision. Across a wide variety of client experiences in Illinois, and nationally, Brian’s focus is always client satisfaction and continuous improvement. As Senior Vice President, Brian will continue to provide strategic and operational leadership to Skender’s award-winning Interiors group.

Andy Halik, promoted to Senior Vice President, from Vice President. Andy joined Skender in 2011 and has over 18 years of experience in the construction industry. He has a knack for promoting collaboration and partnership among his colleagues, and his keen business sense and ability to nurture client relationships is truly unmatched. Alongside Brian Bukowski, Andy co-leads the Interiors group, focusing on market strategy, client service and motivating the team toward continued growth. As Senior Vice President, Andy will continue to co-lead the award-winning Interiors group with strategic vision and a commitment to growing relationships.

Brian Simons, promoted to Senior Vice President, from Vice President. Brian joined Skender in 2007 and has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. He has steadily advanced his career in operations through his personalized approach to client service and his aptitude for fostering collaboration and cohesion among his teams and colleagues. Since 2020, Brian has led Skender’s Indianapolis office, which was recently expanded and has more than doubled its workforce to support a host of new projects in the Hoosier state. As Senior Vice President, Brian will continue to lead Skender’s Indianapolis construction operations with a focus on delivering the best value for clients.

“We are delighted to kick off the new year with the promotion of these six incredible Skender leaders,” said Justin Brown, President and CEO at Skender. “Each of these talented individuals embody Skender’s deep commitment to client service, community building, operational excellence and high performance and I am excited to see what 2024 brings as they settle into their new roles.”

Grand Opening: Step Inside Chicago’s New Salesforce Office

Last week, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson joined community and business leaders to celebrate the grand opening of Salesforce Tower Chicago and Salesforce’s new workspace (the latter built by Skender).

It’s one of the most notable buildouts in recent Chicago history and we were honored to help bring the vision to reality.

The space features: Employee floors, training floors, amenity floors, terraces, full-service kitchen, barista bar, interconnecting backlit staircase, state-of-the-art conference rooms, custom wood office fronts, SNA digital media walls, biophilic living columns, custom mosaic tile art, etc.

For more details on the impressive new space, watch the video or see the news media coverage below:

// Crain’s Chicago Business
// Connect CRE
// Chicago Tribune
// Chicago Sun-Times
// CoStar
// WGN-TV
// NBC 5 Chicago
// Urbanize Chicago
// Built In Chicago

 

Skender’s 2023 Charitable Giving Provides Support for Affordable Housing, DEI, Education, Income Inequality, Medical Research and More

Skender, a leading building contractor focused on crafting social change through positive impact, continued its legacy of giving in 2023 through a wide variety of charitable donations, volunteer work and civic participation.

Since 2010, Skender has donated more than $8 million to hundreds of charities. In 2023, the firm contributed more than $400,000 to 70+ non-profit organizations, including Northwestern Medicine, IU Health Foundation, American Heart Association, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Over the Rainbow, American Cancer Society, Lurie Children’s Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Steppenwolf Theatre, Easterseals, Epilepsy Foundation, Team Bright Side and Gilda’s Club Chicago.

“Skender has long been centered around four key pillars of social responsibility,” said Lisa Latronico, Chief People Officer at Skender. “Those values include taking responsibility for our employees, our communities, our business and clients, and the environment. Our history has been shaped by our dedication to progressive philanthropy, and it gives me great pride to see the impact of the volunteer work and charitable donations our organization has made in 2023.”

Skender’s 2023 philanthropic highlights include:

ACE Mentor Scholarship: In partnership with ACE Mentor Chicago, a non-profit focused on introducing high school students to the fields of architecture, engineering and construction, Skender awarded its annual $10,000 college scholarship to Ashton Mitchell, a senior at Penn State University who is studying architectural engineering. The scholarship supports the next generation of rising industry professionals, and all ACE Mentor Program alumni are eligible.

Almost Home Kids: Traditions are a meaningful part of the culture at Skender, and each year employees work with Almost Home Kids to buy wish-list gifts and spread holiday joy to families and children dealing with medical complexities.

ASPIRE Monument: In August 2023, Skender unveiled ASPIRE, a new community monument located at 6701 S Wentworth Avenue in Chicago’s historic Englewood neighborhood. This remarkable installation, standing 25 feet tall and crafted by local art activist Maxwell Emcays, commemorates the legacy of the site, formerly home to Kennedy-King College. The artwork celebrates those who foster the academic aspirations of local students and the promise of the area’s future generations to achieve their highest potential.

City of Hope: Skender’s own charity band, the Square Feets (featuring Dan Ulbricht and Courtney Boatwright from Skender, plus other industry friends), once again jammed out at the House of Blues for City of Hope’s 2023 Reach Social benefiting cancer care and research. The event attracted 800 people and raised $228,000.

Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT): Skender continues to provide support to CWIT by participating in their mock interview event for women who are seeking opportunities in the trades. Skender also donated personal protective equipment for the CWIT shop classes.

Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program: Skender believes in fostering relationships with non-profits and schools that provide apprenticeship opportunities to their students, especially in cases when this helps to lessen the financial burden for students who could not otherwise afford a college prep experience. In 2023, Skender was proud to offer two students from Cristo Rey High School in Pilsen apprenticeships in the Workplace Culture and Accounting departments.

Feed My Starving Children: Skender employees attended an event with Feed My Starving Children, which helped to pack 100,000 meals to be distributed around the world.

Genesys Works: For the sixth consecutive year, Skender partnered with the nonprofit Genesys Works to provide pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities.

Greater Chicago Food Depository: Skender hosted two events at the Greater Chicago Food Depository in 2023: An all-company volunteer event and a meal packing day where employees packed enough pasta to provide nearly 10,000 meals for people all across Chicagoland.

Habitat for Humanity: In service to Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, Skender raised nearly $50,000 in 2023 for the global nonprofit housing organization. Additionally, Skender hosted a large Women Build fundraiser event with a performance from the Square Feets and joined three Habitat for Humanity build day events in Chicago and Indianapolis, in which Skender team members volunteered to build homes for families in need of housing.

Joseph E. Gary Elementary School (PK-8) Career and College Days: Skender employees participated in separate College and Career Days at Gary Elementary School, providing insight about construction-related college programs, work experiences and career paths for junior high students. Skender helped students learn about all aspects of the construction business – project management, safety, technology, finance, culture, and marketing.

Memory Rock for Alzheimer’s Association: In another incredible performance, the Square Feets participated in the Memory Rock for Alzheimer’s Association event, helping to raise more than $100,000 for Alzheimer’s research.

Music Will: The Square Feets helped raise over $140,000 while performing at the Music Will Benefit Chicago to support music education in Chicago Public Schools.

Revolution Workshop: To raise awareness about job opportunities in commercial and multi-unit residential construction, Skender hosted a series of Revolution Workshops at multiple jobsites, which allowed participants to shadow workers and see how specific jobs function. As a result, Skender was able to hire a graduate from the Revolution Workshop program, who is currently in a pre-apprenticeship program with the Carpenter’s Union. Additionally, Skender regularly participates in interview days for Revolution Workshop cohorts to prepare them for real-life interviews upon graduation. As part of its DEI goals, Skender annually will sponsor a graduate from RW, a Chicago trade school or other non-profit organization for membership in the Carpenter’s, Laborer’s, or Painter’s union.

The Special Olympics: In February, Skender participated in an annual chair hockey tournament benefiting the Special Olympics.

Women in Construction: Skender is dedicated to providing opportunities for employment, growth and advancement to women in the construction industry. Through the efforts of Chief People Officer Lisa Latronico and Skender’s People & Culture team, women make up 50% of the company’s C-suite and 26% of its leadership team. In the Skender workforce at large, there are 17% female and 35% minority employees.

Fulton Street Cos. and Skender Break Ground on 409,000-square-foot Office Building at 919 W Fulton Street in Chicago

Skender joined developer Fulton Street Companies and community leaders today to celebrate the groundbreaking of 919 W Fulton Street, a new 11-story mixed-use office development in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood. The 409,000-square-foot project marks Chicago’s first major new office development to commence construction in over a year.

The building’s notable tenants will include Chicago-based real estate investor Harrison Street Real Estate Capital and a first-floor restaurant from the Gibsons Restaurant Group.

“Today’s groundbreaking event is a win for Chicago,” said Alex Najem, Founder and CEO of Fulton Street Companies. “We have assembled the very best organizations and companies, led by exceptional people, to remind the world that we can – and will – continue to build in downtown Chicago. Shanna Khan is the definition of exceptional people, and 919 W Fulton would not be possible if not for her belief in the project, her vision as the chief design officer and commitment as the lead equity investor with SNK Capital. As such, Fulton Street is grateful for Shanna, the leadership of Alderman  and Vice Mayor Burnett, our tenants and all of our partners for making this ambitious and remarkable development a reality for our great city.”

The groundbreaking symbolizes Chicago’s strength and robust character, and the new office building will rise as a testament to the city’s enduring strength and vitality.

When completed in 2025, 919 W Fulton will feature expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor terraces on all sides, a rooftop with a lounge and bar, several coworking and conference spaces, fitness center with full locker rooms, and a full-depth, nearly football field-sized basement for 65-stall parking, ComEd vault and mechanicals.

The project pays great attention to air quality, material selection, energy efficiency, wellness and environmental impact, and is pursuing WELL and LEED Silver certifications. With two lobbies—one on Sangamon and one corridor connecting access between Fulton and Lake streets—the address of the finished building will be 217 N Sangamon.

“The Fulton Market neighborhood is a Chicago treasure,” said Shanna Khan, Founder and President, SNK Capital, the lead equity investment partner for the project. “The energy and vibrancy are evident the moment you arrive and, once you’ve visited, it becomes a destination. That’s why I’m passionate about 919 W Fulton. For all that Fulton Street already offers, maybe its greatest asset is its potential. Today, with 919 W Fulton, we are no longer talking about what’s possible … we’re making it happen.”

Skender will be bringing in all new utilities and connecting the new parking garage to the adjacent, existing lower-level parking structure at 210 N Peoria. The basement will feature a sophisticated, full-perimeter earth retention system to structurally support the excavation. Given its location adjacent to the El tracks, the project also required close coordination with the Chicago Transit Authority.

“This development has been more than four years in the making,” said Alex Panici, Vice President, Skender. “We are thrilled to get to work bringing this beautiful development to fruition. The office building with high-end finishes and curated amenities is what today’s companies want. Our team is proud to bring this prominent office building to the nation’s fastest-growing urban office submarket.”

Financial backing for the project was secured through strategic partnerships with Bank of the Ozarks and Manulife with development services by Fulton Street Companies and JDL Development, and SNK Capital assuming the pivotal role as the lead equity investment partner. Skender is serving as general contractor; FitzGerald Associates Architects is the architect of record with Morris Adjimi Architects providing the initial design; Thornton Tomasetti is the structural engineer; Eriksson is the civil engineer; Syska Hennessy Group is the MEP/FP engineer; and site design group, ltd. is the landscape architect.

Skender Completes Interior Buildout on West Loop Office for Fetch

// New bespoke space fuses Chicago’s heritage and modernity to meet diverse employee work styles //

Skender has completed the interior buildout of a new Chicago office for Fetch, the nation’s No. 1 rewards app and leading consumer-engagement platform, founded in Madison, Wisconsin.

The 20,000+-square-foot workspace spans the top three floors at 609 W. Randolph, a new West Loop office building completed in 2022 and built by Skender as general contractor. The finished space features 60 open-concept workstations, three café areas, three all-gender restrooms, 19 conference rooms, 17 phone rooms and a game room outfitted with arcade machines and a pool table.

To meet Fetch’s need for an all-hands space, two of the conference rooms can be combined through the use of an operable partition, then further combined with the neighboring café via the rollup of two glass doors, creating one large integrated area for all-company meetings and events. Additionally, the AV systems in the all-hands space are set up to function seamlessly as both individual rooms and as one cohesive room, a complex programming process that required the company to have its own AV network.

“This move gives Fetch ample room to grow and stretch out,” said Brian Eddy, Project Manager at Skender. “Our team seamlessly embraced the challenges presented by the simultaneous construction on three separate floors as well as the complexities of the AV system setup. Fetch employees now have a modern new office that caters to many kinds of work styles.”

“As a remote-first hybrid company, Fetch empowers employees to design flexible work arrangements tailored to their role, and we’ve structured our operations to maximize collaboration across virtual and in-person environments,” said Rachel Olchowka, Chief People Officer at Fetch. “Physical office space plays a key role in our work and culture by serving as a hub where employees can come together to foster innovation, strengthen connections, and bring our shared values to life.”

Construction started in March 2023 and wrapped up on time in July. In addition to Skender’s role as general contractor, the project team consisted of architect BOX Studios; Lumen Workplace acted as owner’s representative; the engineering and LV engineering was completed by Cosentini and Engineering Plus respectively; CBRE acted as broker.

“We very deliberately chose this boutique setting as the starting point for us to craft a space that embodies our organization’s unique identity and reflects Chicago’s rich heritage,” Olchowka added. “Thanks to Skender, this vibrant new office will help us continue embracing diverse ways of working and fostering inclusivity. We are thrilled to call it our new home and have it serve as the backdrop to our limitless creativity and continued growth.”

Skender Completes Interior Construction on 50,000-SF Office for AIT Worldwide Logistics in Itasca, IL

Skender recently completed construction on an expansive demolition and three-floor buildout for AIT Worldwide Logistics at Two Pierce Place in the Hamilton Lakes Business Park located in Northwest Suburban Itasca, IL. Skender kicked off construction on the two-phase project in February 2023, and completed the project in 22 weeks total (6 weeks of demolition and slab infill,16 weeks of construction).

AIT, a global supply chain solutions company, is occupying floors 20, 21 and 25 within the 25-floor, 494,000-square-foot Class A office tower. The buildout included 210 workstations, 43 enclosed offices, 9 conference rooms, a boardroom, a 2,000-square-foot café with meal prep and seating, a dedicated reception area, and game room, along with several collaboration areas built throughout the floors to boost communication among teammates. The executive floor is a world-class environment designed to support strategic planning and integrated management of AIT’s global initiatives, while providing hospitable surroundings to welcome customers, partners and other visitors.

“This modern, highly visible location is a true manifestation of our global brand, and it provides our corporate staff with both the space and resources they need to best support our customers and teammates around the world,” said Vaughn Moore, Chairman and CEO, AIT Worldwide Logistics.

“One unique element of this project was the removal and infill of an existing staircase, which involved cutting out the stair stringers, adding structural steel beams and a metal pan deck and filling the opening left by the staircase with concrete,” said Brian Eddy, Project Manager at Skender. “We also completely replaced the HVAC equipment and ultimately finished the project ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Skender also completed work on the base building restrooms while leading AIT’s tenant buildout project.

In addition to Skender, which served as general contractor, key participants on this project included: Partners by Design, architect; RLE, owner’s rep; and Advance Consulting Group, engineer.

Skender has recently completed several high-profile buildout projects at suburban and downtown properties for some of the most recognized corporate names. In Oak Brook, Skender built Ace Hardware’s new headquarters at the former McDonald’s corporate campus (the largest suburban buildout since 2018), as well as flagship Chicago offices for Salesforce, Milwaukee Tool, Walgreens and PepsiCo.

Skender Wraps Up Construction of Ace Hardware’s New HQ in Oak Brook, Illinois

The Largest Suburban Build-out Since 2018, the 250,000-SF Project Transformed the Former McDonald’s Corporate Campus into a Modern Workplace for Hardware Retailer

Skender has announced the completion of the 250,000-square-foot build-out of Ace Hardware Corporation’s new headquarters. The project, located at 2915 Jorie Boulevard in Oak Brook, has transformed the main building on the former McDonald’s corporate campus into a vibrant, modern, amenity-filled workplace for the hardware retailer. Construction began on February 16, 2023 and was officially completed on schedule on September 18, 2023. Ace Hardware’s first day of business in the new space was September 25, 2023, and the company held a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 10, 2023.

The Ace Hardware project team includes Skender as general contractor, CBRE Design Collective as architect and Environmental Systems Design as engineer.

The new Ace headquarters consists of open workstations, 150 conference rooms, 12 cafes/pantries and a variety of collaboration spaces and amenities. Originally built in the 1970s and designed by Dirk Lohan, grandson of famed architect Mies van der Rohe, the former McDonald’s campus consists of three Brutalist-style buildings occupying more than 80 acres in Oak Brook. The campus has been empty since 2019, when the fast food giant moved its headquarters to downtown Chicago.

The renovation has repurposed many of the main building’s original architectural elements, including a large atrium in the center that connects the rest of the building, and skywells that allow ample natural light to flow throughout the space. Demountable office and conference fronts were installed, which in addition to being more sustainable and economical than drywall, create functional, soundproof and visually private interior office spaces. They also enable faster construction and provide flexibility for reconfiguration options in the future.

The project team ran all electrical and low-voltage cabling under the entire second, third and fourth floors, which are built on an existing six-inch raised-floor system. To combat external supply chain challenges, Skender worked with Ace Hardware to procure materials earlier than usual and leveraging flexible phasing and work sequencing to further streamline the construction schedule. In addition to Skender’s work on the main building, the landlord converted the first floor of the parking garage into an amenity suite that includes a fitness center, conference center, multi-purpose room, and large cafeteria and dining center with commercial kitchen.

“We’ve worked very closely with Ace from the early pre-construction, budgeting and design phase all the way through completion,” said Tom Walsh, Project Manager at Skender. “The Ace team was always welcomed on site, and as a result, we were able to make adjustments early in the process to ensure their satisfaction. We were able to see first-hand their excitement grow with each construction milestone.”

Watch the video tour of the completed Ace Hardware HQ project:

Skender Completes Construction on Bettinardi Golf’s New Retail Location in Oak Brook

The nearly 7,000-square-foot state-of-the-art retail and performance center will be the go-to hub for putter and wedge fittings in the Chicagoland area.

Skender recently completed construction on Studio B, an immersive shopping and performance center for golf retailer Bettinardi Golf located at 1225 W. 22nd St in Oak Brook, Illinois.

The new, 6,877-square-foot facility is located on the ground floor of a two-tower office complex, adjacent to Michael Jordan’s restaurant. It supplements the retailer’s Tinley Park corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility and features a large boutique shopping area, two private putter fitting bays, custom wedge fitting bay, ample space for events and workshops, and The Hive, a high-end, appointment-only retail space featuring a collection of the rarest Bettinardi products never to hit market.

In addition to building out the new wedge fitting bay, the private putter fitting bays and The Hive shop to provide customers with a deeper customization experience, Skender also created a lounge area with a pantry and constructed two tech-forward branded video walls over the course of the 12-week build.

“The high-end nature of this project meant our team was laser-focused on detail and end-user experience, which made it both challenging and incredibly fun to work on,” said Jacob Boyle, Senior Project Manager at Skender. “The space now provides Bettinardi customers and guests with an intimate and elevated space where they can shop, socialize and host events.

Construction started in May 2023 and wrapped up on time in August. In addition to Skender’s role as general contractor, the project team consisted of architect RGLA and Cresa, which acted as commercial broker and owner’s representative.

Skender Named One of Chicago’s Best Places to Work by Crain’s

Skender has been named one of the “Best Places to Work” by Crain’s Chicago Business for the sixth consecutive year. Of the 100 finalists, Skender ranked No. 4 in the large companies category and No. 13 overall.

Each year Crain’s and an independent research firm determine the best places to work through a comprehensive evaluation and employee assessment of experiences and perspectives. Workplace policies, practices, demographics, benefits and culture are part of the evaluation.

With a focus on collaboration, high-performing teams and process efficiency, this is the seventh time in a decade that Skender has earned the prestigious Crain’s recognition; and makes 29 best-place-to-work awards (by three unique organizations) since 2008.

Collaboration is central to Skender’s character: from our commitment to building meaningful client relationships to our valued trade partnerships to our belief that every voice in our company has value. The result is a truly refreshing project experience for our clients, our partners and our employees.

Skender-built Maywood Supportive Living Wins 2023 Landmarks Illinois Award for Exceptional Preservation

Landmarks Illinois today announced that Maywood Supportive Living is a winner of its 2023 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award, honoring exceptional preservation efforts.

Maywood Supportive Living is a 100-unit, 133,000-square-foot, all-inclusive assisted living facility for low-income seniors. Celadon Partners led the preservation and revitalization of the long-vacant facility.

Over the course of construction, Skender stripped the historic building down to its structure to add modern amenities while taking great care to preserve and restore its natural architectural detail. Built in several different phases between 1929 and 1965, the building features a unique mix of Tudor-Revival and modernist styles. The restoration process included refurbishing the wood trim, stucco and brick facades to their former glory, installing new windows, revamping the first-floor lobby to highlight the original terrazzo floors, replacing the roof, restoring the commercial kitchen and dining area and converting 100 rooms into supportive living units, complete with kitchenettes.

Watch a short documentary on the building of Maywood Supportive Living.

This is the second Skender project to win the prestigious Landmarks Illinois award in five years. In 2018, the historic rehabilitation and office-to-residential conversion of Elgin Tower won the same preservation award for adaptive reuse.

Skender, Sterling Bay, and Lamar Johnson Collaborative Celebrate the Unveiling of Aspire Monument

Skender, alongside Chicago real estate development firm Sterling Bay, and design firm Lamar Johnson Collaborative (LJC), today unveiled ASPIRE, a new community monument located in Chicago’s historic Englewood neighborhood at 6701 S Wentworth Avenue. This remarkable installation, standing 25 feet tall and crafted by local art activist Maxwell Emcays, commemorates the legacy of the site, formerly home to Kennedy-King College. The artwork celebrates those who foster the academic aspirations of local students, and the promise of its future generations to achieve their highest potential.

Commissioned by Sterling Bay with construction and architectural design support from Skender and LJC, ASPIRE stands as a symbol of hope, inspiration, and achievement, capturing the indomitable spirit of all Englewood students who dream big. Environmental Systems Design (ESD) provided electrical and structural engineering support.

“ASPIRE was curated to celebrate the virtuosity of Englewood’s scholars and to highlight the transformative impact that education has on shaping brilliant futures,” said Keiana Barrett, Chief Diversity & Engagement Officer at Sterling Bay and longtime Englewood resident.

“With this monument, and the community-forward development plans we will soon announce for this site, we hope to strengthen the legacy of enterprise and collective growth in Englewood, while providing inspiration and inclusion to its residents for years to come.”

For over 18 months, the three firms and Emcays conducted several in-person meetings with neighborhood stakeholders to solicit feedback on various themes to inspire the artwork. Over the course of these discussions, it was agreed that capturing the spirit of achievement and ambition to foster pride and unity amongst local youth would be a meaningful message to memorialize. “My passion and hope for Englewood inspired the creation of this piece,” said Emcays. “It is a visual reference for the limitless potential of the community.”

Emcays was introduced to Sterling Bay by Andre and Francis Guichard, owners of the renowned Gallery Guichard in Bronzeville. “The Englewood monument by Maxwell Emcays is a powerful symbol that unites the community and inspires individuals to embrace shared values, cultural diversity, and a sense of historical continuity,” said Andre and Francis Guichard. “It can serve as a catalyst for positive change, fostering unity, understanding, and personal growth among community members and visitors alike.”

The base of the installation features an embedded time capsule, which houses artifacts chosen by Englewood community organizations, illustrating the character of the neighborhood. “The 6th Ward is the ward of innovation, equity, and advocacy,” said Alderman William E. Hall. “This statue is a reminder of where we came from, and a beacon of hope for the future.”

The collaboration between Sterling Bay, Skender, LJC, and Maxwell Emcays exemplifies the power of corporate-community partnerships in supporting local arts and culture. “Englewood’s schools and its dedicated teachers have educated incredibly talented students over many generations, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of countless young people born and raised in this neighborhood,” said Alex Panici, Vice President at Skender. “We hope that by memorializing the achievements of students of the past, future generations are reminded of what’s possible with the power of education.”

Lamar Johnson, Founder & Executive Chairman of LJC, adds, “This memorial expresses the vitality, energy, and aspirations of the Englewood community. We are incredibly proud to be a part of this creative team and see this memorial shine day and night.”

Skender Awards Annual Scholarship to Support Next Generation of Rising Industry Professionals

Skender recently awarded its annual $10,000 college scholarship to Ashton Mitchell, a senior at Penn State University, studying architectural engineering.

In 2022, Skender launched its scholarship program in partnership with ACE Mentor Chicago, a non-profit focused on introducing high school students to the fields of architecture, engineering and construction. The scholarship supports the next generation of rising industry professionals, and all ACE Mentor Program alumni are eligible.

Skender’s inaugural scholarship recipient was Alondra Santos, then a rising senior at the University of Illinois Chicago majoring in civil engineering. After graduating, Santos joined Skender’s healthcare construction team as a project engineer.

More information about the scholarship is available at https://acementorchicago.org/

Skender Breaks Ground on Fifth City Commons Affordable Housing Complex in East Garfield Park

Skender joined Mayor Brandon Johnson and several other community leaders yesterday to celebrate the groundbreaking of Fifth City Commons, a 43-unit affordable housing complex and retail space set to transform 1.5 acres on Chicago’s West Side, which have been vacant for decades.

Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) was selected by the City of Chicago in 2019 to develop the vacant space as part of the global C40 Reinventing Cities competition for designing highly sustainable developments on urban sites.

As general contractor, Skender will bring to life a three-story, mixed-use building offering innovative, affordable, sustainable one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units for East Garfield Park residents who make between 30% and 80% of the area median income. The project will include community rooms, a resident terrace and fitness room, three laundry rooms and on-site management offices.

“Fifth City Commons and the City of Chicago, with its commitment to and investment in sustainable affordable housing, transportation, and energy efficiency will demonstrate the impact cities and the built environment can have on climate change,” said Mayor Johnson. “More than 100 years after Chicago showed the world how to design and build skyscrapers, today we are poised to lead the way in the development of sustainable affordable housing. As Mayor, and as a West Sider – I could not be more excited.”

The complex will be all-electric, with sustainable features such as triple pane windows and air sealing to lower the building’s energy needs in accordance with Passive House principles. Two-thirds of all its energy needs will be supplied by rooftop solar panels. The property will also have mature landscaping, EV charging stations, extensive bicycle parking, and on-site composting.

“It is a privilege to work on the construction of such a sustainable development with POAH and the community,” said Joe Pecoraro, Project Executive at Skender. “We are excited to see the positive impact this building will have on the West Side.”

The City of Chicago provided the bulk of the financing for the development in the form of Tax Increment Financing and HOME investment Partnership Program assistance, sales tax bonds, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and tax-exempt bonds.

Skender will serve as general contractor in a joint-venture partnership with Ashlaur Construction; architects Perkins + Will and Nia; and engineering firms dbHMS, Rubinos & Mesia Engineers, Omni Ecosystems and TERRA Engineering.

Skender Announces Key C-Suite and Senior Workforce Promotions To Support Premier Client Service, Drive Further Growth

Skender, one of the nation’s top building contractors, today announced multiple C-suite and senior workforce promotions. This evolution in the firm’s leadership was strategically planned to support Skender’s premier construction services, nurture its existing culture of operational excellence, and provide its team of top talent with a wide range of opportunities to advance in their careers.

Promotions are as follows:

Lisa Latronico, promoted to Chief People Officer, from VP of People and Culture. Lisa joined Skender in 2001 and has overseen the HR function since 2006. An advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, under her watch Skender has boosted its representation of women in the company to 25%, well above the industry average of 11%. Under Lisa’s leadership, Skender has earned 29 “best place to work” awards from three different awarding organizations. In 2020, she was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of Chicagoland’s “Notable Leaders in HR,” an annual list that recognizes HR leaders who have made a significant impact within the local business community. In her new role as Chief People Officer, Lisa will be focused on maintaining the company’s award-winning culture, introducing learning programs that align with company growth, and finding and hiring the industry’s top talent.

Stacy Laughlin, promoted to Chief Financial Officer, from Controller. Stacy joined Skender in 2012. Over the last 11 years, she has built a cohesive finance and accounting team, helped to introduce and integrate forward-looking financial technology such as Procore and Power BI, enhanced the budgeting process and advanced the company’s financing capabilities. In her role as Chief Financial Officer, Stacy will be responsible for overseeing the financial and technology teams and providing strategic leadership to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies, while also managing the preparation of financial statements, audits and tax reports.

Jerry Ball, promoted to Chief Operating Officer, from Chief Financial Officer. Since joining Skender in 2003, Jerry has been a key member of the company’s executive leadership team, directing financial, risk management, administrative and operational initiatives. In his new role as Chief Operating Officer, Jerry will be focused on cultivating a people-first, “one-Skender” mindset, providing employees with training, mentorship and coaching, building client relationships, enabling cross-market synergies and providing everyone in the company with the tools and resources for optimal performance.

Clint Siebert, promoted to Director of Technology, from IT Manager. In his eight years at Skender, Clint has taken the company almost entirely into the cloud while at the same time growing and mentoring a team of IT professionals. His deep understanding of the needs of the business and how technology can help position Skender as a solutions-driven firm has enabled the company to stay in front of security matters, create a scalable infrastructure, and provide innovative connectivity and access to all Skender jobsites and offices. In his new role as Director of Technology, Clint will manage and direct the company’s IT and construction technology operations, ensuring the department continues to provide efficient and effective technical support service across all verticals and corporate teams.

Ryan Cotter, promoted to Preconstruction Executive, from Senior Preconstruction Manager. Since joining the firm in 2016, Ryan has proven himself to be a true collaborator with Skender’s developers, architects, engineers, consultants and trade partners, and has helped to create a comprehensive vision for the firm’s preconstruction services. In his new role as Preconstruction Executive, Ryan will be further expanding the preconstruction team and enhancing the firm’s estimating and preconstruction services, as well as leading client relations to strategize the estimating of projects company wide.

“Skender’s excellence as a company is due to the unparalleled talent and dedication of the people who work here,” said Justin Brown, President and CEO at Skender. “These strategic updates not only reward the hard work of these five individuals, but they also open up exciting new opportunities for the broader Skender team and enable our corporate departments to continue working in sync to deliver the premier construction experience our clients have come to expect. I’d like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to them all!”

Skender Completes “Evolution of an Icon” Construction, Part of Ambitious Repositioning Project at THE MART

Skender recently completed construction on an expansive, centralized tenant amenity space and upgraded public corridors in one of Chicago’s most iconic buildings, THE MART (formerly Merchandise Mart). The bold repositioning initiative, coined “Evolution of an Icon” by building owner Vornado Realty Trust, features dramatic improvements to four key areas on the historic building’s second floor: a 29,000-square-foot circulation area, a 21,000-square-foot conference center, a 23,000-square-foot fitness center and a cozy, 2,000-square-foot private tenant lounge.

“This was four unique projects in one, with complex mechanical, electrical and plumbing work in a historic, occupied building,” said Rob Shilney, Senior Project Manager at Skender. “The architectural landmark is home to one of the largest office buildings in the world with significant foot traffic, so proactive planning, safety and communication were critical success factors. I am incredibly proud of the project team for expertly managing construction and delivering such a beautifully revitalized space on a very tight timeline.”

In the circulation area, which connects the building’s north and south lobbies and the CTA “El” train stop on the second floor, Skender added new Terrazzo flooring, metal portals and drywall soffits. New lounge seating – sourced from design showrooms at THE MART – was also installed to create a welcoming environment that echoes the building’s Art Deco roots.

The new conference center is composed of 15 state-of-the-art meeting rooms, accommodating 1 to 300 people, including a large flexible programming space that features Skyfold partitions, foldable glass walls, four 163-inch LED screen walls and high-end stone, millwork throughout. Located off the second-floor corridor, the conference center also has a relaxing workspace with phone booths, lounge seating, a pantry and a satellite service area for catered events.

The new, 23,000-square-foot fitness center was built with a golf simulator, high-end locker rooms with tech-forward features like infrared saunas, a spin-cycle room, a mind-body room and soundproof flooring to ensure no sound disturbance in the interior design showrooms below. Additional amenities in the health club include a small retail area and room for a future juice bar.

Overlooking the river is the new tenant-exclusive, speakeasy-inspired lounge with two large pendant chandeliers, high-end millwork and a unique bar combining metal, wood and stone materials.

The project team consisted of owner Vornado Realty Trust, architect Gensler, engineer IMEG Corp., and Skender as general contractor.

Two Skender Projects Earn “Coolest Offices” Honor from Crain’s Chicago Business

This week, Crain’s Chicago Business announced its selection of the coolest offices in Chicagoland. Two Skender-built projects earned recognition:

HAVI: Skender recently completed interior construction of the new headquarters for supply chain management firm HAVI. The space spans the top four floors of 345 N Morgan – an office building that also earned standalone recognition for being one of Chicago’s “Coolest Offices” by Crain’s (details below). HAVI’s workspace features custom millwork with a mix of wood and metals, Allsteel demountable office fronts with wood doors, striking lighting and branding elements, a town hall space with a custom concrete gas fireplace, pantries on each floor, lab and video editing areas, a mix of huddle and conference rooms, and substantial audiovisual features.

The project team included Savills as project manager, Partners by Design as architect, Syska Hennessy as engineer, Henricksen as the furniture dealer, and Skender as general contractor.

345 N Morgan: In October 2022, Skender completed new construction of the hospitality-infused office and retail development for Sterling Bay. The 200,000-square-foot building, located in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood, was intentionally designed for a lifestyle work environment with amenities and workspaces built for flexibility. The amenity-rich building includes private outdoor terraces on each floor, a 5,000-square-foot roof deck with sweeping views of the Chicago skyline, a conservatory bar and lounge with a double-sided fireplace, a full-service fitness center, a coworking library and several high-tech conference spaces to meet the evolving needs of an increasingly virtual workforce.

The project team, which swiftly completed the building in just 13 months, included Eckenhoff Saunders Architects, JLL Construction and Skender.

Skender Wins General Contractor of the Year Award for Second Consecutive Year

For the second consecutive year, Skender was named the General Contractor of the Year (Office) at the Illinois Commercial Real Estate Awards, hosted by REjournals. Skender’s workforce diversity, industry expertise, and achievements in new construction and interiors during the previous calendar year were recognized.

Skender’s 2022 accomplishments include:

>> Completing the substantial renovation of 3500 Lacey in Downers Grove, IL
>> Starting Phase II of Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Nourish Project
>> Giving back with volunteering and charitable contributions to education, health and affordable housing
>> Completing Torrence Place, a three-story, mixed-use affordable housing and health clinic development in Lansing, IL
>> Completing the award-winning 345 N Morgan, a new hospitality-infused office and retail development by Sterling Bay
>> Completing the 133,000-SF redevelopment of a 93-year-old historic property in Maywood
>> Breaking ground on 741 N Wells (The Leo), a 201,000-SF multifamily rental and retail tower in River North
>> Completing the award-winning lab and workspace for Hazel Technologies in Fulton Market
>> Breaking ground on a 250,000-SF medical office building in downtown Indianapolis
>> Completing Milwaukee Tool’s Chicago office in the historic Old Post Office
>> Completing Vista Property’s 609 W Randolph office building in West Loop
>> Completing the new workspaces for Equity LifeStyle, CCC Intelligent Solutions and Sloan
>> Completing Mustacchi Manor, a three-story, 16-unit supportive living apartment community in Matteson, IL

In addition to back-to-back General Contractor of the Year (Office) honors, Skender won Science Project of the Year for Hazel Technologies.

Skender Starts Renovation of Two 17-Story Apartment Buildings on Chicago’s West Side

Skender and its joint venture partner, Blackwood Group, have started the extensive renovation of two west-side senior living apartment buildings for the Chicago Housing Authority and Michaels Development. As occupied rehab construction, the project team is coordinating and carefully sequencing the work to ensure safe, smooth delivery with minimal interference with resident lives.

Irene McCoy Gaines Apartments. Located at 3700 W Congress Parkway in East Garfield Park, the 17-story, 150-unit property was built in 1964 and is undergoing substantial renovations to all units, including the updated HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. New amenity spaces, such as a redesigned dining and community room, an exterior courtyard, and upgraded laundry spaces will be added.

Albany Terrace Apartments. Located at 3030 W 21st Place in South Lawndale, the 17-story, 350-unit senior complex was built in 1974 and is also undergoing a significant rehabilitation to upgrade resident units, amenity common spaces, and HVAC systems. Electrical and plumbing systems will also be replaced, and an additional elevator will be installed to meet residents’ needs.

New flooring, paint, LED lights, and kitchens and baths, including air conditioning and thermostats, will be installed in all units at both buildings. In addition, internet connectivity and Wi-Fi will be upgraded in all common areas and units.

Skender and Blackwood Group are collaborating with CHA and Michaels Development as well as Canopy / architecture + design on this project. Work is expected to be complete in the second half of 2024.

Pictured: Albany Terrace Apartments (top and second), Irene McCoy Gaines Apartments (bottom and third)

Skender Completes Construction of Avant Headquarters in Merchandise Mart

Skender recently completed construction on the new 81,000-square-foot Avant headquarters in the Merchandise Mart. The financial technology company’s office features open workstations, multiple cafés, and a mix of collaboration, conferencing and focus spaces, including a large hub / town hall area. The new workspace doubles Avant’s presence in Chicago and provides for flexibility and growth.

Following an aggressive 16-week schedule, Skender completed the project on time and under budget. Avant relocated from 222 N LaSalle St. and began operating from the new headquarters in January 2023.

The project team included CBRE as tenant representative, Gensler as architect, Syska Hennessy Group as engineer and Skender as general contractor. In the past decade, Skender has built out and renovated approximately 2 million square feet of workspace at theMart and is currently working with owner Vornado Realty Trust on the iconic property’s ambitious repositioning initiative.

Skender Completes Buildout of Northwestern Medicine Pain and Spine Center in Bloomingdale, Illinois

Skender recently completed the buildout of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Pain and Spine Health Bloomingdale. The multidisciplinary clinic is located at 245 Gary Avenue and provides collaborative medical office space for pain medicine specialists, neurosurgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists and advanced practice nurses.

The 12,000-square-foot project was comprised of a comprehensive renovation of the first floor including new imaging equipment, patient care areas, and physical therapy specialty spaces.

Along with the clinical buildout, the building underwent significant infrastructure upgrades including new electrical service and transformer, as well as multiple crane lifts to replace four rooftop mechanical units on a highly condensed schedule to limit impacts to existing tenants.

“Teamwork is critical, especially when it comes to healthcare construction,” said Brian Kane, Vice President at Skender. The construction firm has collaborated with Northwestern Medicine on more than 200 projects since 2008. “This project, like so many others, was a success thanks to proactive planning, true collaboration and regular communication among all players.”

Skender Expands Indiana Office and Workforce to Support Construction Projects Throughout Hoosier State

With a focus on creating maximum value for clients, Skender’s Indiana construction activity spans healthcare, municipal, office and industrial sectors

A whirlwind of growth and relationship building is driving a significant expansion into Indiana for Skender to the tune of more than one million square feet of healthcare, office and government construction projects. Skender recently moved into a larger Indiana office, located in the Keystone area of North Indianapolis, and more than doubled its workforce in the state to support a host of new projects under construction and in the planning stages. The move marked a prominent milestone for the firm, which has spent the last 60 years building a reputation for construction distinction in Illinois—and now is poised to do the same in Indiana.

Skender’s presence in the region began prior to the pandemic in early 2020 when Indiana University Health (IU Health), one of the country’s largest healthcare institutions, brought Skender in to assist with significant expansion and upgrades to IU Health facilities in Indianapolis and around the state. The IU Health projects ranged from new construction to simple cosmetic updates and had the potential to shape whole neighborhoods in key Indiana markets like Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Bloomington, bringing communities to the forefront with improved access to healthcare.

Brian Simons, a Skender veteran and Purdue University alumni, relocated to central Indiana to head up location operations, with a focus on expanding relationships with clients, architects, brokers, and trade partners. Simons recruited talented local professionals to enhance resources and relationships, and in less than 24 months, the team grew to 11 construction professionals. Skender is now positioned with more than one million square feet of construction experience across Indiana, and the firm’s Indiana office is projecting more than 400% revenue growth in 2023 with projects spanning healthcare, municipal, office and industrial sectors.

Skender’s recent and active work with IU Health includes the following projects:

 >> Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center. Skender joined the F.A. Wilhelm team to build the new IU Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center near the campus of Indiana University. The state-of-the-art, 620,000-square-foot complex, which opened in December 2021, consists of in-patient and out-patient clinical services, and 115,000 square feet for academic instruction.

>> Capitol View Medical Office. Skender is partnering with Meyer Najem Construction on a new five-story, 250,000-SF medical office building that is part of IU Health’s expansion across downtown Indianapolis. With expected completion in summer 2023, the LEED Silver certified project will be a shining example of sustainability features and high-energy performance.

>> West Hospital Clinics. Skender managed the renovation of IU Health West Hospital’s Outpatient Clinic and the expansion of its Infusion Clinic in Avon, Indiana, a near-west suburb of Indianapolis. The Outpatient Clinic was previously occupied by a third-party outpatient operator and IU Health integrated it into their network. The Infusion Clinic project included the renovation of an existing infusion clinic, adding new infusion bays, adding a compounding pharmacy and modernizing all finishes. It opened in late 2022.

>> Saxony CT Replacement. Skender managed the replacement of the CT Equipment at IU Health’s Saxony campus in Fishers, a northeast suburb of Indianapolis. This project required the construction and activation of a mobile CT unit to enable the replacement of the permanent interior CT equipment. The project was completed ahead of the aggressive December 2022 deadline set forth by the hospital.

In addition to its work with IU Health, Skender has also been building a reputation in Indiana that has landed the construction firm additional projects, which help to strengthen community by providing better access to healthcare and government services:

>> Adult & Child Health. Skender will soon start the interior buildout of a 40,000-square-foot clinic and office for this nonprofit healthcare provider.

>> Aspire Indiana Health Clinic. A nonprofit healthcare provider now has a new full-service clinic on northeast side of Indianapolis, serving an urgent need for acute care in the area.

>> Jane Pauley Community Health Centers. Four health center projects ongoing or completed by Skender are now providing medical and mental health services in Central Indiana. The timing couldn’t be better. The centers have reported a doubling in the number of patients who need behavioral health services since COVID hit the U.S.

>> Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center Renovations. Skender is underway on a multi-phase renovation of the existing Hamilton County Judicial Center, which includes the addition of multiple courtrooms and support spaces. The recently completed first phase at the Judicial Center included the opening of two new magistrate courtrooms and support spaces.

>> Greenwood Healthcare Center Expansions. Skender is under construction on three separate medical clinic/office expansions in Greenwood, allowing enhanced services for a community in need. Expected completion in March 2023.

“I’m humbled by our growth and opportunities in the great state of Indiana,” said Brian Simons, Vice President at Skender. “It takes a village and we couldn’t have made it this far without our clients, partners and talented Indianapolis team, who offer strong market expertise, personal connections and tailored solutions to all sectors and industries. The future is bright and I’m excited to increase our impact on the communities in which we serve.”

Photo: Progress on our IU Health Capitol View Medical Office Building project

Skender Starts Construction of Ace Hardware’s New Headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois

The Largest Suburban Build-out Since 2018, the 250,000-SF Project Will Transform Former McDonald’s Corporate Campus Into Modern Workplace for Hardware Retailer

Skender has started construction on the 250,000-square-foot build-out of Ace Hardware Corporation’s new headquarters. The project, located at 2915 Jorie Blvd., will transform the main building on the former McDonald’s corporate campus into a vibrant, modern, amenity-filled workplace for the hardware retailer.

The project will consist of open workstations, 150 conference rooms, 12 cafes/pantries and a variety of collaboration spaces and amenities. Originally built in the 1970s and designed by Dirk Lohan, grandson of famed architect Mies van der Rohe, the former McDonald’s campus consists of three Brutalist-style buildings occupying more than 80 acres in Oak Brook. The campus has been empty since 2019, when the fast food giant moved its headquarters to downtown Chicago.

“We are excited to be working with Skender to modernize this iconic campus to serve the needs of our growing business,” said Kane Calamari, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer at Ace Hardware. “Once complete, the new office will bring all of our employees together in one building to better collaborate and serve our shareholders for many years to come.”

The renovation will reuse and retain many of the main building’s original architectural elements, including a large atrium in the center that connects the rest of the building and skywells that allow ample natural light to flow throughout the space. The project team will be installing demountable office and conference fronts, which in addition to being more sustainable and economical than drywall, create functional, soundproof and visually private interior office spaces. They also enable faster construction and provide flexibility for reconfiguration options in the future.

The Skender team will be running all electrical and low-voltage cabling under the entire second, third and fourth floors, which are built on an existing six-inch raised-floor system. To combat external supply chain challenges, Skender is working with Ace Hardware to procure materials earlier than usual and leveraging flexible phasing and work sequencing to further streamline the construction schedule. In addition to Skender’s work on the main building, the landlord will be converting the first floor of the parking garage into an amenity suite that includes a fitness center, conference center, multi-purpose room, and large cafeteria and dining center with commercial kitchen.

“We are delighted to partner with Ace Hardware on the restoration and revitalization of this beautiful space,” said Tom Walsh, Project Manager at Skender. “These buildings were designed to blend in with the area’s natural features with future expansion and evolution in mind, and it’s great to be able to update an existing structure to fit the needs of a modern workforce.”

The project began construction in February 2023 with an anticipated completion date in mid-to-late 2023. The Ace Hardware project team consists of Skender as general contractor, architect CBRE Design Collective and engineer Environmental Systems Design, Inc.

Watch the video of demolition kicking off the Ace Hardware HQ construction project:
https://youtu.be/sjM54ba5UXE

Skender Wins Top Safety Award

Skender recently won the Safety Achievement Award from the Great Lakes Construction Association (GLCA). The award recognizes outstanding safety achievements during 2022 in the category of 500,000+ hours worked. This is the third time Skender has earned GLCA’s top safety award since 2016 and totals seven construction safety awards won since 2013.

Skender’s blended approach of safety, production and quality is part of its Lean, human-centric project delivery. Our certified safety team develops comprehensive, job-specific safety plans, which consist of weekly project inspections, meticulous planning, predictive analysis, reporting systems and diligent coordination and communication with all stakeholders. Another measure of safety in the construction industry is the experience modification rate (EMR), which the National Council of Compensation Insurance uses to calculate the past cost of injuries and future chance of risk. Skender’s EMR is 43 percent better than the national industry average.

Construction Tops Out at 741 North Wells, a 21-Story Multifamily Rental and Retail Tower in River North

Developer VISTA Property and its general contractor, Skender, recently reached the final height at 741 N Wells Street, a new mixed-use multifamily rental building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Designed by Antunovich Associates, the 21-story, 201,000-square-foot development will include 168 apartment units, communal tenant amenities and an elegant building lobby. Located prominently at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Wells Street, 741 N Wells is one of the latest new developments going up in River North.

“We are thrilled to be adding another beautiful mixed-use property to one of the city’s most vibrant and lively areas,” said Ark Latt, Chief Development Officer, VISTA Property. “Our thanks goes out to the teams at Skender and Antunovich Associates for their hard work throughout this process, and to the 2nd Ward alderman and community for their ongoing partnership and collaboration.”

The multifamily building will include 50 studios, 101 one-bedrooms and 17 two-bedrooms, as well as a rooftop terrace with pool, meeting facilities, exercise area, bicycle storage and parking for roughly 50 vehicles. The building will include expansive floor-to-ceiling windows on all facades, along with exceptional 9-foot ceiling heights offering unique views for all residents.

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside VISTA and Antonovich Associates again,” said Lauren Bauer, Senior Project Manager, Skender. “This topping out is a celebration for our trade partners. They work incredibly hard to deliver a quality building and keep the project on track.”

VISTA Property financed the project with a first mortgage loan from Huntington Bank, and has also engaged Luxury Living Chicago Realty, downtown Chicago’s premier marketing, consulting and residential leasing brokerage firm.

The project team consists of: VISTA Property (developer), Skender (general contractor), Antunovich Associates (architects) and Luxury Living Chicago Realty (marketing/sales).

Skender Completes Complex Landlord Construction Project at 225 W. Wacker Drive

Extensive upgrades throughout the West Loop office tower bring luxury, function and a tribute to the Chicago River  

Skender today announced the completion of a landlord capital improvement project at 225 W. Wacker Drive in Chicago, a 31-story, trophy-class office tower located in Chicago’s West Loop submarket, fronting the Chicago River. The 651,000-square-foot building is owned by San Francisco-based Spear Street Capital, who hired Skender as general contractor to concurrently manage three different construction projects at the property. Valerio Dewalt Train is the architect of record and New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is the designer.

Skender began the process of renovating the building’s lower lobby and Franklin Street entrance, fourth-floor amenity space and roof deck in summer 2021. Substantial construction wrapped up in November 2022, and the revitalized building is an example of how Chicago’s downtown office towers can evolve to accommodate a more hybrid workforce.

The first completed phase was the building’s dedicated tenant amenity floor. The reenergized amenity space features operable Skyfold partitions for flexible conferencing options; lush botanicals and plantings; high-end audio/visual offerings; and commissioned art incorporating minerals from the Chicago River, which pays homage to the building’s striking riverway backdrop. Custom architectural millwork gives the space a warm and luxurious feel that invites tenants in to work, chat or rest.

Connected to the fourth-floor interior space is a completely redesigned open-air terrace with gardens. The Skender team overcame weather-related challenges to install extensive plantings and vegetation while also ensuring proper water filtration and drainage, a complex undertaking for urban roof decks. To execute the stunning design, Skender successfully tied into the existing building for visual continuity, punched openings for curtainwall, removed stone to add a new membrane, and redesigned the vestibule area for better interior temperature control.

For the redesigned building lobby, the Skender team was able to expertly navigate a complex construction process while keeping the space fully functioning for office tenants, and high-end materials are now taking center stage.

“The project team was committed to using high-end stone from Italy, which despite supply chain and shipping challenges, was well worth the extra time to install,” said Tim Rogers, Project Executive at Skender. “It’s just stunning and really creates a sense of arrival. It incorporates horizontal graining to represent the Chicago River, and the backlit onyx stone gives the turnstiles a sense of fresh luxury.”

For the flooring, wood was added for warmth and light, and an overhead slab was cut in one section to achieve double-ceiling height. On the exterior, there is a brand-new curtainwall on the Wacker Drive side, and a refreshed entrance on the Franklin Street side. An arresting new light fixture and reception desk serve as memorable welcoming points for visitors and tenants alike.

Skender worked hard to strike the right balance of speed, cost effectiveness and agility, and together with Valerio Dewalt Train Architects, the team was able to find solutions to every issue encountered by making decisions through collaboration and communication. Despite extra supply chain challenges related to the highly custom materials, Skender was delighted to complete the entire three-part project of seamless construction without disruption to tenants over the course of 16 months.

Cushman & Wakefield served as management and owner’s representative on this project. OEHME, VAN SWEDEN (OvS) served as the landscape architects of the rooftop terrace. Syska Hennessy Group served as MEP engineer.

To learn more about 225 W Wacker Drive, visit: https://www.225westwacker.com/

Skender Adds Four Shareholders, Announces Five Executive and Project Management Promotions

Skender today announced the appointment of four new shareholders along with five executive and project management promotions. Skender is a privately held, leadership-owned building construction firm dedicated to providing employees with ample opportunity for advancement and success in their careers.

The new Skender shareholders are as follows:

Brian Kane, also promoted to Vice President, from Project Executive. Brian Kane joined Skender in 2008 as a Project Engineer and has over 15 years of experience in the construction industry. As Vice President, Brian will continue to lead Skender’s specialized healthcare and life sciences construction teams on various hospital, outpatient and laboratory projects. He has completed numerous projects on behalf of Northwestern Medicine, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Loyola Medicine, NorthShore and others. Brian earned a degree in engineering from the University of Illinois.

Alex Panici, also promoted to Vice President, from Project Executive. Alex joined Skender in 2016 as Project Manager and has over 15 years of experience in the construction industry. As Vice President, Alex will continue to lead new construction office, hotel and high-rise residential project teams. He recently led ground-up construction projects in the Chicago CBD including 345 N. Morgan, an 11-story office building in Fulton Market and 609 W Randolph, a 15-story office project in the West Loop. His team is currently leading construction at 741 N Wells, a 21-story mixed-use residential building in River North. Alex earned a degree in construction management from Illinois State University.

Dan Stefka, Field Operations Manager. Dan Stefka has more than 35 years of construction-related experience. He joined Skender in 2013 as a job site foreman. As Field Operations Manager, Dan is responsible for scheduling workforce, equipment and logistics and ensuring overall safety of the site.

Dan Torres, CHST, STS-C, Safety Director. Dan Torres has 20 years of construction experience, including 14 years as a commercial union carpenter and 15 years as safety professional. Dan is a certified fall protection inspector, first-aid CPR trainer and OSHA outreach trainer and holds multiple certifications from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

The four new shareholders join existing shareholders Justin Brown, Jerry Ball, Dan Marijan, Afshan Barshan, Clay Edwards, Lisa Latronico, Brian Simons, Brian Bukowski, Joe Pecoraro, Tim Rogers, Andy Halik, Todd Andrlik, Dan Ulbricht, Ashlee Pforr, John Estes, Pete Conlin, Patrick Sullivan, Luke DeTolve, Brian Ribordy, Jeff Krause, and Stacy Laughlin. All shareholders were appointed based on their outstanding leadership, client service, work ethic, loyalty, ability to be team players and devotion to Skender’s core values.

Additional Skender promotions are as follows:

Lauren Bauer, promoted to Senior Project Manager, from Project Manager. Lauren joined Skender in 2019 as a Project Manager and has over a decade of experience in the construction industry. Lauren’s role as Senior Project Manager involves preconstruction, job-start planning and management of commercial ground-up projects in the City of Chicago. Her team recently completed construction of 609 W Randolph in the West Loop. She is currently managing construction at 741 N Wells, a 21-story mixed-use residential building in River North. Lauren earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Taylor Betthauser, promoted to Project Manager, from Project Engineer. Taylor joined Skender in 2018 and has five years of experience in the construction industry. In her new position as Project Manager, Taylor is responsible for managing the day-to-day details of construction projects including scheduling, change orders, invoicing and progress reports. She has helped deliver numerous healthcare construction projects for Northwestern Medicine and Lurie Children’s Hospital. She has also worked on tenant interiors projects such as LinkedIn and Brookfield Properties. Taylor earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Ben Miltzow, promoted to Director of Self-Perform, Carpentry, from Manager. Ben joined Skender in 2019 and has more than 20 years of experience in the construction industry. In his role, Ben oversees Skender’s in-house carpentry capabilities, working with Skender project teams and clients to effectively schedule and estimate carpentry services while managing projects, coordinating trades and ensuring the highest levels of quality.

“I am grateful for the hard work each of these individuals have put in over this past year to meet the complex and evolving needs of our clients and our business, especially given the unprecedented nature of our current industry environment,” said Justin Brown, President and CEO, Skender. “Our team at Skender is truly top tier and it’s been incredibly gratifying to watch these smart and talented people develop into powerful and effective leaders.”

Skender Completes Comprehensive Repositioning Project at 3500 Lacey in Downers Grove

Extensive lobby and amenity updates bring upgraded sophistication to former Sara Lee headquarters

Skender today announced the completion of a landlord capital improvement project at 3500 Lacey, located at the convergence of Interstates 355 and 88 in Downers Grove, Illinois. The former Sara Lee headquarters was built in 1992 and was purchased by KORE Investments in 2019. In May 2022, Skender began renovating the 622,600-square-foot building’s lower lobby, main lobby and fitness center. The revitalized building is an example of how Chicago’s suburban offices can evolve to compete with their downtown counterparts.

Skender served as general contractor for this project, working with OKW Architects to create a fresh and updated space for 3500 Lacey tenants to enjoy. The striking office building is also home to the Esplanade Lakes Ballroom, a wedding venue operated by DoubleTree. Adding to project complexity, the office building lobby was used on weekends as a cocktail area. Skender was able to successfully coordinate construction to allow these events to go on as planned and without disruption. Skender used scissor lifts rather than scaffolding to allow for discrete construction and was able to keep the lobby aesthetically pleasing during weekends.

“This was a substantial remodel project and truly an amazing construction journey with Skender,” said Anne Esterquest, Vice President of Operations at KORE Investments. “3500 Lacey is a trophy office tower and these enhancements, along with our technology integrations, add substantial value for our existing first-class tenant experience. We couldn’t be more delighted with how things turned out. The investment fully embodies KORE’s people-centric values and community-affirming culture.”

In the building’s primary lobby, Skender worked with structural engineers to add two new primary light fixtures to the 68’ ceilings, totaling nearly 2,000 pounds. The new lighting provides a welcoming aesthetic at the new reception deck and accompanying colorful seating options. Portions of the wood paneling and wall stone were swapped out for a modern black and metal design that highlights the lobby’s existing Terrazzo flooring.

A bar area serving morning coffee and pastries and evening happy hour drinks was built, along with library-style desks for hybrid work, and plants were added throughout the building to enhance the feel of the space. The building’s custom app provides tenants with important building information and updates as well as an order-ahead system that syncs with the new coffee bar for grab-and-go food and beverages.

On the lower level, Skender upgraded the area that serves as a connection to amenities and the wedding venue. Skender worked with a specialist to stain the complex existing wood floors and added plantings. A state-of-the-art fitness center including showers and lockers is also complete.

“In the face of global supply chain constraints and inflation, Skender worked hard to find the right balance of speed and cost effectiveness and, together with OKW Architects, we were able to provide solutions to every issue we encountered and made decisions together as a team,” said Tim Rogers, Project Executive at Skender. Skender frequently partners with building owners and their property management teams for major asset repositioning projects and a full range of landlord construction services. In 2022, the firm won Interior Contractor of the Year for owner projects at the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards.

JLL served as management and owner’s representative on this project.

To learn more about 3500 Lacey, visit https://koreinvest.com/properties/lacey/

Skender Starts Phase II of the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Nourish Project

The second phase of the food bank’s expansion project will help to address the root causes of hunger across Chicago and Cook County

Skender has started construction on a 37,000-square-foot expansion of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a food bank on Chicago’s Southwest side that provides food for families and individuals at risk of food insecurity while advancing a mission to end hunger. The new structure at 4100 W Ann Lurie Place will add onto the food bank’s existing two-story warehouse and office.

To aid in the Food Depository’s goal to produce and distribute 2.5 million prepared meals annually to community members, Phase II of the Nourish Project will expand the light industrial facility to include a commercial kitchen for meal preparation and packaging, and a demonstration kitchen for nutrition education. The project also includes 11.5 acres of site work with parking for volunteers, guests and fleet, as well as space for growing fresh produce in the future.

“The Greater Chicago Food Depository is excited to move forward with Skender on this transformational project,” said Kate Maehr, Executive Director and CEO of the Food Depository. “This expansion of our facility will directly result in more healthy prepared meals for our neighbors at increased risk of hunger, including older adults, people with disabilities, individuals with medical conditions, and other households. We look forward to the day the first meals are produced in our new commercial kitchen and delivered to households across our community. This is a vital step in our mission to end hunger.”

The Food Depository completed Phase I of the Nourish Project in 2019, which expanded cold storage, upgraded the existing warehouse, and created new and renovated spaces for their volunteer program. The first phase renovations have been essential throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as demand for food assistance soared to record levels.

As the need for prepared meals is projected to increase dramatically, Phase II will allow the Food Depository to reach target populations who have experienced unique barriers to food access during the pandemic, now and in the future. The new phase will also include a community partnership strategy that aims to increase the total number of healthy meals distributed by purchasing meals from local minority and women-owned businesses and community organizations.

“The Greater Chicago Food Depository has been a beacon of hope since its founding more than 40 years ago,” said Justin Brown, President & CEO, Skender. “This expansion will enable the organization to provide 10,000 healthy meals every day while serving as a catalyst for economic impact through essential partnerships with women- and minority-owned businesses. It’s an honor to serve as general contractor on a project that will positively impact the lives of so many in our community.”

The Nourish Project is driven by a $75 million capital campaign. Phase II of the project is expected to reach completion in early 2024. Partners by Design is the project architect.

To learn more about the Nourish Project, visit: https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/get-involved/give/nourish/

Skender Gives Back in 2022 with Volunteering and Charitable Contributions to Education, Health and Affordable Housing

Skender, a building contractor with a long history of giving back to the community, continued its philanthropic legacy in 2022 by supporting dozens of non-profit organizations through volunteering, charitable giving and civic participation.

“Doing good and giving back matters deeply to our team,” said Justin Brown, President & CEO at Skender. “We are driven to make real change through our ongoing community-building and philanthropic initiatives, and it’s incredibly gratifying to see the positive impact that our contributions can have on those in need.”

Recognizing its responsibility to the world and striving to build a legacy of integrity, Skender focuses its philanthropic efforts on four pillars of social responsibility: People, communities, business and clients, and the environment. Skender concentrates much of its charitable giving on supporting education, health and affordable housing initiatives. Since 2010, Skender has donated nearly $8 million to 300-plus nonprofit organizations.

Skender’s 2022 philanthropic highlights include:

Habitat for Humanity: As part of Habitat for Humanity Chicago’s Women Build program, Skender raised more than $30,000 for the global nonprofit housing organization. Skender team members volunteered at multiple Habitat for Humanity build days throughout the Chicagoland area, helping to build homes for families in need of affordable housing. In 2022, Skender’s Ashlee Pforr was named to Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity’s Board of Directors.

ACE Mentor Chicago: In 2022, Skender launched a scholarship program in partnership with ACE Mentor Chicago, a non-profit focused on introducing high school students to the fields of architecture, engineering and construction. The $10,000 scholarship supports the next generation of rising industry professionals. Skender’s inaugural scholarship recipient was Alondra Santos, a senior at the University of Illinois Chicago who is majoring in civil engineering. In addition to the scholarship, Skender’s Brian Bukowski served on ACE’s Fundraising Host Committee.

City of Hope: Skender’s Dan Ulbricht and his band, the Square Feets, performed at the 25th Anniversary REACH Social to raise money for the treatment of cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Dan, a guitarist and vocalist, started performing at charitable fundraisers 20 years ago, and since then has helped bring the industry together to raise millions for City of Hope, Alzheimer’s Association, Music Will, Federation of Women Contractors, and many more.

National Alliance on Mental Illinois (NAMI) Chicago: After five hours of competitive bracket play, Skender won Bisnow’s 3×3 charity basketball tournament, resulting in $35,000 in winnings going to the NAMI’s Chicago Office, one of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organizations dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Genesys Works: For the fifth consecutive year, Skender partnered with nonprofit Genesys Works to provide pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities.

Almost Home Kids: Traditions are a meaningful part of the culture at Skender and each year our employees—er, elves—work with Almost Home Kids to buy wish-list gifts and spread holiday joy to families and children dealing with medical complexities.

Skender is shaped by progressive philanthropy, a focus on people and vibrant community-building initiatives. Our history of compassion includes charitable contributions to these 300-plus organizations.

 

Skender Completes Construction of Mixed-Use Development Connecting Housing and Healthcare in Lansing, Illinois

The Joint Venture with Ashlaur Construction Brings Accessible Housing and Healthcare for Veterans and People with Disabilities

Skender, in conjunction with joint venture partner Ashlaur Construction, recently completed the new construction of Torrence Place, a three-story, mixed-use affordable housing and health clinic development at 2320 Thornton-Lansing Road in Lansing, Ill. Developed by Full Circle Communities, this project provides 48 accessible and adaptable units with a focus on veterans and people with disabilities. The finished building includes a 3,600-square-foot health clinic and pharmacy on the ground floor operated by Christian Community Health Center.

Additional resident amenities include a community lounge and patio, a library, a computer lab, on-site laundry, storage lockers, a fitness center and on-site supportive services. The earth-toned exterior and timber frame structure underscore the building’s quality and sustainability. Torrence Place is certified as an Enterprise Green Communities Building for its high sustainable standards and intent to reduce environmental impact and improve resident health. The building features eco-friendly paint, coatings, plumbing fixtures, lighting, heating equipment and appliances.

“When you put together a team with a common mission to strengthen the community, the results speak for themselves,” said Joe Pecoraro, Project Executive at Skender. “The addition of a health clinic added an extra layer of purpose that heightened our passion for this project. We built more than a housing development; we built a sense of belonging, wellness and comfort.”

The project team included Full Circle Communities, Christian Community Health Center, Skender, Ashlaur Construction, architect Cordogan, Clark & Associates and CAGE Civil Engineering. Torrence Place opened its doors to residents in late October 2022.

Five Skender Projects Earn “Coolest Office” Recognition by Crain’s Chicago Business

This week, Crain’s Chicago Business announced its selection of the coolest offices and coolest singular features that stand out from other workplaces. Five Skender projects earned recognition.

Coolest Offices: TrueBlue
TrueBlue’s 80,000-square-foot headquarters was built out in the redeveloped Old Post Office. The office’s coolest feature, according to Crain’s, is a massive ceiling installation, or architectural cloud, which doubles as a sound dampener and defining focal point. Other highlighted attributes include the lobby’s “unmistakably laid-back vibe with its cognac-colored leather chairs and floor-to-ceiling steel frame panels,” as well as brick, wood, leather and steel features throughout.

Best Staircase: CCC Intelligent Solutions
CCC Intelligent Solutions’ radiused staircase is a stunning centerpiece in their new headquarters at 167 N Green Street in the Fulton Market neighborhood. The distinctive stairs connect the ninth and eighth floors of the 140,000-square-foot workspace, which was designed and built to support the company’s growth and innovative culture.

Best Rooftop Space: Hazel Technologies
Hazel Technologies was one of the first tenants to move into 320 N. Sangamon Street, a new 13-story office building in Fulton Market with impressive rooftop views. The two-story, 54,000-square-foot lab and office build-out was one of Chicago’s first office-to-lab conversions with several infrastructure customizations, specialty equipment and finishes.

Best Custom Mural: Stream Realty Partners
Stream Realty’s mural is a kaleidoscope of patterns, hand-painted by Chicago artist Kate Lewis.

Best Game Room: iManage
iManage’s game room features board games, video games, pingpong and countertop taps. “The geometric lights on the slatted ceiling add a playful touch” to this fun, collaborative work environment.

“The personality of our clients shines through their workspaces,” said Andy Halik, Vice President, Skender. “We’re grateful for the work, the partnerships, the recognition and all the hard work that made these offices remarkable.” Click here for the full list by Crain’s Chicago Business.

 

 

Skender Completes Construction of 345 N Morgan, a New Office and Retail Development by Sterling Bay

Lifestyle Workforce Design Drives the Development to 85% Pre-Leased

Skender today announced the completion of the new 200,000-square-foot boutique office and retail building located at 345 N. Morgan in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood. Skender acted as general contractor in the construction of the new building, which was developed by Sterling Bay. The building was intentionally designed for a lifestyle work environment with amenities and workspaces built for flexibility. The building is already 85% leased with tenants expected to start occupying in March 2023.

New tenants of 345 N Morgan can completely customize their workplace experience and inspire a dynamic, modern workforce. The amenity-rich building includes private outdoor terraces on each floor, a 5,000-square-foot roof deck with sweeping views of the Chicago skyline, a conservatory bar and lounge with a double-sided fireplace, a full-service fitness center, a coworking library and several high-tech conference spaces to meet the evolving needs of an increasingly virtual workforce.

Designed by Eckenhoff Saunders Architects, 345 N Morgan offers timeless style, unbounded potential and an environmentally friendly design. The building is seeking LEED certification, and its floor-to-ceiling windows will provide tenants with abundant natural lighting and views of one of the city’s most vibrant and dynamic areas. The design aesthetic also includes arched windows and welded metal accents as a tasteful nod to the neighborhood’s manufacturing past.

“The Skender team was proud to work with Sterling Bay, JLL Construction and Eckenhoff Saunders Architects on this beautiful building,” said Justin Brown, President & CEO, Skender. “So much hard work, effort and collaborative communication went into the completion of this project, and we are excited for this new Fulton Market cornerstone to become a home away from home for all the tenants who will soon be moving in and making the space their own.”

The building was swiftly completed in just 13 months. “Our aggressive schedule, especially through global supply shortages, was possible thanks to a decisive owner, high-performing project team, amazing trade partners and persistent communication,” said Marty Barrett, Senior Project Manager, Skender.

Skender is also building out five floors of tenant interiors at the property, including four floors for supply chain management firm HAVI Group and one floor for office furniture designer/manufacturer Allsteel.

To learn more about 345 N Morgan, visit: https://sterlingbay.com/properties/345-north-morgan/

Skender Completes Redevelopment of 93-Year-Old Historic Property in Maywood

The 100-Unit Maywood Supportive Living Project Provides Affordable Housing for Low-income Seniors

Skender today announced the completion of its latest adaptive re-use project, Maywood Supportive Living, a 133,000-square-foot all-inclusive assisted living facility for low-income seniors located at 316 Randolph St. in Maywood, Illinois. To create the 100-unit supportive care center, developer Celadon Partners hired Skender as general contractor to transform the former Central Baptist Home, which has been on the State of Illinois’ National Register of Historic Places since 2017.

Over the course of construction, Skender stripped the historic building down to its structure to add modern amenities while taking great care to preserve and restore its natural architectural detail. Built in several different phases between 1929 and 1965, the building features a unique mix of Tudor-Revival and modernist styles. Skender’s restoration process included refurbishing the wood trim, stucco and brick facades to their former glory, installing new windows, revamping the first-floor lobby to highlight the original terrazzo floors, replacing the roof, restoring the commercial kitchen and dining area and converting 100 rooms into supportive living units, complete with kitchenettes.

“Skender is a true strategic partner, a problem solver and exactly the collaborator we needed to take on a complex redevelopment project like this,” said Scott Henry, Principal, Celadon Partners. “With their team’s depth of experience and out-of-the-box thinking, they proactively brought solutions that positively impacted the team, the project and the community.”

Residents of Maywood Supportive Living can enjoy a wide variety of supportive services and amenities designed to promote personal comfort and peace of mind. The restored building features an in-house beauty salon, a wellness clinic, a laundry room, a general store, a recreation area and lots of lounge areas where inhabitants can relax and socialize with one another. As a supportive living facility, Maywood is an affordable community for older adults living independently who may need financial assistance and on-site nursing support services.

“It’s been a great collaboration with Celadon and an exciting journey to watch our high-performing team breathe new life into such a grand, historic and distinctive space,” said Afshan Barshan, Senior Vice President at Skender. “We are thrilled to see residents begin to move in and enjoy all the amenities.”

In addition to managing the construction, Skender provided design-build mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection services on this project. Design was provided by Gleason Architects. Financing was arranged by NDC Corporate Equity Fund, KeyBank, US Bank, and the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

The redevelopment process began in June 2021 and took just 14 months to completion. Residents began moving into Maywood Supportive Living August 31, 2022.

 

Skender Breaks Ground on 741 North Wells, a 201,000-SF Multifamily Rental and Retail Tower in River North

Developer VISTA Property and its general contractor, Skender, broke ground today on 741 N Wells Street, a new mixed-use multifamily rental building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Designed by Antunovich Associates, the 21-story, 201,000-square-foot development will include 168 apartment units, communal tenant amenities and an elegant building lobby. Located prominently at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Wells Street, 741 N Wells is one of the latest new developments going up in River North.

“River North is booming. People want to live and work in dynamic live-work-play neighborhoods that form the heart of downtown Chicago,” said Ark Latt, Chief Development Officer, VISTA Property. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Ald. Brian Hopkins and the entire 2nd Ward to contribute a real estate asset that supports and enhances a strong community.”

The multifamily building will include 50 studios, 101 one-bedrooms and 17 two-bedrooms, as well as a rooftop terrace with pool, meeting facilities, exercise area, bicycle storage and parking for roughly 50 vehicles. The building will include expansive floor-to-ceiling windows on all facades, along with exceptional 9-foot ceiling heights offering unique views for all residents.

“I am incredibly proud of our team and the hard work that has gone into planning and coordinating this project before any shovels hit the ground,” said Justin Brown, President & CEO, Skender. “We’re thrilled to be working with VISTA Property and Antunovich again. This is going to be another impressive building for the neighborhood.”

VISTA Property financed the project with a first mortgage loan from Huntington Bank, and has also engaged Luxury Living Chicago Realty, downtown Chicago’s premier marketing, consulting and residential leasing brokerage firm.

“We are excited to help execute VISTA Property’s first large-scale multifamily property in Chicago,” said Aaron Galvin, CEO of Luxury Living. “Having collaborated with VISTA, Antunovich and Skender throughout the development process, we are confident this property will set a new standard for boutique luxury rentals in River North.”

The team of VISTA Property (developer), Skender (general contractor) and Antunovich Associates (architects) recently completed 609 W. Randolph, a 15-story boutique Class A commercial office building serving as a gateway to Fulton Market.

Skender Wins Bisnow’s Inaugural Tournament of Champions 3-on-3 Charity Basketball Competition

After five hours of competitive bracket play, Skender earned the top spot at Bisnow’s first annual Tournament of Champions 3-on-3 charity basketball competition. Skender’s team went undefeated with $35,000 in winnings going to the team’s chosen charity, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chicago. Ticket proceeds were donated to C.H.A.M.P.S. Male Mentoring Program. The tournament was played on the penthouse basketball court at 167 Green Street in Fulton Market.

Skender Wins 2022 General Contractor of the Year Award

Skender was named the General Contractor of the Year (Office) at the 2022 Illinois Commercial Real Estate Awards, hosted by REjournals on July 13. Nearly 1,000 industry professionals attended the award ceremony. Skender’s workforce diversity, industry expertise, and achievements in new construction and interiors during the calendar year 2021 were recognized.

In January 2021, Skender broke ground on 609 W. Randolph, a 15-story office building in the West Loop for Vista Property. Designed for health and sustainability, the property is built for WELL and LEED certifications.

In February, Skender completed 200,000 SF of interior construction for Walgreens in the Old Post Office. Skender has led more than 600,000 SF of interior construction in this historic redevelopment.

In March, Skender collaborated with developer Fulton St. Companies and tenant Herman Miller to complete 1100 W. Fulton, a five-story, 45,000-SF office and retail redevelopment that included significant historical masonry preservation. Skender delivered a custom Fulton Market office building in just 12 months, under budget.

Also in March, Skender completed the 536,000-SF Bank of America office buildout at 110 N. Wacker. The 17-story project was one of the largest interior projects in recent Chicago history.

In June, Skender began the historic redevelopment of Maywood Supportive Living, a five-story, 133,000-SF project at 316 Randolph Street in Maywood.  The existing building—built in two phases beginning in 1929— has long sat vacant. With architectural details intact, the redevelopment will provide 100 units of affordable, supportive living housing with substantial in-house healthcare and nursing amenities.

In August, Skender broke ground on 345 N. Morgan, a 200,000-SF office and retail building for Sterling Bay in Fulton Market. The project will include private outdoor terraces, a 5,000-SF roof deck, a coworking library and a conservatory lounge.

Skender’s 2021 projects included life science and lab construction. In November, Skender started on the 54,000-SF office-to-lab conversion at 320 N. Sangamon in Fulton Market.

In addition to this General Contractor of the Year (Office) honor, Skender recently won Interior Contractor of the Year (Owner Projects) at the Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Real Estate Awards.

Skender Announces Management Promotions

Today, Skender announced management promotions for six rising leaders at the Chicago-based commercial construction firm. Skender would like to congratulate the following on their recent promotions:

Marty Barrett, Senior Project Manager. Marty joined Skender in 2017 and has 12 years of experience in the construction industry. Marty has worked on over 2.5 million square feet of projects throughout his career, including some of Chicago’s most notable healthcare and commercial projects. He earned a degree in civil engineering from Marquette University.

Tony Scott, Senior Project Manager. Tony joined Skender in 2015 and has nine years of experience managing day-to-day activity of interior construction projects throughout Chicagoland. Tony has been involved in more than 1 million square feet of projects. He earned a degree in building construction technology from Purdue University.

Kelly Allen, Project Manager. Kelly joined Skender in 2020 and has seven years of experience in the construction industry. An integral part of her project teams, Kelly is currently dedicated to a high-profile, 485,000-square-foot interior construction project in Chicago. She earned a degree in civil and environmental engineering from Villanova University.

Jack Bauschelt, Project Manager. Jack joined Skender in 2017 and has eight years of experience in the construction industry. Recently, Jack has been a key part of Skender’s Indianapolis team, working closely on projects for Indiana University Health, such as the new regional academic health center in Bloomington and the Capitol View medical office building in downtown Indianapolis. He earned a degree in business administration and management from Purdue University.

Zuli Cortes, Project Manager. Zuli joined Skender in 2019 and has 11 years of interior construction experience. Most recently, Zuli was part of the teams that delivered a 32,000-square-foot renovation for a Chicago-based law firm, and new amenity space at 225 W Wacker. He earned a degree in construction engineering and management from Marquette University.

Colleen O’Brien, People & Culture Manager. Colleen joined Skender in 2013 and has advanced through several project- and people-oriented roles. She is instrumental in many Skender programs such as internships, talent acquisition, process automation, Lean Coffee, and high-performing teams training. She earned degrees in communications and psychology from the University of Illinois Chicago.

“These are collaborative and hardworking leaders who guide our high-performing teams to deliver quality and value-driven projects for our clients,” said Lisa Latronico, Vice President of People & Culture, Skender. “We congratulate Marty, Tony, Kelly, Jack, Zuli and Colleen for their exceptional work as we strive to deliver the premier construction experience.”

Skender Launches Scholarship, Recognizes First Recipient

We proudly introduce our first-ever ACE+Skender scholarship recipient, Alondra. She is a rising senior at the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in civil engineering and helping pave the way for more women seeking careers in architecture, construction and engineering.

Skender partnered with ACE Mentor Chicago to offer an annual $10,000 scholarship to support the next generation of rising industry professionals and align with our ongoing efforts to attract more women to construction. Three cheers for Alondra!

Skender Nearing Completion of Renovation and Expansion at Indiana University Health West Hospital Clinics

Skender, serving as construction manager, is advancing on the renovation of Indiana University Health (IU Health) West Hospital’s Outpatient Clinic and expansion for its Infusion Clinic at 1111 Ronald Reagan Parkway in Avon, Indiana, a near-west suburb of Indianapolis. Employees of IU Health West Hospital recently participated in a ceremonial wall signing to celebrate the start of final construction stages.

The Outpatient Clinic was previously occupied by a third-party outpatient operator and IU Health is integrating it into their network. The Infusion Clinic project includes the renovation of an existing infusion clinic, adding new infusion bays, adding a compounding pharmacy and modernizing all finishes. By increasing the infusion bay capacity by 40%, the clinic will allow IU Health to continue serving patients requiring intravenous methods of receiving medicine. The compounding pharmacy will allow IU Health’s pharmacists to tailor medications to patients’ unique needs onsite.

Work on the clinic started mid-April. The Outpatient Clinic is scheduled to be open in July while the Infusion Clinic will be ready for operations in August, with the compounding pharmacy active later in the fall. Skender is collaborating with architect ArcDesign, interior designer Four Point Design and MEP engineer BSA LifeStructures.

Skender Completes Interior Office Renovation for Law Firm Ice Miller in Chicago’s Loop

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed the gut renovation for the Chicago office of law firm Ice Miller LLP. The newly renovated 34,000-square-foot office spans two floors in 200 W. Madison. The workspace features a monument staircase that connects the floors, demonstrates the collaborative nature of the firm and its new office, and serves as a gathering spot for employees.

Ice Miller’s modernized workspace focuses on accommodating the law firm’s growth with more open desks, offices and collaborative, small-group destinations throughout. The flexible workplace now includes a reception area that can open up to accommodate large gatherings and a café off the staircase connecting floors 35 and 36. Another modern feature of the new office is an open ceiling, which increases room height and spaciousness.

“When embarking on this overhaul of our office space, we wanted to plan for flexibility and growth, as well as create opportunities for our employees to naturally bump into each other, leading to collaboration that might not otherwise happen,” said John Burke, Office Managing Partner, Ice Miller. “Skender understood this goal and built our space to perfectly support our team.”

“Many law firms are building office spaces to cultivate a culture of equality and teamwork, and the physical space can certainly support these objectives,” said Mike Muehring, Senior Project Manager, Skender. “Our team has extensive experience with delivering workplaces with feature staircases, collaborative spaces and cafés that encourage team building, and we’re incredibly proud to have brought this kind of space to life for Ice Miller.”

Skender collaborated with architect NELSON Worldwide and engineer Kent Consulting Engineers (KCE) to complete Ice Miller’s office renovation.

Skender Completes Construction of Lab and Office for Hazel Technologies at 320 N. Sangamon in Chicago’s Fulton Market

Skender recently completed construction on the interior build-out of the two-story, 54,000-square-foot lab and office space for Hazel Technologies, a USDA-funded technology company developing solutions to extend the shelf life of fresh produce. Hazel is one of the first tenants to move into 320 N. Sangamon Street, the new 13-story Fulton Market office building developed by Tishman Speyer and Mark Goodman & Associates. Hazel selected space at 320 N. Sangamon, which was planned and built as an office building with ground-floor restaurant and retail, because of the location and building amenities, providing an opportunity to convert brand-new office space for lab usage.

As developers and building owners begin offering options in Chicago to convert office space into lab space for life sciences firms, Hazel’s move into 320 N. Sangamon represents one of the first completed conversions in the city. For many life sciences companies growing in Chicago, repurposing space for lab needs in an urban office building provides employees with an amenity-forward, accessible and turnkey experience.

“The new space gives Hazel Tech a phenomenal foundation for today and tomorrow’s innovative projects that will revolutionize the supply chain and drive a step-change in food waste reduction,” commented Adam Preslar, CTO and co-founder of Hazel Technologies. “We combine facilities for molecular biology, postharvest agronomy, biochemistry, and materials science into an integrated space for maximum cross-pollination between our top-tier scientific teams.”

Amidst the unprecedented supply chain crisis and ongoing volatility with building materials costs, this project required careful coordination to procure and install both standard construction materials as well as special lab equipment in time for move-in. Hazel’s lab space required several infrastructure customizations, such as new air handling, general exhaust and fume exhaust, new boilers, and uninterrupted power supply generators with capacity to manage all the lab equipment and technology. Specialty equipment and finishes include fume hoods, snorkel hoods, negatively pressured lab spaces, and acid- and solvent-resistant finishes.

“The ability to convert two floors of 320 N. Sangamon was the perfect solution for Hazel Technologies’ condensed schedule and complex technical needs. A truly creative approach was needed to make the conversion possible, and capitalizing on in-place restaurant infrastructure was a key differentiator,” said Jason Utah, Senior Project Manager, Skender. “Our team’s proactive planning and project management allowed us to overcome volatile lead time issues by employing early procurement packages for lab and mechanical equipment to deliver the labs and offices on time.”

Hazel is moving from its current location at University Technology Park at Illinois Tech in Bronzeville to accommodate its plans to double its local workforce to approximately 100 people in 2022. The build-out includes space for open research laboratory and lab support, as well as 10,000 square feet of administrative and office space and 5,000 square feet of collaboration space, including several sizes of meeting rooms, huddle rooms, and prep and tasting rooms.

Skender collaborated with developers Tishman Speyer and Mark Goodman & Associates, tenant representative CBRE, architect Perkins & Will and engineer Cosentini Associates on this project.

Skender Wins 2022 Interior Contractor of the Year Award

Last Thursday, May 19, Skender was named the 2022 Interior Contractor of the Year (Owner Projects) at the 34th Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards.

The awards are considered the top honors in the Chicago commercial real estate industry and the dinner event is the largest annual fundraiser for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Skender was a finalist in three categories and its 2022 trophy made four Interior Contractor of the Year awards in the last eight years.

Among the Skender projects highlighting its landlord work was 43,000 square feet of spec suites in the Old Post Office. That project included 11 divisible office suites plus an accompanying amenity space with two conference rooms, a reading room and a library. The space featured unique historic touches, including mosaic tiles as well as salvaged doors from Old Post Office storage that were reworked and reinstalled along the corridor of the space.

In addition to the Chicago Real Estate Awards, Skender recently earned 2022 Interior Build-out of the Year by the Chicago Building Congress for its construction of Walgreens’ new tech hub office at the Old Post Office. Skender has built more than 600,000 square feet of workspace in the redeveloped Old Post Office at 433 West Van Buren.

 

Skender Completes Construction of Sloan’s New Showroom and Office in Fulton Market

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed construction on the flagship showroom and office space for Sloan, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial plumbing systems.

Located at 333 N Green St in Chicago’s Fulton Market District, the project serves as Sloan’s largest showroom in North America. It features custom millwork, operable sliding glass doors and product displays showcasing Sloan’s touch-free, sustainable and aesthetic product offerings. The open office consists of Falkbuilt demountable partitions, which enclose perimeter private offices.

Skender collaborated with architect Lamar Johnson Collaborative, project manager CBRE, and engineer Syska Hennessy.

More project news and photos: Building Design & Construction

Skender Project Wins 2022 Interior Build-out Award

Walgreens’ new tech hub office at the Old Post Office Chicago recently won the 2022 Interior Build-out Award from the Chicago Building Congress. The project team included Skender as the general contractor; Mace as owner’s representatives; Stantec Inc. as architect and engineering firm; and the Walgreens construction and architecture departments.

The new Walgreens Technology Center of Excellence is a 200,000-square-foot, open-office workspace in the redeveloped Old Post Office at 433 West Van Buren. The office, which was finished during the COVID-19 pandemic, is home to hundreds of employees, including e-commerce, mobile, pharmacy technology and digital team members as well as Walgreens Boots Alliance Information Technology personnel.

The expansive office spans multiple levels and buildings of the Old Post Office development and features a signature staircase, open and private offices, collaboration and conferencing spaces, data rooms, and kitchen and lounge spaces.

Click here to learn more about the project.

Skender Begins Structural Construction for Indiana University Health Capitol View in Downtown Indianapolis

Skender, a leading construction firm based in Chicago and Indianapolis, announces its work with Meyer Najem Construction on the new Indiana University Health (IU Health) Capitol View medical office building and parking garage. IU Health is currently undergoing a major transformation and expansion within its downtown Indianapolis medical campus. The new facility is located on two city blocks bordered by Capitol Avenue on the west, Muskingum Street on the east, 14th Street on the south and 16th Street on the north.

The project consists of a new 250,000-square-foot medical office building (MOB) and 310,000-square-foot precast concrete parking structure that has 939 parking spaces, connected with a pedestrian bridge. The structural steel MOB will be finished with an appealing façade blend of curtain wall, metal panels, masonry and Indiana limestone. The project team is pursuing LEED Silver certification due to the property’s numerous sustainability features and high energy performance.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with IU Health to deliver the best healthcare experiences for patients in Indianapolis,” said Brian Simons, Vice President, Skender. “This urban infill site has been a topic of intense scrutiny for more than a decade, and now, the promise of revitalization to the surrounding neighborhood is a reality. The project requires skillful coordination with public transit and heavy urban traffic, and our entire construction delivery team is rising to the occasion to ensure streamlined project execution with minimal neighborhood disruption.”

The project has been under construction since November 2021 and is now beginning the structural phase of construction with anticipated delivery in summer 2023. Skender is on the core construction delivery team with contractor Meyer Najem, architect atelierRISTING, MEP and civil engineer Circle Design, structural engineer Lynch, Harrison & Brumleve (LHB), and a team of dedicated trade partners.

Skender Completes Construction of Milwaukee Tool’s Chicago Office in Historic Old Post Office

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed construction on an engineering design and innovation space for leading jobsite solutions developer Milwaukee Tool in Chicago’s Old Post Office. The 70,000-square-foot space is located on the third floor of the south building and encompasses 10,000 square feet of research and development lab space and 60,000 square feet of open and private offices. The office space includes a large collaboration space called the Beehive, as well as a training room and multiple medium-sized conference rooms. The firm’s first engineering office outside of Wisconsin signifies its growth efforts to attract the top Midwestern technical talent.

The lab space provides room for the company’s engineers to develop innovative ways to solve problems that make the brand’s end users safer and more productive. It includes a sound-controlled testing room for use-cycle testing on batteries and power tools, as well as thermochambers for longevity and lifecycle testing. In such a historic building, the McGuire engineering team secured a variance request with the City of Chicago so Milwaukee Tool could house special pieces of equipment in the lab to give them the capabilities for this to be a state-of-the-art facility.

To meet Milwaukee Tool’s immediate space needs, Skender split the project into two separate permits to expedite the lab space for the team of engineers who needed access to the lab as soon as possible. The construction team was able to navigate through the ongoing supply chain crisis to deliver the entire space in 20 weeks – with an expedited turnover in 12 weeks for the lab space overlapping with the 16-week build-out for the office space.

“As Chicago’s lab sciences sector continues to expand, this project demonstrates the complexities in the sector and the required collaboration to bring them to life,” said Jacob Boyle, Senior Project Manager, Skender. “Our building team’s seamless coordination with Milwaukee Tool allowed us to deliver the space as quickly as they needed it.”

Skender collaborated with owner’s rep JLL, architects Nelson and SPS and engineering firm McGuire to build Milwaukee Tool’s Chicago headquarters. Skender has also entered into an official partnership with Milwaukee Tool to streamline access to its power tools and products on future projects in the midst of a supply chain pinch.

Skender Named a Finalist for Three Prestigious Industry Awards

Skender is thrilled to be a finalist for three awards at this year’s Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Real Estate Awards — both Interior Contractor of the Year categories for owner projects and tenant projects as well as the Redevelopment of the Year category.

Skender delivered on its promise of incomparable results and maximum value across a broad range of interiors and new construction projects in 2021. During a period of continued uncertainty around pandemic and supply chain disruption, Skender continued to provide reliable, responsive and effective counsel to clients, including developers, owners and tenants across multiple sectors. The 1100 W Fulton project, up for Redevelopment of the Year, featured the best of all construction worlds — new construction, historic preservation and cutting-edge interiors. The collaboration with developer Fulton St. Companies and Herman Miller delivered a custom, five-story office and retail building ahead of schedule and under budget.

Every step of the building process is collaborative and we are grateful for all those who helped make our 2021 construction projects a reality.

Skender Completes Construction on Vista Property’s 609 W. Randolph, a Next-Generation Office Building

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed construction on 609 W. Randolph, an innovative boutique office building in Chicago’s West Loop. The 15-story building offers over 100,000 square feet of office space, as well as a tenant lounge, conference and meeting areas and a rooftop terrace on the top floor. The exterior building design combines the history of the neighborhood with an eye toward the area’s revival, featuring brick masonry as the primary finish around the whole building and a glass exterior on the east façade.

The penthouse lounge and terrace boast city and river views and provide a casual, nonrestrictive work environment for tenants to enjoy an alternative option for working, socializing or hosting clients. 609 W. Randolph includes other amenities such as the wellness studio, a 24-seat executive conference room, mixed-use communal space, secure bicycle parking, private shower rooms, and flexible, reservable meeting spaces.

“609 W. Randolph is one of many buildings to come online in the West Loop lately, but its unique mix of historic design and future-focused amenities puts it above the rest,” said Alex Panici, Project Executive, Skender. “Our team is proud to deliver this one-of-a-kind office building to usher in a new era of the workplace.”

As wellness has become a major focus for building owners and tenants alike, 609 W. Randolph is designed for health and sustainability, with WELL and LEED certifications and features including high-performance air filters, motion-sensor restroom fixtures, and touchless, automatic doors.

“Skender was the ideal construction partner. It truly was a Class-A collaboration,” said Ark Latt, Chief Development Officer, Vista Property. “With top-notch amenities, an emphasis on wellness and an accessible, dynamic neighborhood, 609 W. Randolph is in an ideal, walkable spot for employees to live, work and play in the future of the city. This best-in-boutique-class office offers flexible and responsive workspaces, creating the office destination of choice.”

Skender and Vista Property collaborated with architects Antunovich Associates (base building) and Partners by Design (spec suites) as well as leasing broker CBRE.

Skender Completes Construction for Equity LifeStyle Properties

Skender recently completed the office interior build-out for Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) at 2 N. Riverside in Chicago’s West Loop Gate, along the Chicago River. This renovation updated ELS’ 65,000-square-foot office across two-and-a-half floors and added a new roof deck to deliver an enhanced workplace experience for its employees.

The renovated office space includes a mix of conference rooms, private offices, collaboration areas, as well as cafés and pantries. An interconnecting staircase connects the two main floors, and exposed ceilings lend an open office feel to the space. The new roof deck provides desirable outdoor space for employees to work or socialize during the day.

“Just as Equity LifeStyle Properties provides high-quality resorts and living communities for its clients and residents, they succeeded in applying the same pride in their assets and customer experience to their office space, which provides a collaborative state-of-the-art employee experience, modern design and an excess of natural light,” said Tony Scott, Project Manager, Skender. “Our team worked diligently to mitigate supply chain issues and delivered this office renovation with minimal timeline disruption.”

Skender collaborated with architect Partners by Design, MEP engineer McGuire Engineers, structural engineer Structural Shop, technology engineer Engineering Plus, broker and owner’s representative CBRE, and branded environment and signage designer Spark Chicago. Through this design collaboration, ELS not only tells their story but celebrates their values and focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as sustainability.

“We are excited to announce that ELS has also achieved LEED Gold certified,” Scott said. “Working to pursue LEED was an important focus for the ELS team as LEED has a positive impact on each person, their individual environment, and our planet.”

Skender Hires Three Senior Professionals to Support Continued Growth

Skender, one of the nation’s top building contractors, announced the hiring of three industry veterans to support its continued growth: Eric Fiket, Jen Haub and Andy Reinhard. Skender welcomes them in the following roles: 

Eric Fiket, Senior Project Manager. Eric brings 16 years of industry experience and joins Skender from Linn-Mathes, following roles at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Eckenhoff Saunders Architects and FitzGerald Associates Architects. As senior project manager, he is responsible for planning and delivering new construction projects with Skender’s commercial projects team. Eric earned a degree in architectural studies from the University of Illinois Chicago.

Jen Haub, Assistant Controller. Jen brings 20 years of accounting experience and joins Skender from Pepper Construction, following roles at Ragnar Benson Construction and RSM McGladrey. In this role, she works with Skender’s finance and accounting team to maintain records, prepare financial reports, and ensure accuracy across accounts and projects. Jen earned a master’s degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from North Central College.

Andy Reinhard, Senior Estimator. Andy brings 17 years of industry experience and previously held estimating roles at Shawmut Design and Construction, and Leopardo Companies. As senior estimator on the commercial team, he guides new construction projects through the planning, design and execution phases, supporting project budgeting, bidding, scheduling, constructability, logistics and value analysis. Andy earned a degree in civil engineering and construction management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Our firm has been growing significantly over the past few months with exciting opportunities and projects across all markets,” said Justin Brown, President and CEO, Skender. “We’re excited to welcome Andy, Jen and Eric to team Skender as we remain laser-focused on providing an unrivaled building experience from preconstruction through construction and delivery.”

Skender Completes Construction of New Fulton Market Headquarters for CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc.

Skender recently completed the interior build-out of the new headquarters for CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc., a leading SaaS platform for the P&C insurance economy. Located at 167 N. Green Street in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood, the new headquarters was designed and built to support the tech leader’s growth and foster the company’s strong culture of innovation and collaboration.

The space includes a radiused stairwell, a stair opening and platform that connects the ninth-floor reception space to the eighth-floor town hall and customer experience area. On the eighth floor, an entry area allows visibility into a design center, providing a view into the technology that helps to power CCC’s advanced AI solutions, and open work areas lend a neighborhood vibe to the space, and private offices double as conference rooms when not in use.

CCC’s customer experience area features collaborative lounge space, breakout niches and booths, lit branding, and wood wall and ceiling coverings. This client-facing space also features branding components that were finished with specialty automotive paint as a nod to industries that CCC’s technology supports.

“Our team worked to create a space to serve as a design center for CCC reflective of its commitment to innovation, collaboration and culture,” said Tyler Knox, Project Manager, Skender. “That thoughtful work and careful coordination allow CCC to kick off the new year with a space ready to support world-class employee and customer experiences.”

Skender collaborated with architect Partners by Design, MEP/FP engineer Salas O’Brien, structural engineer Epstein, AV & technology designer Waveguide, branding designer Spark, and owner’s representative Cushman & Wakefield.

Skender Completes Construction on 16-Unit Supportive Living Apartment Community in Matteson, Illinois

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed construction on Mustacchi Manor, a three-story, 16-unit supportive living apartment community for non-profit developer Over the Rainbow Association (OTR) in Matteson, Illinois.

The building, designed by Weese Langley Weese Architects, provides affordable housing and independent living solutions for individuals with physical disabilities. The units include roll-in showers, pull-under sinks, accessible appliances and lower switches, outlets, windows and door handles. It joins a three-development campus on 10 acres of land in Matteson.

Since 2015, Over the Rainbow, Weese Langley Weese and Skender have collaborated on four properties, totaling more than 100 units.

Skender Announces Executive and Senior Management Promotions

Today, Skender announced executive and senior management promotions for three rising leaders at the Chicago-based commercial construction firm. Skender would like to congratulate the following on their recent promotions:

Jeff Reist, Project Executive. Jeff joined Skender in 2015 and has 16 years of experience in the construction industry, including multifamily, adaptive reuse, historic restoration, hospitality and other commercial projects. Jeff has demonstrated a remarkable ability to foster a team-building environment, as he consistently coaches others to achieve their highest potential. He is a great adopter of Lean practices, a steadfast and tactical project manager, and he is continuously focused on team and overall company improvement.

Lauren Torres, Project Executive. Lauren joined Skender in 2013 and has 13 years in the construction industry, including some of Chicago’s most notable corporate interiors projects. Lauren has epitomized a strong and balanced work ethic as she has steadily built meaningful relationships both internally and externally. She has grown as a leader through mentorship and continues to pay it forward by mentoring her teammates and demonstrating an intrinsic drive to help others succeed.

Jacob Boyle, Senior Project Manager. Jacob joined Skender in 2016 and has 12 years of experience in the construction industry, including corporate interiors, healthcare, mission critical and life sciences projects. Jacob’s forward-thinking, out-of-the-box approach to project management has been a refreshing and vital addition to the Skender team. Jacob demonstrates his ability to persevere through adversity, eagerly and effortlessly taking on every opportunity.

“The leaders at Skender are ushering our teams forward into a new year of delivering high-quality, value-driven projects for our clients across the Midwest,” said Justin Brown, President and CEO, Skender. “We congratulate Jeff, Lauren and Jacob, who exemplify the kind of collaborative, hardworking leadership we strive for that provides clients a premier building experience.”

Skender Expands Operations in Indiana, Hires Jamie Nieves as Local Business Development Leader

Skender is pleased to announce the expansion of its Indiana presence and the hiring of Jamie Nieves, a seasoned economic and business development professional and Indiana native. As vice president of business relationships, Nieves will work with Brian Simons, vice president, who heads Skender’s Indianapolis office and oversees construction teams. Skender began work in Indiana in early 2020 and has been involved in the construction of significant healthcare, retail and office projects totaling over 1 million square feet throughout the state.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jamie to team Skender. Her experience creating partnerships in both the private and public sector to benefit communities in the region, as well as her robust background in civil engineering and infrastructure, will be incredibly valuable as we expand our work in Indiana,” said Simons, who graduated from Purdue in 2003.

About Jamie Nieves

Nieves joins Skender from Indianapolis-based DBE/MBE engineering consulting firm Shrewsberry & Associates, where she was director of business development. Prior to moving back to her home state of Indiana, Nieves was business development manager at engineering firm ECS Southeast in North Carolina and held senior economic development roles at the Kentucky Association for Economic Development and Northern Kentucky Tri-ED. As a leader in business retention and expansion, she has secured more than $86M in capital investment for Midwest communities and hundreds of jobs throughout the communities she has served.

Nieves holds bachelor’s degrees in marketing and finance from Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, and she began her career in the architecture, construction and engineering industry with Gibraltar Design in Indianapolis.

“I was drawn by Skender’s focus on long-term relationship-building and creative, collaborative problem-solving,” said Nieves. “I am looking forward to building on both my personal Indiana roots, as well as the high-quality work Skender has already completed with its partners here. Through our work, we can benefit communities throughout Indiana.”

Skender’s Work in Indiana

Skender is a leading national construction firm with strong Midwestern roots and award-winning new construction and renovation projects in healthcare, lab sciences, office, multifamily, mixed-use and other building types. In Indiana, Skender has completed or is in process on multiple projects including:

IU Health Bloomington Hospital
Bloomington, Indiana

Skender partnered with F.A. Wilhelm to build the new IU Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center on the campus of Indiana University. The state-of-the-art complex, which opened in December 2021, includes 620,000 square feet for in-patient and out-patient clinical services, and 115,000 square feet for academic instruction.

IU Health Capital Projects
Indianapolis, Indiana

Skender has been engaged in the planning and construction of capital and infrastructure projects with IU Health, and the team anticipates construction to commence in 2022.

Allen Crossings
Fort Wayne, Indiana

In partnership with Echo Development, Skender will begin construction on a multi-unit, 11-acre retail development near the Parkview Hospital campus in northwest Fort Wayne in spring 2022.

Aspire Indiana Health Clinic
Indianapolis, Indiana

Skender has commenced the demolition and renovation of an existing clinical space to create a new full-service clinic for the nonprofit healthcare provider to serve the northeast side of Indianapolis.

Construction Tops Out at 345 N. Morgan in Chicago’s Fulton Market

Skender recently reached the final height at 345 N. Morgan, a 233,000-square-foot, 11-story ground-up boutique office and retail building. The new development, known as THREE FOUR FIVE, is located in Fulton Market, on one of the neighborhood’s most dynamic blocks. The topping-out ceremony signifies the end of the structural phase of construction as the project team works toward the building’s completion and anticipated opening in fall 2022.

The office and retail building will feature sleek, modern finishes, high ceilings and arched windows, and welded metal accents, drawing on the neighborhood’s industrial past. Amenities will include private outdoor terraces, a 5,000-square-foot roof deck with sweeping views, a conservatory bar & lounge with a double-sided fireplace, a full-service fitness center, a coworking library and several high-tech conference spaces to meet the needs of today’s hybrid workforce.

Skender is collaborating with developer and owner Sterling Bay and Eckenhoff Saunders Architects on this project.

Watch the event video below.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of Global Headquarters for Chemical Manufacturer in Northbrook, Illinois  

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction on the three-and-a-half-floor, 87,000-square-foot corporate office for Stepan Company, a global chemical manufacturer, at 1101 Skokie Blvd in Northbrook, Illinois. The office, which serves as Stepan’s global headquarters, reflects the company’s respectful and stimulating workplace culture and will support the organization’s efforts to attract and retain top industry talent.

The new office build-out includes a learning and development suite with a training room separated by operable partitions, cafes on each floor, a board room with high-end finishes, a fitness center, an IT Genius bar, a library space and state-of-the-art audio-visual technology.

“Our new headquarters embodies sustainability and reflects our values with spaces designed for collaboration, well-being and flexibility.  We are excited to have this beautiful new environment to safely support our customers and grow Stepan Company,” said Janet A. Catlett, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.

Skender collaborated with Avison Young and architect and engineer CannonDesign on this project. Stepan expects to receive LEED Silver certification on the build-out early in 2022.

“Despite ongoing supply chain constraints, our team was able to remain agile and create new critical paths around these challenges,” said Jacob Boyle, Sr. Project Manager, Skender. “The leaders at Stepan and our collaborators at CannonDesign made quick, thoughtful decisions to navigate these disruptions, ultimately resulting in minimal impact.”

Skender Completes New Spec Suites in Old Post Office

Skender recently completed the interior build-out for 43,000 square feet of spec suites in the North building of the historic Old Post Office in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The 11 divisible office suites provide lease options ranging from 1,000 to 7,000 square feet, as well as an accompanying amenity space with two conference rooms, a reading room and a library.

As with most of the space in the redeveloped Old Post Office, these spec suites feature unique historic touches, including mosaic tiles as well as salvaged doors from building storage that were reworked and reinstalled along the corridor of the space. Additionally, the space has ornate metal screen design features, wainscot paneling, specialty ceilings, custom millwork built-ins and a fireplace in the library space.

“Our knowledge of the building and detail-oriented team were critical success factors in delivering these high-quality spec suites for the owner, 601W Companies,” said Lauren Torres, Senior Project Manager and Team Leader, Skender. “It was a great collaboration and a fantastic result.”

Skender worked closely with building owner 601W Companies, architect Partners by Design, and project manager JLL.

Construction Starts on 50,000-SF Laboratory and Office Workspace at 320 N. Sangamon in Chicago’s Fulton Market

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently started construction on the interior build-out of the two-story, 50,000-square-foot lab and office space for Hazel Technologies, a USDA-funded technology company developing solutions to extend the shelf life of fresh produce. With an anticipated completion in early spring 2022, Hazel will be one of the first two tenants to move into at 320 N. Sangamon, the new 13-story Fulton Market office building developed by Tishman Speyer and Mark Goodman & Associates.

Hazel will move from its current location at University Technology Park at Illinois Tech in Bronzeville to expand its footprint as it accommodates its plans to double its local workforce to 70 people in the coming year. The build-out includes space for open research laboratory and lab support, as well as 10,000 square feet of administrative and office space and 5,000 square feet of collaboration space, including several sizes of meeting rooms, huddle rooms, and prep and tasting rooms.

Converting office space into lab space requires extra attention to detail within infrastructure customizations, such as new air handling, general exhaust and fume exhaust, new boilers, and uninterrupted power supply generators with capacity to manage all the lab equipment and technology. Multiple specialized space types are found within the lab space, including a pilot lab, dry lab, sensory lab, wet lab, engineering lab and innovation lab. Specialty equipment and finishes include 10 fume hoods, four snorkel hoods, negatively pressured lab spaces, and acid- and solvent-resistant finishes. The lab support space will include square footage for research and equipment.

“This year, we’ve seen an influx of growing lab sciences firms seeking out the conversion of office space in the city for their lab space needs,” said Jason Utah, Senior Project Manager, Skender. “Our team is excited to bring this kind of complex conversion to life for Hazel Technologies in one of Fulton Market’s newest, amenity-forward buildings at 320 N. Sangamon.”

Skender collaborated with developers Tishman Speyer and Mark Goodman & Associates, tenant representative CBRE, architect Perkins & Will and engineer Cosentini Associates on this project.

Construction Starts on Affordable Housing for Veterans and People with Disabilities in Lansing, Illinois

Skender, along with its joint-venture partner Ashlaur Construction, recently broke ground on Torrence Place, a three-story, mixed-use affordable housing and health clinic project for affordable housing developer Full Circle Communities at 2320 Thornton-Lansing Road in Lansing. The wood-framed building will have 48 affordable, accessible units for veterans and people with disabilities, as well as a 3,500-square-foot health clinic on the ground floor operated by Christian Community Health Center.

Torrence Place will also include space for property management office space, supportive service space and residential amenities including a fitness area, computer lab and community area with a communal kitchen.

The project team, including Full Circle Communities, Skender, Ashlaur Construction, architect Cordogan, Clark & Associates, and CAGE Civil Engineering, ceremoniously broke ground at the project site on October 22. Torrence Place will also include building features that will qualify it to receive certification through Enterprise Green Communities.

Skender Completes Renovation on 101-Unit Seniors Housing Facility in South Chicago

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed construction on Salud Center, a 101-unit, 140,000-square-foot senior residential building in South Chicago at 3039 E. 91st Street. The facility provides affordable housing for low-income seniors and is operated by the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and Claretian Associates, a nonprofit housing developer and community services provider based in South Chicago.

As occupied rehab construction, Skender and POAH coordinated the temporary relocation of the families and seniors living in the building while individual units were renovated. Occupied rehab requires careful construction sequencing and logistics to ensure safe, smooth delivery and minimal interference with residents’ lives. Working in five-day construction cycles, Skender turned around six units per week at Salud Center, including new flooring, lighting and plumbing trim in unit bathrooms and kitchens.

In addition to the individual unit renovations, Skender also renovated the common areas, including cafeteria/multipurpose room, restrooms, a fitness center, and office space for Claretian Associates, which will run some of its operations out of the building. Skender also completed a full upgrade of the boiler room equipment, replacement of the façade exterior insulation finishing system, and a new thermoplastic polyolefin roof.

Skender collaborated with developers and co-owners POAH and Claretian Associates, as well as architects Architrave, Ltd. (commercial and office) and Canopy Architecture & Design (residential) on this project. Over the past decade, Skender has completed nearly 2,000 units of occupied rehab projects for several clients, including POAH, Preservation Partners, Vitus Group and Catholic Charities.

Skender Completes Construction on 16-Unit Affordable Housing Building in Wilmette

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed construction on Cleland Place, a three-story, 16-unit affordable housing development at 1925 Wilmette Ave. in Wilmette. The new development will provide affordable housing for working families, seniors and veterans and will be operated by the Housing Opportunity Development Corporation (HODC). The project is named for Jean Cleland, a long-time Wilmette resident and founding member of the HODC, as well as an advocate for civil rights and affordable housing in the North Shore.

Completed within a 10-month timeframe, the Skender team managed the construction of this project in a tight, logistically challenging jobsite with minimal disruption to the surrounding community. The building features one- and two-bedroom units and amenities including a laundry room, elevator, covered parking and resident-driven social activities.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Cleland Place took place on Thursday, August 26, to signify the opening of the facility. “I’m so excited that Cleland Place is now open for residents, and to see my Grandma Jean’s values and passion for affordable housing live on in Wilmette,” said Kelsey Cleland, Program Director at The Goldie Initiative and granddaughter of Jean Cleland.

Skender collaborated with developer Housing Opportunity Development Corporation and architect Cordogan Clark & Associates on this project. Skender has recently completed several affordable and supportive housing facilities throughout Chicago and its suburbs, including Sarah’s on Sheridan Supportive Housing Facility in Uptown, The Residences of Crystal Lake in Crystal Lake, and Woodlawn Station in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood.

Skender Breaks Ground on 345 N Morgan, a 200,000-SF office and retail building in Fulton Market

Skender and Sterling Bay hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at 345 N Morgan this morning with 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar and project architect Eckenhoff Saunders Architects. This groundbreaking marks the start of construction on the 200,000-square-foot boutique office and retail building located in Fulton Market.

“Sterling Bay began pre-development on 345 N Morgan many months before COVID-19 was on anyone’s radar. In fact, we were ready to begin digging at the site in early March 2020, just days before everything – including this particular project – came to a swift halt,” said Andy Gloor, CEO, Sterling Bay. “Today, after navigating over a year’s worth of pandemic-related challenges, we are proud to break ground on this state-of-the-art development that will build on Fulton Market’s reputation as a premier destination to collaborate and do business in Chicago.”

Acquired by Sterling Bay in 2014, 345 N Morgan is a speculative development that will offer future tenants open, customizable floor plates for maximum flexibility and collaboration in an unbeatable location. Designed by Eckenhoff Saunders Architects, the space features sleek, modern finishes, soaring ceilings, arched windows, and welded metal accents, drawing on the neighborhood’s industrial past. Amenities include private outdoor terraces, a 5K-square-foot roof deck with sweeping views, a conservatory bar & lounge with a double-sided fireplace, a full-service fitness center, a coworking library and several high-tech conference spaces to meet the needs of today’s virtual world.

In addition to offering tenants a completely customizable workplace experience, 345 N Morgan will also complete construction in just 13 months, significantly faster than comparable developments of a similar size, allowing future tenants to move into their new office space as early as September 2022.

“Skender is proud to be a part of the team that will bring 345 N Morgan to completion on an accelerated timeline. COVID-19 has caused countless development delays and disruptions across Chicago, but this project will deliver in just over a year – that’s a significant accomplishment even by pre-pandemic standards,” said Justin Brown, President & CEO, Skender. “We understand the high level of integration that this project demands and are committed to executing the seamless, collaborative and efficient process for which Skender is known.”

As part of its commitment to expand opportunities for minority-owned firms, Skender has formed a joint venture partnership and JLL Construction, a local certified minority-owned business, in the development of this project. JLL Construction is headquartered on the west side of Chicago and, like Skender, has an extensive portfolio of projects in the Fulton Market area. As development progresses, 345 N Morgan will meet the city’s standards for M/WBE engagement at the 26/6 participation level.

Skender Announces Executive and Senior Management Promotions

Skender would like to congratulate the following executives and senior managers on their recent promotions:

Alex Panici, Project Executive. Since joining Skender in 2016, Alex has built exceptional client relationships, displayed tremendous leadership in the commercial construction market and is extremely tuned in to his project teams and their needs. Alex continuously sees challenges given to him and the team as opportunities instead of obstacles. He graciously values feedback and views constructive criticism as a chance for continuous improvement, all components for high-quality Skender leaders.

Brian Kane, Project Executive. Since joining Skender in 2008, Brian has constantly sought ways to improve himself, his team, and Skender as a whole. He consistently promotes a culture of learning and continuous improvement so that his team is set up for success on project delivery. Brian plays a key role in business development, cultivating external relationships at every stage, which has led to steady growth in Skender’s healthcare, owner’s services, and travel-with-client construction.

Jason Utah, Senior Project Manager. Jason joined the Skender team in 2016 and has contributed exponentially to the stability and growth of the firm’s Healthcare team. He has been instrumental in the establishment and success of the new lab sciences construction market, while also providing outstanding preconstruction, budget development and owner services. As Senior Project Manager, Jason is responsible for delivering projects on schedule, maximizing productivity and efficiency, and controlling project costs for his healthcare and lab clients.

Kevin Chan, Senior Project Manager. Since joining Skender in 2015, Kevin has been an important player on the Healthcare team, developing relationships, educating new employees and serving as the go-to person for owners, facility staff and end-users alike. During the last year, Kevin managed several critical jobs, ensuring efficient schedules and optimizing value. He continues to go above and beyond the assigned work, delighting clients and making the process of building easier for all parties involved.

Ryan Cotter, Senior Preconstruction Manager. Ryan joined the Skender team in 2016 and has helped create a clear vision for the firm’s comprehensive preconstruction services. He is a true builder and collaborator with architects, engineers, consultants and trade partners. As Preconstruction Manager, Ryan aligns our internal teams with client goals to support project budgeting, bidding, scheduling, constructability, logistics and value analysis. He efficiently and reliably guides our commercial projects through the planning, design and construction phases.

“I’ve been so proud of our team that has continued to step up during this unpredictable year to anticipate our clients’ needs and deliver the most efficient and effective building solutions amidst a tough market,” said Justin Brown, President and CEO, Skender. “These rising stars at Skender are exemplary of the type of leadership that will keep us competitive as we work toward stronger building outcomes.”

Skender Breaks Ground on 133,000-Square-Foot Maywood Supportive Living Redevelopment Project

Skender broke ground today on the major historic redevelopment of Maywood Supportive Living, a five-story, 133,000-square-foot supportive living facility for seniors at 316 Randolph St. in Maywood, Illinois. The building, when finished, will provide 100 units of affordable, supportive living housing with substantial healthcare and nursing amenities provided in the facility.

The existing building, which formerly housed the Central Baptist Home and has sat vacant for many years, will be stripped down to its structure and building envelope and restored with an eye for preserving its historic architectural detail. In 2017, the property was added to the State of Illinois’ National Register of Historic Places.

The existing building and grounds take up a full city block, and the section built in 1929-1930 boasts a Tudor Revival-style, while the additions in 1955 and 1965 align with modernist architectural trends. The renovation will include installing new windows; restoring the wood trim, stucco and brick façade; replacing the roof; restoring the first-floor lobby including the preservation of terrazzo floors, commercial kitchen and dining area, and common areas; and converting 100 units to supportive living units with kitchenettes on floors 2-5.

“We’re preserving the facility’s character by retaining and restoring much of its original architectural features, meanwhile making it a more functional, safe and modern space in which to deliver necessary care to its residents,” said Afshan Barshan, Senior Vice President, Skender.

In addition to serving as general contractor, Skender is providing design-build mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineering services, while collaborating with developer Celadon Partners and Gleason Architects. Financing for this renovation is being provided by NDC Corporate Equity Fund, KeyBank, US Bank, and the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Skender’s Joe Pecoraro to Moderate Webinar on Surging Material Costs, Impact on Affordable Housing

The Illinois Housing Council will host a webinar titled “Surging Material Costs and the Impact on Affordable Housing” on Tuesday, June 8. Skender Project Executive Joe Pecoraro will moderate the virtual event, which features a panel of experts, including David Brint, principal of Brinshore Development, and David Logan, director of tax and trade policy analysis at the National Association of Home Builders.

As the United States returns to pre-pandemic speeds and businesses fully reopen, economic volatility and supply chain constraints have led to construction material procurement challenges and soaring prices. Skender recently released material pricing data and solutions for building through supply shortages and rising prices.

To register for the event, please visit https://ilhousing.org/webinars/

 

Ashlee Pforr Named to Crain’s 2021 Notable Women in Construction and Design

Congratulations to Skender Project Executive Ashlee Pforr on being named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ Notable Women in Construction and Design. This is the second consecutive year that Ashlee has earned the editorial honor.

“The women featured here lead in all corners of the field,” according to the Crain’s Chicago Business feature, which recognized 65 professionals in its May 3 issue.

Ashlee was recognized for her leadership, mentorship and commitment to advancing the industry and her peers.

Click here to see the full feature at chicagobusiness.com.

Skender Named a Finalist for Two Interior Contractor of the Year Awards

Awards come from rewarding work. Skender is thrilled to be a finalist in both Interior Contractor of the Year award categories – owner projects and tenant projects – at this year’s Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Real Estate Awards.

In a year unlike any other for our real estate community, Skender led interior construction for anchor tenants in transformative developments including the Old Post Office, Bank of America Tower and 151 N. Franklin. In total, Skender delivered 1.3MSF of tenant interiors in these three buildings alone last year while balancing ambitious schedules, complex design and technological requirements, as well as the safety and livelihood of our employees, clients and partners during the global pandemic.

In addition to our tenant spaces, Skender partnered with leading building owners and managers to provide rapid-response asset repositioning, lobby updates, amenity spaces, rooftop decks, spec suites, infrastructure and energy efficiency upgrades, and more. For instance, at 2430 N Halsted, a new building dedicated to life sciences firms, Skender worked with Sterling Bay to build out first- and second-floor common areas, a reception area, four conference rooms, two staff offices, an upgraded HVAC system, new security and a tenant lounge.

Every step of the building process is collaborative and we are grateful for all those who helped make our 2020 tenant and owner interior projects a reality.

Click here to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Pictured (clockwise from left): 110 N Wacker, The Old Post Office, 2430 N Halsted

Skender Breaks Ground on New, 16-unit Supportive Living Apartment Community in Matteson, Illinois

We are excited to break ground with OTR (Over The Rainbow Association) on Mustacchi Manor, a new, 16-unit supportive living apartment community designed by Weese Langley Weese Architects.

The building will join a 3-development campus on 10 acres of land in Matteson, Illinois, and is named in honor of longtime OTR board member and treasurer Roberto Mustacchi, who passed away in 2018.

Since 2015, Over the Rainbow, Weese Langley Weese and Skender have collaborated on four properties, totaling more than 100 units, providing independent living solutions for individuals with physical disabilities.

Watch the video of our Midtown Crossing Apartments construction project (completed in 2017) for OTR:

Skender Named One of Crain’s 2021 Best Places to Work

Skender has been named one of the “Best Places to Work” by Crain’s Chicago Business for the fourth consecutive year. The award is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best companies to work for in Chicago.

Each year Crain’s and Best Companies Group, an independent research firm, set out to find the local businesses that have excelled in creating quality workplaces for employees. Determining the Best Places to Work in Chicago involves a comprehensive evaluation of each participating company’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics, as well as a separate assessment of employee experiences and perspectives. The complete list of winners, in alphabetical order, is available here.

This is the fifth time in eight years that Skender has earned the Crain’s recognition. In the last 15 years, Skender has won nearly 30 best-place-to-work awards by three different awarding bodies. If you’re interested in joining our team, please click here to see our open opportunities.

Skender Completes Construction at 1100 W. Fulton for Fulton St. Companies and Herman Miller

Skender recently completed 1100 W. Fulton, a 45,000-square-foot, five-story, single-tenant, mixed-use commercial building in the Fulton Market neighborhood of Chicago. The build-to-suit office and retail project for the iconic furniture company Herman Miller, the building’s sole tenant, includes a bespoke showroom that is one of three in the world.

Completed in December 2020, the new project preserved the existing building’s historical masonry while incorporating a brand-new concrete structure that supported the 100-year-old exterior. The streamlined, phased construction timeline began with base building in December 2019 and interior construction in June 2020 to build out floors two through five while the base building was happening simultaneously. The final phase included the first floor, containing the Herman Miller retail showroom, a café and coffee bar.

The showroom is a pristine, museum-like space that required highly coordinated and meticulously planned engineering and construction. With no exposed cables or pipes, symmetrical ceilings, Pacific hardwood floors and custom light features, each floor of the building showcases a different brand offering from Herman Miller.

Skender, serving as general contractor, collaborated with architect Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, owner’s representative CBRE, developer Fulton St. Companies and project manager ConopCo Project Management to successfully complete the build-to-suit project within schedule on a tight site footprint. Skender also coordinated with all teams to ensure safety and health precautions were followed onsite amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Skender is the construction expert behind many Fulton Market buildings and workspaces, including projects for Hyatt House, Google, Glassdoor, Mondelez, Soho House, Vital Proteins, and many more.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of new 536,000-SF Bank of America Flagship Office

Skender recently completed interior construction of the 536,000-square-foot office relocation for Bank of America’s (BofA) downtown Chicago offices. Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions, relocated to the Bank of America Tower at 110 N. Wacker, a new Class A+, 56-story high-rise that was concurrently under construction.

Encompassing 17 floors, approximately one third of the building, BofA’s new space includes private offices, open workstation areas, conference rooms, work cafés / pantries, support space and other modern workplace amenities. Unique features include a trading floor with supplemental cooling and uninterrupted power supply, critical-systems infrastructure, custom two-story trellises, a barista bar and market café, and two dedicated outdoor terraces. In addition, the interior includes a monument staircase connecting a two-floor conference center and executive suite.

“Completing this trophy project was a tremendous team effort in the face of unprecedented external challenges,” said Bank of America Senior Vice President Sarah-Lynn Cinquegrani. “Skender played a critical role in the project’s success – skillfully and safely managing hundreds of tradespeople and the complex logistics necessary to deliver our new office on time and under forecast. I couldn’t be more impressed with the team at Skender.”

Serving as general contractor, Skender collaborated with JLL, Interior Architects, and engineer Syska Hennessy Group to successfully complete the large-scale project on time, on budget and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Building one of Chicago’s largest interior construction projects during a global pandemic is a testament to the collaboration, commitment and ingenuity of all partners on this project,” said Skender Project Executive Ashlee Pforr. “We’re proud of our Skender team’s unbroken focus on quality, safety and efficiency in the face of unprecedented circumstances.”

Skender Completes 200,000-SF Interior Construction on Walgreens Technology Center of Excellence in Old Post Office

Skender, serving as general contractor, completed construction last year on the new Walgreens Technology Center of Excellence, a 200,000-square-foot, open-office workspace in the redeveloped Old Post Office at 433 West Van Buren. The office, which was finished during the COVID-19 shutdown, will eventually welcome hundreds of employees, including e-commerce, mobile, pharmacy technology and digital team members as well as Walgreens Boots Alliance Information Technology personnel.

The expansive office spans multiple levels and buildings of the Old Post Office development and features a signature staircase, open and private offices, collaboration and conferencing spaces, data rooms, and kitchen and lounge spaces. It increases Walgreens presence in Chicago, where the company was founded in 1901, and signifies a commitment to attracting top technology talent with its desirable downtown location. Walgreens was the first major tenant commitment to the Old Post Office redevelopment project in 2018, and Skender’s first project of several in the major renovation of the iconic riverside Art Deco building.

“The Walgreens Old Post Office project represents collaboration, ingenuity and progress and was completed during a particularly challenging time for the City of Chicago and world at large,” said Skender Vice President Brian Bukowski. “We are proud to be part of the team that brought this innovative space to fruition and know that it will power Walgreens’ innovation for years to come.”

Other key project team members included: Mace as owner’s representatives; Stantec Inc. as architect and engineering firm; and the Walgreens construction and architecture departments.

Skender Starts Construction on 609 W. Randolph, a 15-story Office Building in Chicago’s West Loop Gate

Skender recently started construction on the Class-A office development at 609 W. Randolph in the West Loop Gate neighborhood in Chicago. The 15-story, 100,000+ square-foot building is being developed by Vista Property Group and designed by Antunovich Associates.

Located along W. Randolph Street between N. Jefferson Street and N. Des Plaines Street, the office building will be a four-minute walk from the Clinton CTA station, and a three-minute walk from Ogilvie Transportation Center, making it a convenient office location for commuters.

The façade will keep in line with the neighborhood feel and consist primarily of masonry with complementary steel, metal panel and exterior glazing, as well as a granite base. The building is designed to be WELL certified and exceed energy code.

The new office building, which is being developed on a surface parking lot adjacent to an existing five-story building at 601 W. Randolph, will be completed in early 2022. The project team includes:

Developer: Vista Property Group
Architect: Antunovich Associates
Contractor: Skender
Structural Engineer: WSP
Major Trade Partners: Adjustable Concrete Construction, Advance Mechanical Systems, Ewing-Doherty, Glass Solutions, International Concrete Productions, Titan Electric, USA Fire Protection
Leasing Team: CBRE
Construction Lender: Bank OZK (Nasdaq: OZK)

About Vista Property Group

Vista Property Group is a family-owned private real estate investment firm with a diversified portfolio of commercial, retail, and multifamily investments in urban centers. Core holdings are located in New York City, Chicago, North Carolina, and London, with an added focus on expanding into other exciting urban markets. For more information, visit vistaprop.com.

About Skender

Skender is a full-service building contractor and one of the nation’s top 100 construction firms, according to Building Design & Construction. We combine Lean process with high-performing teams to deliver unmatched results and maximum value. Headquartered in Chicago with a satellite office in Indianapolis, Skender serves its clients in the Midwest and across the country.

Skender Announces Executive Promotions and New Shareholders

Today, Skender announced executive and senior management promotions, as well as new shareholders at the leadership-owned construction firm.

Skender would like to congratulate the following executives and senior managers on their recent promotions and appointments:

Andy Halik, Vice President. Andy joined Skender in 2011 and has 15 years of experience in the construction industry. In his expanded leadership role, Andy will co-lead the Interiors group, focusing on market strategy, client service and motivating the team toward continued growth. Andy’s ability to nurture client relationships, his keen business intelligence, and the ability to work in partnership with his peers are all reasons for this recognition.

Brian Bukowski, Vice President. Brian joined Skender in 2007 and has over 17 years of experience in the construction industry. Brian will co-lead the Interiors group in his expanded leadership role, focusing on driving financial success, efficient operations and the team’s vision. Across a wide variety of client experiences in Illinois, Nevada and California, Brian’s focus is always client satisfaction and continuous improvement.

Brian Simons, Vice President. Brian joined Skender in 2007 and has over 16 years of experience in the construction industry. In his expanded leadership role, Brian will oversee Skender’s satellite Indianapolis office, which was awarded a significant IU Health project in 2020, while continuing executive oversight of healthcare teams in Chicago. Brian has steadily advanced his career in operations because of his devotion to clients, personalized customer service and ability to foster team cohesion.

Clay Edwards, Senior Vice President. Clay joined Skender in 2006 and has 20 years of experience in the construction industry. He has been appointed the new leader of Self-Perform and Construction Technology. This group optimizes value, safety, production and quality for Skender clients through offerings such as general labor, demolition, rough carpentry, BIM, 3D laser scanning and high-definition surveying, intelligent project tracking, drone mapping and immersive reality. With extensive interior construction expertise, Clay will also continue to provide executive-level counsel and client services for tenants and end-users.

Joy Perryman, Director of Risk Management. Joy started with Skender in 2015 and was soon promoted to manage the risk management department, working closely with operations to identify ways to mitigate risks in daily procedures. Joy is known for her detail-oriented work evaluating and administering insurance programs for all Skender’s business lines, working closely with the executive team to negotiate contracts and promote Enterprise Risk Management throughout the organization. She is a certified Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS), Certified Risk Manager (CRM) and member of the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

Mike Muehring, Senior Project Manager. Mike joined Skender in 2016 and has over 15 years of experience in the construction industry. As a Senior Project Manager, Mike is responsible for delivering projects on schedule, maximizing productivity and efficiency, and controlling project costs for his interiors clients throughout Chicago.

Todd Andrlik, Senior Vice President. Todd joined Skender in 2017 and has 21 years of marketing experience, including 16 in the construction industry. He quickly reinvigorated the marketing team, created effective strategies, generated bold brand awareness, and shaped external communication efforts. He plays an influential role on the leadership team by using his insight and creativity to maximize strategy.

“Our leadership team is energized and poised to continue delivering the proactive, collaborative and value-driven construction that our clients and the marketplace expect from Skender,” said Justin Brown, President and CEO, Skender. “Together, we are laser-focused on creating the premier building experience and helping our clients achieve groundbreaking results.”

Concurrently with these promotions, Skender is pleased to recognize new shareholders. Skender is a leadership-owned business aimed at sustainable, long-term success and ample advancement and succession opportunities. Shareholder appointment is a merit-based recognition of hard work, loyalty, collaboration with colleagues, outstanding service and embodying Skender’s core values.

New shareholders are: Andy Halik, Dan Ulbricht, Ashlee Pforr, John Estes, Pete Conlin, Patrick Sullivan, Luke DeTolve, Brian Ribordy, Jeff Krause, Stacy Laughlin and Todd Andrlik. They join existing shareholders: Justin Brown, Jerry Ball, Dan Marijan, Afshan Barshan, Clay Edwards, Lisa Latronico, Jeff Janicek, Brian Simons, Brian Bukowski, Joe Pecoraro and Tim Rogers.

About Skender

Skender is a full-service building contractor and one of the nation’s top 100 construction firms, according to Building Design & Construction. We combine Lean process with high-performing teams to deliver unmatched results and maximum value. Headquartered in Chicago with a satellite office in Indianapolis, Skender serves its clients in the Midwest and across the country. For more information on Skender, visit www.skender.com.

Skender Completes Construction on Sarah’s Circle’s Six-story Supportive Housing Facility for Women on Chicago’s North Side

Skender recently completed construction on the new 36,000-SF, six-story supportive housing facility in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood for Sarah’s Circle. This nonprofit organization serves women who are homeless or in need of a safe space by providing housing, life necessities, and supportive services to permanently end their homelessness.

Following a groundbreaking in September 2019, the project stayed on schedule with delivery in 15 months. The new Sarah’s Circle facility, known as Sarah’s on Sheridan, has 38 units of permanent supportive housing for women who are homeless, as well as 50 beds for the Interim Housing Program. With the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating homelessness in Chicago, this facility will undoubtedly help an underserved community in the city.

“Sarah’s Circle is thrilled to be able to deliver our new facility on time and ready for occupancy right before the holidays, and the harshest part of winter,” said Kathy Ragnar, Executive Director, Sarah’s Circle. “Women who are now homeless will be able to start off the year in a new, fully furnished home of their own.”

Located at the intersection of Sheridan and Leland, this steel and precast building includes a basement, dining room, walk-in commercial freezer, office space for on-site case managers, computer lab, and group rooms. The building also incorporated original terra cotta and other design elements of the façade of the previous building on the lot, the Leland and Sheridan Building.

Skender collaborated with design firm Perkins+Will and owner’s representative Brinshore Development to successfully complete the project.

Watch the project video on YouTube.

Skender Completes Interior Build-out for Vi’s New Headquarters in Chicago’s Willis Tower

Skender completed the full-floor interior build-out for Vi, a luxury senior living company, on the 84th floor of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower. The 30,405-square-foot office is Vi’s relocated headquarters. The office design showcases high-quality finishes and amenities reflecting the luxury experience that Vi offers residents in each of the company’s 10 life plan communities.

The new office includes a high-end conference center consisting of one boardroom, two medium conference rooms and two small conference rooms. Interesting construction features include custom millwork, an electric fireplace, custom light fixtures in the reception area, and two 12-foot custom sliding doors with an integrated laser-cut metal screen.

Following three weeks of demolition of the previous space, the project took 14 weeks of construction and was completed simultaneously with a major base-building project in the tower, requiring additional attention to project logistics. Skender collaborated with architecture firm Baumann Studios, engineering firm ESD, and owner’s representative Savills to successfully complete the project in January 2020.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of IDEX Corporation HQ in Northbrook, Illinois

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction of the 40,000-square-foot global headquarters for IDEX Corporation (NYSE: IEX), a specialty industrial machinery manufacturer that relocated from Lake Forest to Northbrook, Illinois.

Located on the third floor of 3100 Sanders Road, the modern workspace features a mix of private offices, conference rooms and huddle areas, as well as a community café in the floor’s center. New millwork and a custom reception display to feature the company’s diverse array of products were also installed. The building remained open and active throughout construction, which required extra attention to logistics and safety.

Skender collaborated with architect HED and engineer Syska Hennessy Group to successfully deliver the project.

 

Skender Completes Interior Construction to Expand Upwork’s Chicago Office

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed construction on a 34,000-square-foot expansion to Upwork’s current office space in Chicago located at 525 W. Van Buren, which was also built-out by Skender and completed in December of 2018.

Upwork, the leading online talent solution, recently announced their decision to shift to a remote-first model. The Chicago office will act as a collaborative work space for team members in the area. This second phase of construction incorporates an open office concept for workstations combined with technology-rich meeting areas, an upgraded all-hands meeting space and café, server room, large training room and collaboration/break-out space.

The enhanced and expanded space will provide a Day 1 occupancy of up to 204 employees with infrastructure to expand to 250 workstations. The larger square footage has allowed Upwork to offer their workforce a solution to coming back into the office while still observing socially distant guidelines.

Skender collaborated with architecture/engineering firm CannonDesign and tenant’s representative Cresa to complete the project in Q2 of 2020. Upwork just recently reopened the office to begin utilizing the newly built-out space.

Skender Participates in National Safety Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction

Skender, one of the nation’s largest building contractors, is participating in the seventh annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction campaign during the week of September 14-18.

Coinciding with Construction Safety Week, the national campaign raises awareness about fall protection. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, falls from heights are the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction. The goal of this campaign is to prevent falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds by encouraging the proper planning, equipment and training.

To support the national campaign, Skender is taking extra time on its projects to discuss lessons learned, site-specific hazards, and preventative measures for avoiding fall-related injuries. “We have a strong culture of safety and regularly come together to support continued training and education,” said Skender Safety Director Dan Torres. “Every day, we walk our construction sites and carefully evaluate all potential hazards. During this campaign, we give special attention to fall protection and our site-specific safety plans, as well as our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Skender Completes First Biotech Lab Space and Base-building Work at 2430 N. Halsted

Skender, serving as construction manager, recently completed interior construction of the 30,000-square-foot laboratory and research office space for Exicure, Inc., a pioneer in gene regulatory and immunotherapeutic drugs. The clinical-stage biotechnology company is the first tenant in developer Sterling Bay’s recently redeveloped life sciences building at 2430 N Halsted.

Occupying the entire fourth floor, Exicure’s workspace features 44 lab stations, 11 fume hoods, open-office workstations, two tissue culture rooms with alarmed pressurization, an uninterrupted power supply, and space adapted for a custom-built DNA synthesizer machine. Skender collaborated with Sterling Bay, CannonDesign and CBRE to successfully complete the project.

As part of the base-building scope, Skender also worked with developer Sterling Bay to build-out the first- and second-floor common areas of 2430 N Halsted, a 125,000-square-foot medical research facility offering modern, flexible commercial lab space in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Skender’s base-building work included a reception area, four conference rooms, two staff offices, upgraded HVAC, new security and a lounge space for tenants.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of American Library Association HQ in Chicago

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction of the 55,000-square-foot Chicago headquarters of the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world.

Located on a single floor at 225 N. Michigan Avenue, the modern office features a mix of private and open-concept workspaces, enhanced meeting and focus spaces, a library, as well as multiple podcasting and video conferencing rooms.

Skender collaborated with architect Nelson Worldwide, engineer Environmental Systems Design (ESD), and owner’s representative Cushman and Wakefield.

Skender Named One of Chicago’s 100 Best Places to Work by Crain’s

Skender was recognized today as a best place to work on the Crain’s Chicago Business 2020 Best Places to Work list. Of the 100 finalists, Skender ranked No. 8 in the large companies category and No. 29 overall. With a focus on collaboration, high-performing teams and efficiency, this is the fifth time in eight years that Skender has earned the prestigious Crain’s recognition; and makes 27 best-place-to-work awards (by multiple awarding bodies) since 2008.

Crain’s sets out to find the local businesses rated highest by their employees for creating quality workplaces. Its survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the 100 best companies to work for in the Chicago area. In a wide-ranging questionnaire, Crain’s asked about everything from workplace comforts to benefits and culture. A record 14,522 employees participated in the publication’s survey this year.

Collaboration is central to Skender’s character: from our commitment to building meaningful client relationships to our valued trade partnerships to our belief that every voice in our company has value. The result is a truly refreshing project experience for our clients, our partners and our employees.

 

Skender Completes Interior Construction of Equity Residential’s Chicago Office

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction of the 75,000-square-foot Chicago office of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR), an owner, developer and manager of rental apartment properties.

Equity Residential occupies two floors at Two North Riverside with private access to the building’s roof terrace that was built out by Skender as part of the project scope. The renovated office space features a new atrium with a connecting staircase; a mix of open workstations and private offices, conference rooms and board rooms; new bathrooms; and custom millwork throughout.

“The team did a great job carefully coordinating this gut renovation project,” said Skender Senior Project Manager and Team Leader Lauren Torres. Skender collaborated with architect Partners by Design; owner’s representative JLL; and engineering consultant ESD.

Skender Partners With F.A. Wilhelm to Build IU Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center

Skender is partnering with F.A. Wilhelm to build the new IU Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center on the campus of Indiana University. The state-of-the-art complex, scheduled to open in 2021, is a collaborative project between Indiana University Health and Indiana University. The overall facility includes 620,000 square feet for in-patient and out-patient clinical services, and 115,000 square feet for academic instruction. The sustainable development will seek LEED certification and include:

    • An outpatient facility to accommodate same-day surgeries and office visits with specialty care physicians and diagnostic testing
    • An inpatient complex to replace the existing Indiana University Bloomington Hospital and provide intensive care, complex surgeries, and labor and delivery
    • A women’s center for obstetrics as well as a neonatal intensive care nursery and other perinatal services
    • An emergency department to provide specialized care for conditions such as strokes, heart attacks or injuries to hands, limbs, etc.
    • A trauma center to treat severe injuries resulting from incidents such as automobile accidents, entailing multiple fractures, acute spine injuries, and brain injuries
    • An academic facility for health sciences education and research

 

Click here to see the project progress from October 2020.

Skender Completes Compounding Pharmacy for Major Chicago Hospital

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction of a 7,500-square-foot compounding pharmacy at a large Chicago hospital that consolidates three existing oncology pharmacies while expanding capacity to support projected growth.

The new sterile pharmacy allows for the safe preparation, mixing and packaging of drugs to meet individual patient needs. It features six compounding spaces that were constructed using cleanroom design to keep airborne particles within specified limits. The project also includes 17 mixing hoods, refrigerated and non-refrigerated drug storage, and an interlocked ante-room with cleanroom doors that allow the opening of only one door at a time.

To comply with cleanroom specifications, the material selection included solid surface wall protection, Terra Universal cleanroom doors, lab casework and extensive mechanical equipment to support cleanroom functionality and standards.

The project took place within an active hospital, requiring special logistics and safety measures, such as precise-sized materials to fit elevators, extensive noise and vibration controls, and electrical and plumbing shutdown coordination. With space and access constraints, a knockdown air handling unit was delivered in panelized sections, assembled and installed on site over four weeks.

Skender worked with Kahler Slater and ESD to successfully complete the new pharmacy.

Skender Ranks Among Midwest’s Top 30 Contractors, Illinois’ Top 10

The national construction industry publication Engineering News-Record (ENR) recently published its 2020 Top Midwest Contractors edition. Based on 2019 revenues, ENR ranks Skender #28 in the Midwest and #9 in Illinois. In the commercial construction and renovation sub-rankings, Skender earned the #4 and #9 spots, respectively.

Some of Skender’s prominent projects in 2019 included the 14-story, 167,000-SF Hyatt House hotel (photo above), the 90,000-SF headquarters build-out for Mondelēz International, the six-story supportive housing facility for Sarah’s Circle, LinkedIn’s 46,000-SF Chicago office expansion, and multiple projects for Northwestern Medicine.

Chicago-based Skender is a full-service building contractor specializing in the new construction and renovations of commercial, healthcare and multifamily facilities. Infused with the principles of Lean project delivery, Skender works closely with clients and partners to create value, increase quality, reduce waste and deliver tangible benefits throughout the entire construction experience. With a thoughtful and thorough approach refined over six decades, Skender takes the time to listen to and understand its clients, partners, their needs and their intentions, striving to deliver the premier building experience at the greatest value.

 

Mark Skender Named CEO of Skender Manufacturing; Justin Brown Appointed President and CEO of Skender Construction

To fully support its construction and modular manufacturing businesses during the next phase of the economic recovery, Skender today announced that Mark Skender has chosen to step away from his role as CEO of Skender Construction and is formally assuming the role of CEO of Skender Manufacturing. Justin Brown will assume the role of CEO and continue his role as president of Skender Construction, which remains focused on general contracting services for all property types.

This move solidifies Mark Skender’s current leadership role in the manufacturing business and allows him and the other Skender Manufacturing leaders to concentrate on attracting investment and securing modular manufacturing projects.

“I have long been passionate about the transformative possibilities of modular construction for our industry and society. I am excited to embrace a leadership role fully dedicated to realizing the potential of modular building,” said Mark Skender. “This leadership realignment represents a natural evolution for our company and positions each of our unique businesses to be as strong as possible moving into the future.”

Mark Skender will direct the Skender Manufacturing leadership team of Pete Murray, president; Tim Swanson, chief design officer; and Stacy Scopano, chief technology officer. The leadership team will maintain a strong alliance with Skender Construction while operating as separate organizations for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Skender Tops Out on Six-story Women’s Shelter on Chicago’s North Side

Skender recently reached the final height on a new 36,000-SF, six-story supportive housing facility in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood for Sarah’s Circle. This nonprofit organization serves women who are homeless or in need of a safe space by providing services such as food, clothing, shelter, housing and clinical services for domestic violence and trauma.

Located at the intersection of Sheridan and Leland, this steel and precast building will include a basement, 38 units for long-term housing and emergency overnight space for 50 nonpermanent beds. The shelter will also feature a food hall, walk-in commercial freezer and hot room.

Skender is working in collaboration with design firm Perkins+Will and owner’s representative Brinshore Development to successfully complete the project.

Skender Foundation Appoints Two New Board Members

Skender Foundation today announces the appointment of Monica Bomani and Kathleen St. Louis Caliento to its board of directors.

Monica Bomani serves as director of community giving & engagement at Assurant, where she manages social responsibility programs including global volunteer and community engagement initiatives, as well as manages charitable partnerships and oversees Assurant Foundation global grants. Monica has more than 18 years of experience in various nonprofit, philanthropic and corporate citizenship roles, including global community investment manager for McDonald’s Corporation and most recently global social responsibility manager at Abbott. Prior to her transition to the corporate sector, Monica held fundraising and grants management roles with the Oprah Winfrey Philanthropies, the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the American Heart Association (Greater Midwest Affiliate). Monica holds a master’s degree in international public service management from DePaul University.

Kathleen St. Louis Caliento is the chief learning and design officer of the Academy Group. Previously, Kathleen held several leadership positions at Spark, including executive director in Chicago. Prior to Spark, Kathleen was chief program officer for Project Exploration, director of program investments for The Chicago Public Education Fund, and taught in New York City. She has spent two decades committed to urban education and student success. Kathleen is a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy (2017), and a current Leadership Greater Chicago fellow (2020). A published author, she earned her doctorate and master’s degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University and graduated with a bachelor’s from SUNY Stony Brook.

As board members, Monica and Kathleen will help oversee the nonprofit business activities and build new partnerships. “Monica and Kathleen embody the spirit of philanthropy and bring talent, enthusiasm and expertise to the table,” said Skender Foundation Chair and President Cheryl Skender. “We are looking forward to leveraging their nonprofit experience and networks that will further guide us in our strategic growth and outreach.”

Skender Completes Construction on 60-unit Independent Senior Living Facility in Crystal Lake, IL

Skender recently completed construction on Residences of Crystal Lake, an affordable, independent senior living facility located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The 63,000-square-foot, 60-unit facility is owned by Turnstone Development, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that has developed over 1,680 affordable housing units for low-income families and seniors in Illinois and Florida since 1998.

The three-story, wood-frame facility features 48 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units, including six ADA-accessible units, 12 adaptable units and two sensory units. Residents also have access to a fitness area, theater room, community rooms, computer rooms, a gazebo and other outdoor spaces on approximately five acres of landscape and hardscape. This project is the largest multi-unit residential project in Crystal Lake in recent history.

Providing preconstruction and construction services, Skender broke ground on the project in May 2019, substantially completed it in February 2020, and it officially opened in April. Skender collaborated with architect UrbanWorks, civil engineer Groundwork and developers DKI and TH Associates. Residences of Crystal Lake is the most recent of 10 similar residences that Skender has built in the last five years as part of its award-winning multifamily residential practice.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of Mondelēz International HQ in Fulton Market

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction of the 90,000-square-foot headquarters of Mondelēz International, a global leader in snacking. Mondelēz is the anchor tenant in the new five-story building at 905 W. Fulton Street with private access to the building’s 5,000-square-foot roof terrace that was built out by Skender as part of the base-building scope.

The innovation-rich office space features a café/lobby open to the public with a coffee shop, bakery and Chocolatier, two connecting stairwells, outdoor roof gardens, dynamic company branding, open-office workstations, private offices and a wide range of conference rooms.

Skender collaborated with HPA, the design firm responsible for the project’s first-floor retail space component; design firm SCB which is designing Mondelēz’s office space; engineering consultant IMEG Corp.; and owner’s representative CBRE. Skender’s work continues to shape office, hotel and retail development in the popular Fulton Market corridor. Other Skender construction projects in the area include ground-up projects like 1100 W. Fulton Street and Hyatt House, as well as the corporate interior for Vital Proteins, Glassdoor and Aspen Dental.

Construction Tops Out at 1100 W. Fulton, a Five-Story, Single-Tenant, Mixed-Use, Commercial Building for Fulton St. Companies and Herman Miller

Skender recently reached the final height on a 45,000-square-foot five-story, single-tenant, mixed-use, commercial building at 1100 W. Fulton St. The office and retail project, when complete in December 2020, will consist of historical masonry preservation at the existing building along with a brand-new concrete structure that will have three-story and five-story sections.

The façade will be comprised of exterior glazing and masonry along with a usable roof deck. The existing building is landmarked by the City of Chicago, and Skender will be preserving the existing façade elements on its north, south and east sides. This core and shell building is being constructed for developer Fulton St. Companies and their tenant Herman Miller, a furniture company that provides modern home and office furniture options.

Herman Miller is relocating from its existing headquarters in the Merchandise Mart after an 80-year run to be the sole tenant in this build-to-suit project. Skender will also complete the interior build-out of the showroom and office space for Herman Miller, which will take place from May through December 2020.

Skender, serving as general contractor, is collaborating with architect Hartshorne Plunkard, CBRE, Fulton St. Companies and ConopCo Project Management to successfully complete the project on a tight site footprint and schedule by December 2020.

Skender Named One of Crain’s 2020 Best Places to Work in Chicago

Skender has been named one of Crain’s 2020 Best Places to Work in Chicago. The complete list of winners, in alphabetical order, is available here.

In partnership with Best Companies Group, Crain’s surveyed thousands of employees on the types of working conditions, benefits and corporate culture that make a company a great place to work. The awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the 100 best companies to work for in Chicago.

Winners were determined by the results of a weighted survey of employees and employers, conducted by Crain’s in partnership with Best Companies Group.

To be considered for participation, companies had to:

  • Be a publicly or privately held business
  • Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business, or government entity
  • Have a facility in the Chicago area (including the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake in Illinois, Lake in Indiana, McHenry or Will)
  • Have a minimum of 25 full-time or part-time employees working in Chicago
  • Have been in business a minimum of one year

Determining the Best Places to Work in Chicago involved a two-step process. The first step consisted of evaluating each participating company’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of employee surveys aimed at assessing the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with respect to their workplace. This part was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the best companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process and analyzed the data and used its expertise to determine the final ranking.

This is the fourth time in seven years that Skender has earned the Crain’s recognition; and makes nearly 30 best place to work awards (by multiple awarding bodies) in total over the last dozen years. Skender will be honored at the 2020 Best Places to Work in Chicago awards event on Friday, April 17 at the Hilton Chicago. The ranking of the 100 top employers will appear in the April 20 issue of Crain’s Chicago Business.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of Paragon Biosciences’ New HQ

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed the interior renovation of the 23,000-square-foot headquarters for Paragon Biosciences LLC (Paragon), a fast-growing life science innovator that invests in, builds and advises bioscience companies. Paragon relocated to the 35th floor of 330 N. Wabash from its current office space in Northbrook, IL.

Paragon’s new technology-rich office space offers a wide range of amenities to support a highly collaborative and productive workplace. Key spaces include open office workstation areas, private offices, conference rooms of varying size, two reception areas, a warming pantry and large café. A drywall cloud component extends through much of the space and features branded signage mounted on the walls.

Skender collaborated with Gensler and CBRE to successfully complete the project.

 

Skender Completes Interior Construction of AbelsonTaylor’s New HQ in Old Post Office

Skender recently completed interior construction of the 85,000-square-foot headquarters for AbelsonTaylor, a Chicago-based health and wellness advertising agency and the fourth office tenant to lease space in the 2.8 million-square-foot Old Post Office building.

Located on the entire sixth floor of the north building and a portion of the fifth floor of the south building, the new space features private offices, open-office workstations, open-collaboration areas, conferencing, two café / social hubs, photography and editing rooms, storage and intermediate distribution frame (IDF) rooms. The floors are separated by just a few staircases, essentially functioning as a single office space spanning two floors.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with HED, Syska Hennessy Group and Cushman & Wakefield to successfully complete the project. Currently, Skender is the contractor for nearly 600,000 square feet of office space being constructed at the transforming Old Post Office, including projects for Walgreens and PepsiCo.

Skender Launches Interior Construction of New 536,000-SF Bank of America Flagship Office

Skender recently started interior construction of the 536,000-square-foot office relocation for Bank of America’s (BofA) downtown Chicago offices. Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Relocating from its current Chicago location at 135 S. LaSalle, close to half of the downtown BofA employees will move to the Bank of America Tower at 110 N. Wacker, a new construction Class A+, 56-story high-rise. Encompassing 17 floors of the building, BofA’s new space will include private offices, open workstation areas, conference rooms, work cafes / pantries, support space and other modern workplace amenities. Unique features include a trading floor, a barista bar and market cafe and two dedicated outdoor terraces. In addition, the interior will include an internal monument staircase connecting a two-floor conference center / executive suite.

Serving as general contractor, Skender is collaborating with Interior Architects and JLL to complete the project with delivery beginning in Q4 of 2020.

Skender’s Lisa Latronico Named One of Crain’s 2020 Notable Leaders in HR

Lisa Latronico, partner and vice president of people and culture at Skender, has been recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the area’s “Notable Leaders in HR” for 2020. Editors at Crain’s selected and honored executive human resources leaders who have made a significant impact within the Chicago business community.

Latronico, who joined Skender in 2001 and has overseen the HR function since 2006, advocates for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as well as strong mentorship and talent management. According to the editorial feature in the February 3 issue of Crain’s Chicago Business, “Lisa Latronico has boosted the representation of women [at Skender] to 21 percent. That compares to 9.1 percent in the U.S. construction workforce, according to the National Association of Women in Construction.”

Under Latronico’s leadership, Skender has earned more than two dozen “best place to work” awards from three different awarding organizations.

“Lisa and her team are a driving force behind our culture and embody our core values of true partnership, refreshing and proactive,” said Mark Skender, CEO, Skender. “They inspire us all to go above and beyond and achieve excellence not just in our work, but in our relationships with one another.”

Skender Starts Interior Construction to Expand Upwork’s Chicago Office

Skender, serving as general contractor, has started construction on a 34,000-square-foot expansion to Upwork’s current space in Chicago, located at 525 W. Van Buren, which Skender originally built out and completed in December 2018.

Upwork, the leading online talent solution, has been rapidly expanding its presence locally since moving into its current space and is expected to grow its Chicago workforce to 346 employees by the end of 2020. This phase of construction incorporates an open-office concept for workstations with technology-rich meeting areas, an all-hands meeting space and café, server room, large training room and collaboration/breakout space. The expanded space will provide a day-one occupancy of up to 204 employees with infrastructure to expand to 250 workstations.

Skender is collaborating with architecture/engineering firm CannonDesign and tenant representative Cresa to complete the project by the end of April 2020.

Skender Advances Five to Senior Positions on Growing Operations Team

Underscoring its commitment to an award-winning employee culture that fosters talent and innovation, Skender is pleased to announce five key leaders have been promoted:

Clay Edwards to Executive Vice President and Partner. Since joining Skender in 2006, Edwards has managed millions of square feet of interior tenant improvement (TI) projects throughout Chicago. A client-centric and results-oriented leader, Clay is the head of Skender’s Tenant Improvement market and founder of the firm’s Construction Technology and Self Perform Groups. Clay’s expertise is integral to Skender’s business development efforts as he cultivates new and existing relationships, and his interior tenant improvement teams are consistently at the forefront of many of Chicago’s top tech, legal and corporate HQ projects. As an industry thought leader, Clay is frequently cited in commercial real estate news media outlets regarding tenant improvement interior construction topics and is often a featured speaker and writer on related trends. He holds a Bachelor of Science in construction engineering from Purdue University.

Andy Halik to Project Executive. Since joining the firm in 2011, Halik has led numerous interior construction teams on transformational buildouts in Fulton Market, Merchandise Mart and the Old Post Office. These include Google, Conagra Brands, Walgreens and others. Halik is recognized for fostering long-term client relationships in multiple market sectors. He earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Ashlee Pforr to Project Executive. Since joining the firm in 2010, Pforr has overseen numerous interior construction teams on award-winning buildouts, including HERE Technologies, Bank of America, SRAM, Echo Global Logistics, Cars.com, Hinshaw & Culbertson and others. Pforr is recognized for her mentorship and talent development. She earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Iowa State University.

Rob Shilney to Senior Project Manager. Since joining the firm in 2014, Shilney has been an instrumental leader on numerous buildouts for global clients in the technology sector, including Facebook, Glassdoor, Dentons, Morgan Stanley and others. He earned a Bachelor of Science in technical resource management and construction management from Southern Illinois University.

Al McReynolds to Senior Superintendent. McReynolds joined Skender in 2015 and has more than 20 years of industry experience. He has been an asset in ensuring the success of Skender’s field operations at Northwestern Medicine. He has served as superintendent for numerous high-profile buildouts at Northwestern Medicine and will continue to help lead Skender’s healthcare field operations teams.

“Each of these individuals embodies Skender’s core values of building proactive and positive partnerships with all clients,” said Mark Skender, CEO. “As we begin 2020 with bright prospects, Clay, Andy, Ashlee, Rob and Al will certainly contribute to our continued success.”

Skender Starts Interior Construction of AbelsonTaylor’s New HQ in Iconic Old Post Office

Skender recently started interior construction of the 85,000-square-foot headquarters for AbelsonTaylor, a Chicago-based health and wellness advertising agency and the fourth office tenant to lease space in the 2.8 million-square-foot Old Post Office building.

AbelsonTaylor is relocating from its current offices at 33 W. Monroe St. to accommodate growth while reducing overall space. Located on the entire sixth floor of the north building and a portion of the fifth floor of the south building, the new facility will accommodate private offices, workstations, an open collaboration area, conferencing, a break room, storage and intermediate distribution frame (IDF) rooms. The floors will be separated by just a few staircases, essentially functioning as a single office space spanning two floors.

Serving as general contractor, Skender is working in collaboration with HED, Syska Hennessy Group and Cushman & Wakefield to complete the project by March 2020. Currently, Skender is the contractor for nearly 500,000 square feet of office space being constructed at the transforming Old Post Office, including projects for Walgreens and PepsiCo.

Skender Director of Residential Design Named to Chicago Power Women & Rising Stars List

Skender Director of Residential Design Angela Spadoni, AIA was recently named to Bisnow’s Chicago Power Women & Rising Stars list as an honoree. With more than 10 years of international and domestic experience, Spadoni has an impressive background in multifamily, condominium, retail and mixed-use high-rise design. At Skender, Spadoni oversees multifamily design projects, including the design of housing modules produced in Skender’s new Chicago manufacturing facility.

Sponsored by Bisnow, this annual initiative aims to shine a light on women making a big impact on the commercial real estate industry. This year, Bisnow is honoring both leading power women and ‘rising stars’ in the community. Rising stars are women who are early on (under 20 years) into their careers who have been identified as the next generation of leaders in Chicago commercial real estate.

A celebratory event will be held this Wednesday, December 4 at 325 W. Huron Street. For more information, visit https://www.bisnow.com/events/chicago/chicago-power-women-rising-stars-2672.

Skender’s Healthcare Portfolio Growing as Firm Completes Several Projects for Major Chicago Health Systems

Skender’s healthcare team has won construction management assignments for several projects throughout Chicago. Among the projects recently started or completed:

  • Major West Suburban Hospital (Maywood, Illinois) – Two 1,500-square-foot build-outs of pharmaceutical retail locations featuring high-end millwork finishes, added security and infrastructure.
  • North Suburban Hospital (Skokie, Illinois) – 12,000-square-foot build-out on the second floor of a medical office building for which Skender previously completed the basement, first- and third-floor build-outs. Features two practices with 25 exam rooms and three care team stations.
  • North Suburban Hospital Loading Dock Expansion (Evanston, Illinois) – While keeping the hospital’s only loading dock operational, Skender installed precast paneling to expand the enclosure to the edge of the dock bay. The project included five new coiling doors. Up front planning, coordination and communication were key to this project’s success.
  • West Suburban Pediatric Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic Renovation (Wheaton, Illinois) – 8,000-square-foot build-out that includes the renovation of existing office space, treatment rooms and sensory rooms dedicated to helping children overcome disabilities.
  • West Suburban Rehabilitation Hospital (Wheaton, Illinois) – Phased millwork replacement and refresh of finishes for three floors. Met a tight schedule to turnover each 3,000-square-foot gym in three weeks.
  • Downtown Hospital MRI and CT Room (Streeterville, Chicago) – High profile build-outs to add two MRI rooms and a CT room that required facilitating the transportation of the MRI machines through a roof hatch using a crane pick. Each imaging room is 800-square-feet and features state-of-the-art imaging technology.

Skender’s team has successfully completed renovation and new construction work for other healthcare clients with a strong Midwest presence, including Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Esperanza Health Centers, University of Chicago Medicine and Rush University Medical Center.

Eighth Annual Harvesting Hope Raises $43,000 for Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Comprised of philanthropic-minded professionals, Builders’ Board of Skender Foundation hosted its annual Harvesting Hope fundraiser on October 17 at Venue West. This year’s charity partner and beneficiary was Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH). More than 300 people attended the event and raised $43,000 for CCH.

Founded in 1980, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is the only nonprofit in Illinois dedicated to advocating for public policies that curb and can ultimately end homelessness. CCH leads strategic campaigns, community outreach and public policy initiatives that target the lack of affordable housing in metropolitan Chicago and across Illinois. In addition, CCH presses for access to jobs, training and public schools.

“Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is honored to have been chosen as the beneficiary for this year’s Harvesting Hope fundraiser. We are so grateful for the incredible partnership of the Builders’ Board and all the work they did to make the event such a success. Funds raised will support our Youth Futures mobile legal aid clinic, which reaches more than 4,000 homeless youth and students each year. Thanks to you, CCH will be able to help even more homeless young people access shelter, healthcare, education and legal ID records,” said Beth Malik, Lead Youth Futures Attorney at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

“We are beyond thrilled with the outcome of this year’s Harvesting Hope event,” said Skender Foundation Executive Director, Belinda Moore. “It is an honor to support Chicago Coalition for the Homeless in such an impactful way and bring recognition and awareness to the important work that they do in our city. Many thanks to attendees, sponsors and silent auction donors for their generous contributions. Without their help, we couldn’t help local charities that promote health, wellness and education.”

In previous years, Harvesting Hope highlighted Purple Asparagus, Snow City Arts, Embarc Chicago, Foundations of Music, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Emergency Needs Fund, Common Threads and Urban Initiatives.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of Coworking Brand “Spaces” for IWG

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction of the 8-story, 80,000-square-foot Spaces location, a pioneer in creative, flexible workspaces, owned by IWG. Spaces has assumed occupancy of the former Sports Authority building at LaSalle and Ontario and, as sole tenant, will enjoy private access to the building’s roof terrace also renovated as part of Skender’s scope.

At its new location, Spaces can provide workspace access to over 500 business professionals from companies of all sizes. Workers can enjoy desk space to meet any business need from private desks to collaborative business lounges to secure conference rooms. The technology-rich office space provides a wide range of amenities to foster community, creativity and growth, while retaining elements from the original building like the exposed brick throughout and high, open ceilings. Key gathering areas include a gym space, large reception area and conference rooms of varying size.

Skender collaborated with an Atlanta-based group of architects at Nelson Companies, Loring Engineers out of North Carolina, local owner’s representative Himes Associates and Spaces Brand owner IWG to complete the project for an October 1 move-in date.

“As we continue to grow our Spaces brand, we are always on the lookout for metros that have a solid demand for flexible workspace,” said Michael Berretta, VP of Network Development of IWG, owner of Spaces. “We see Chicago as a city that is hungry for co-working options and we’re excited to set up our HQ at such an iconic location in River North.”

This will be Spaces’ third location in Chicago to go along with Spaces Chicago, Fulton Market and Spaces Chicago, Near North Side. Parent company IWG also has a strong presence in the area, operating under its Regus brand.

Skender Launches Construction of New Mondelēz International HQ in Fulton Market

Skender, serving as general contractor, has launched interior construction of the future 90,000-square-foot headquarters of Mondelēz International, a global leader in snacking. Mondelēz will serve as the anchor tenant in the new five-story building at 905 W. Fulton Street, and enjoy private access to the building’s 5,000-square-foot roof terrace built out by Skender as part of the base building scope.

Mondelēz is relocating 400 employees to the rapidly developing Fulton Market District from its current corporate global headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, as part of its new, dynamic and more consumer-centric growth culture. The HQ expansion will also include Enjoy Life Foods, a snacking company focused on ‘free-from’ snacks, acquired by Mondelēz in 2015 and currently based in Schiller Park, Illinois.

The innovation-rich office space will offer a wide range of amenities to support a highly collaborative and productive workplace. Key spaces include open office workstation areas, private offices, conference rooms of varying size, a large reception area, a warming pantry, a large café and two separate communicating staircases.

Skender is collaborating with HPA, the design firm responsible for the project’s first-floor retail space component; design firm SCB which is designing Mondelēz’s office space; and owner’s representative CBRE to complete the project by April 2020. Skender’s work continues to shape office, hotel and retail development in the popular Fulton Market corridor. Recent Skender construction projects in the area include the new Vital Proteins headquarters, Hyatt House hotel and Aspen Dental’s Midwest headquarters.

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About Skender

Skender is revolutionizing how the industry builds by unifying construction, design and advanced manufacturing to create a more efficient, streamlined process—and a single source of truth. We bring together every stage of the journey for designing and constructing commercial, healthcare and multifamily properties. Our Lean, integrated and tech-infused business model focuses on optimizing and innovating, ensuring our clients and project partners walk away feeling energized about the design and construction process. Headquartered in Chicago, we offer expertise to local and global brands. For more information on Skender, visit www.skender.com.

About Mondelēz

Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) empowers people to snack right in over 150 countries around the world. With 2018 net revenues of approximately $26 billion, MDLZ is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as Oreo, belVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate; Sour Patch Kids candy and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ

Skender Breaks Ground on New Women’s Shelter on Chicago’s North Side

Skender has broken ground on a new 42,000-SF supportive housing facility in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood for Sarah’s Circle. This nonprofit organization serves women who are homeless or in need of a safe space by providing services such as food, clothing, shelter, housing and clinical services for domestic violence and trauma.

Located at the intersection of Sheridan and Leland, the six-story steel and precast building will include a basement, 38 units for long-term housing and emergency overnight space for 50 nonpermanent beds. The shelter will also feature a food hall, walk-in commercial freezer and hot room. During demolition of the property’s existing building, old materials were preserved for reinstallation in the new structure, including marble for the stairs, timber and terracotta pieces with facial designs that preserve the old neighborhood aesthetic.

Skender is working in collaboration with design firm Perkins+Will and owner’s representative Brinshore Development to successfully complete the project in 14 months.

Skender Completes Construction of LinkedIn Chicago Headquarters Expansion

Skender, serving as interior construction manager, has completed construction of LinkedIn’s new 46,000-square-foot Chicago headquarters expansion project at 525 W. Monroe. LinkedIn, a global business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps, expanded its office footprint with a communicating stair connecting the existing space to two floors and various other new elements.

To accommodate an expanding workforce, LinkedIn added numerous employee-focused features to its new office space, including large open collaborations areas, all open benching workstations, a salon, mother’s room and faith room, unique rhythm-based graphics and millwork on the sixth floor. The new fifth floor amenity space consists of a garden lounge, game room and fully equipped music room.

Skender collaborated with Gensler, ESD Global and Avison Young to complete the LEED CI v4 Gold Certified project in June 2019.

Skender Starts Interior Construction of Paragon Biosciences’ New HQ

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently launched the interior renovation of the future 23,000-square-foot headquarters for Paragon Biosciences LLC (Paragon), a fast-growing life science innovator that invests in, builds and advises bioscience companies. Paragon will be relocating to the 35th floor of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed 330 N. Wabash from its current office space in Northbrook, IL.

Paragon’s new technology-rich office space will offer a wide range of amenities to support a highly collaborative and productive workplace. Key spaces include open office workstation areas, private offices, conference rooms of varying size, two reception areas, a warming pantry and large café. A drywall cloud component will extend through much of the space and be featured in branded signage mounted on the walls. Additionally, the reception and café areas will feature large format tile.

“An Innovation Center for new portfolio companies will be a key feature of our expanded headquarters,” said Jeff Aronin, Paragon’s Chairman and CEO. “Shared workspace in the Innovation Center will enable the independent leadership teams of incubating portfolio companies to directly access advisory services from Paragon’s experts in R&D, advanced sciences, clinical operations, and regulatory affairs.”

Skender is collaborating with Gensler and CBRE to complete the project in Fall 2019.

Skender Completes 100,000-SF Renovation for New South Side Charter School

Skender recently completed the conversion of the 100,000-square-foot former Soft Sheen building at 8522 S. Lafayette into a middle and high school for Perspectives Charter Schools.

Founded in 1997, Perspectives Charter Schools (PCS) is one of the first charter schools in Illinois whose mission is to develop ethical leaders. Today, PCS manages five open enrollment, tuition-free public schools serving students in grades 6-12 in the communities of Auburn Gresham, Bronzeville, South Loop and now Chatham.

Construction included interior and exterior alterations to an existing two-story steel-framed structure with a masonry exterior. For classes starting next week, the new charter school will provide STEM-forward classrooms, a monumental staircase that will also serve as seating for an auditorium, two large gymnasiums and flexible outdoor space for a future athletic field.

Serving as general contractor in a joint venture with The Bowa Group, Skender worked in collaboration with Perkins + Will and ConopCo Project Management to complete the project by fall semester for PCS students to enjoy a new, healthy and productive school environment.

Skender Completes Renovation of WBEZ Headquarters

Skender recently completed interior construction of a 37,000-square-foot renovation project at the headquarters for WBEZ, a nonprofit media organization located at Navy Pier in Chicago.

WBEZ renovated its current offices to include an upgraded AV package; densification for new workstations; additional common areas, including a high-end, client-facing pantry and community room; as well as the replacement of the existing rooftop and air handling units.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with Charlie Greene Studio and ConopCo Project Management to successfully complete the project.

Eighth Annual Summer Eclipse Raises $411,000, Highlights Little Wish Foundation

Skender Foundation hosted its annual fundraiser, Summer Eclipse, on Thursday, July 18 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. A total of $411,000 was raised in one night by sponsors and more than 500 event attendees. Of that, $30,000 will be donated to Little Wish Foundation while the balance will be dispersed to other charities dedicated to education and wellness throughout the year. In 2018, Summer Eclipse donations went to more than 100 different charity organizations.

This year, Skender Foundation highlighted Little Wish Foundation at Summer Eclipse. Founded in Indianapolis in 2010, Little Wish Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that grants wishes of pediatric oncology patients. The wishes may be small (most cost between $500 and $1,000), but their impact on children’s lives is immeasurable. The organization services fourteen children’s hospitals in seven states, including Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Rush University Children’s Hospital. To date, Little Wish has granted 1,950 little wishes to children with cancer during their treatment period.

“Each year, Skender Foundation hosts Summer Eclipse with the goal of providing opportunities, tools and resources to those in need. We chose to highlight Little Wish Foundation to help brighten the lives of children suffering from cancer, and feel honored to be able to make a positive impact on their journeys,” Skender Foundation Executive Director Belinda Moore said regarding the motivation behind Summer Eclipse.

Since its 2012 inception, Skender Foundation has raised over $5,600,000 for more than 300 charitable organizations. To learn more about Little Wish Foundation, visit littlewishfoundation.org.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of New Vital Proteins HQ in Fulton Market

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed the interior renovation of the 40,000-square-foot headquarters of Vital Proteins, a fast-growing private retailer of health supplement products. Vital Proteins has assumed full occupancy of the four-story 939 W. Fulton Street, one block from Google’s Midwest headquarters in Chicago’s lively Fulton Market neighborhood.

Vital Proteins relocated 130 employees from its former offices at 1201 W. Washington to accommodate the business’s rapidly growing workforce in the vibrant neighborhood of Fulton Market. The technology-rich office space offers a wide range of amenities to support a highly collaborative and productive workplace. Key spaces include open office workstation areas, private offices, conference rooms of varying size, two reception areas, a warming pantry and large café. Notable renovation elements include a new atrium that dramatically spans two floors of the building and features a stadium-style staircase and full-scale barista station. Also, the interior design retains the historic landmark building’s high ceilings, exposed brick walls and wood floors.

Skender collaborated with SCB and JLL to complete the project. Skender’s work continues to shape office, hotel and retail development in the popular Fulton Market corridor. Recent Skender construction projects in the area include Hyatt House, Sterling Bay, Glassdoor, The Climate Corporation and The AZEK Company, as well as Skender’s own company headquarters.

 

Skender Partners with Sleep in Heavenly Peace for Annual Volunteer Day

Nearly 100 Skender employees, friends and family volunteered on Saturday, June 22 at Skender’s annual volunteer day to build the bed frames for 50 bunk beds. Through a partnership with Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP), the day will benefit 100 children across the Chicago metropolitan area in need of beds.

“We were honored to partner with Sleep in Heavenly Peace and utilize our volunteers’ talents in the building trades for an amazing cause,” explains Belinda Moore, Executive Director of Skender Foundation. “The work of our mix of friends, family, Builders’ Board members and professionals will help push forward Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s mission of ensuring that no children have to sleep on the floor.”

During the Build Day, volunteers came together under the guidance of Sleep in Heavenly Peace to build 50 bunk bed frames. Those beds will then be packed, delivered and assembled at the homes of families on the waiting list with SHP to provide accessible, stable and safe beds for 50 families and 100 children in need.

Founded in 2012, SHP is a nationwide nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that builds and delivers beds to children who don’t have beds to sleep in. As of 2019, the organization has 150 chapters around the United States and has built over 4,000 beds.

“Skender has always impressed me from the very first day that I worked on one of your job sites and still to this day everyone at Skender impresses me both on the construction side of things and now the willingness to help others in need giving up your own time to do so!” said Jason Jansma, SHP Chapter Co-President IL-Chicagoland.

Skender Completes Office Interior Construction for Corix Group of Companies

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed the 30,000-square-foot interior build-out at 500 W. Monroe St. for Corix Group of Companies. The water, wastewater and energy utility firm consolidated its offices across North America to downtown Chicago. The new offices will immediately house approximately 70 employees.

“This was the right thing to do in support of our strategies for the future,” said Lisa Sparrow, Corix President and Chief Executive Officer. “We will continue to need to draw the ‘best and brightest’ into our workforce and an urban setting along with suburban transit access, greatly facilitates that.”

The technology-rich office space offers amenities to support a highly collaborative, productive and flexible workplace. Key spaces include a café overlooking the Chicago skyline, collaboration areas, conference/team rooms of varying sizes, and a sustainably harvested moss accent wall at the entry to the board room.

Corix’s Shared Services group will comprise the bulk of the workforce and currently supports all the local business units throughout the United States. “Our mission of providing absolutely top-notch, cutting-edge support to all of our businesses in areas like finance, information technology, human resources, communications, customer service and billing will be greatly enhanced through this move, both in terms of collaboration and availability of the best technology resources out there today and for the future,” noted Jim Devine, Chief Shared Services Officer. He added, “We are certain that this new location positions us well to deliver world class service and facilitate the expansion plans of our local and state level business units.”

Skender collaborated with architecture firm Nelson, owner’s representative Colliers International and engineering firm Environmental Systems Design to successfully complete the project on a very tight schedule.

Skender Completes 14-story, 167,000-SF Hyatt House Hotel, a New Sterling Bay Development in the Fulton Market District

Skender, serving as base building and interior construction manager, has completed construction of Chicago’s first Hyatt House extended-stay hotel. The new 14-story, 167,000-square-foot hotel is located in the heart of Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood at 105 N. May Street. The Hyatt House is the first hotel in the Fulton Market district to cater to extended-stay corporate travelers, and includes amenities ranging from an indoor pool and multiple green roof features to upgraded common areas such as the bar and lounge with city views.

The hotel offers a third-floor lobby and first-floor future retail space. The pool, workout center and lounge are situated on the 14th floor, with 200 guest rooms on floors 4-13. Sterling Bay is the hotel’s developer and Skender collaborated with project architect Eckenhoff Saunders Architects.

The hotel’s exterior cladding comprises hand-laid masonry, precast concrete panels, unitized window wall systems, metal panels and intricate storefront system. Building information modeling (BIM) was used to coordinate all site utility, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems around the post tension and reinforced concrete structure. Additionally, in line with their commitment to Lean construction principles, Skender included Target Value Design in their pre-construction services to eliminate inefficiencies during the project’s schedule.

Skender’s subcontractor labor force to build the hotel included local community hires from the surrounding West Loop neighborhood, as well as ample participation from minority-owned business enterprise (MBE) and woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) firms.

Skender has performed construction extensively throughout the Fulton Market District. At 1K Fulton, Skender teams have built spaces for Google, the SRAM headquarters and Swift & Sons. Across the neighborhood at 1330 W. Fulton (Fulton West), Skender constructed the firm’s own headquarters and the headquarters for Sterling Bay, as well as spaces for The Climate Corporation and Glassdoor. Nearby at 939 W. Fulton, Skender will soon complete the new headquarters for Vital Proteins, a fast-growing private retailer of health supplement products.

Skender Completes Construction of Senior Lifestyle Assisted Living Facility in Northbrook, IL

Skender, serving as base building and interior construction manager, has completed construction of North Shore Place, a Senior Lifestyle-owned assisted living facility located in Northbrook, Illinois. This marks the second new construction project Skender has completed for Senior Lifestyle on this property; the first a 175,000-square foot, five-story, 157-unit assisted living facility located adjacent to current construction.

The new two-story, 37,500-square-foot assisted living facility offers 40 memory care units. Special infrastructure allowed for the installation of a video memory screen adjacent on every tenant’s entryway door that cycles through digitized photographs of family and friends to assist tenants with room identification. The building is designed around a central courtyard with a water feature and putt-putt course. Skender is set to begin a four-month conversion of the former memory care wing into 32 assisted living units on June 24.

Skender worked in collaboration with design firm SAS Architects & Planners, civil engineering firm Manhard Consulting and structural engineering firm Bowman, Barrett & Associates to successfully complete the project in 11 months. All work was performed adjacent to a fully operational, twenty-four seven facility and required shut down of the main access drive for building deliveries and egress.

Skender Wins DISRUPTOR Award at BuiltWorlds’ Machines Conference

Recognized today at the reception of BuiltWorlds’ Machines Conference, Skender was voted the winner of the DISRUPTOR award for the Modular Builders category among those featured on the 2019 Machines 50 List. Skender’s Director of Residential Architecture Angela Spadoni attended the event to accept the award following her presentation on modular construction and evolving project delivery.

The year’s Machines 50 List features innovative solutions advancing equipment, machinery and tools at the frontier of the built environment. With emerging technology transforming construction in the shop and in the field, BuiltWorlds aims to showcase companies that are pushing the boundaries of both product and process.

BuiltWorlds’ panel of expert judges selected one LEADER and one DISRUPTOR from each of the seven categories on the list: (1) 3D printing, (2) equipment tracking & fleet management, (3) field robotics, (4) equipment marketplaces, (5) modular builders, (6) prefabrication solutions and (7) vehicles.

With a focus on innovation, teamwork and efficiency, Skender has earned more than 26 best place to work awards (by multiple awarding bodies) in total over the last dozen years.

Skender Celebrates Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Esperanza Health Center in Brighton Park

On Friday, May 17, Skender celebrated the ribbon cutting ceremony for Esperanza Brighton Park, the new 26,000-square-foot health center at 4700 S. California Avenue in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood. Attended by Senator Dick Durbin, 14th Ward Alderman Edward Burke and other local dignitaries, the event symbolized improved access to health care services for local residents who have been designated as medically underserved with a health professional shortage by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Open to the public today, Esperanza, meaning hope in Spanish, is living up to its name as the new, two-story facility is a fully accessible building, providing critical services that were previously lacking in this southwest area of Chicago.

By teaming up with local specialty care and community-based organizations, the Esperanza Brighton Park building houses comprehensive medical and wellness services and, utilizing forward-thinking design, features a dynamic façade comprised of color-shifting metal panels, to attract and unite the surrounding community. The facility includes clinical office space, 30 exam rooms, space for additional diagnostic and treatment services, a retail pharmacy, as well as 69 parking spaces.

Skender, serving as general contractor, collaborated with architect JGMA and McNitt Consulting to successfully complete the project.

Skender Breaks Ground on Independent Senior Living Facility in Crystal Lake, IL

Skender, serving as base building and interior construction manager, has broken ground on Residences of Crystal Lake, a Turnstone Development-owned senior living facility located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Turnstone Development, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), has developed over 1,680 affordable housing units for low-income families and seniors in Illinois and Florida since 1998.

The new three-story, 63,000-square-foot facility will offer 60 affordable living units for seniors, and includes five ADA-accessible units, 12 adaptable units and two sensory units. The facility also includes a fitness area, theater room and community room. The exterior façade contains a mixture of cladding materials, including cut stone and cementitious lap/panel siding, as well as TPO, shingle and standing seam roofing. The project also includes approximately five acres of landscape and hardscape that includes a trellis, gazebo and paved parking for 61 vehicles. This project is the largest residential project in Crystal Lake in recent history and the City is eager to see the project underway.

Skender is working in collaboration with Chicago-based design firm UrbanWorks, civil engineering firm GroundWork, Ltd. and owner’s representative DKI, Inc. to successfully complete the design-build project by March 2020.

Skender Starts Interior Construction of Chicago HQ of Coworking Firm Spaces

The months-long redevelopment of the iconic former Sports Authority building at LaSalle and Ontario has achieved a significant milestone with an affiliate of Next Realty, the building’s owner, completing the base building renovations. Skender, serving as general contractor, will soon start the interior renovation of the future 8-story, 80,000-square-foot Chicago HQ of Spaces, a fast-growing coworking office space owned by IWG. Spaces is assuming full occupancy and will enjoy private access to the building’s roof terrace, which Skender is also renovating within the project scope.

Spaces is creating room for more than 500 business professionals from companies of all sizes to enjoy both desks for private heads-down work as well as collaborative space. The technology-rich office space will offer a wide range of amenities to foster community, creativity and growth, while retaining elements from the original building, like exposed brick and high, open ceilings on the first floor. The space features key gathering areas – including a first-floor café, gym space, large reception area, and a business café – conference rooms of varying size, private offices and open office workstation areas.

Skender is collaborating with Atlanta-based architect WB Interiors, Loring Engineers, owner’s representative Himes Associates and Spaces’ owner IWG to complete the project by September 2019. The roof terrace is being designed by local architect von Weise Associates.

“We are excited to begin work on our third location in Chicago,” said Michael Berretta, VP of Network Development, IWG. “Demand is strong for flexible workspaces in Chicago, and our new location gives the city’s talent pool a great place to work, outstanding amenities and membership to a thriving business community.”

Skender Named a Best Place to Work in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business

Skender was recognized today as a best place to work on the Crain’s Chicago Business 2019 Best Places to Work list. Of the 100 finalists, Skender ranked No. 11 in the large companies category and No. 41 overall. With a focus on innovation, teamwork and efficiency, this is the fourth time in seven years that Skender has earned the Crain’s recognition; and makes over 26 best place to work awards (by multiple awarding bodies) in total over the last dozen years.

Since 2008, Crain’s has set out to find the local businesses rated highest by their employees for creating quality workplaces. Its survey and awards program are designed to identify, recognize and honor the 100 best companies to work for in the Chicago area. In a wide-ranging questionnaire, Crain’s asked about everything from workplace comforts to benefits and culture. 4,522 employees participated in the survey this year.

Collaboration is central to Skender’s character: from our commitment to building meaningful client relationships to our valued trade partnerships to our belief that every voice in our company has value. The result is a truly refreshing project experience for our clients, our partners and our employees.

Skender is always in search of great talent—learn more about our culture and see our open opportunities.

Skender CEO Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from University of Wisconsin–Madison Construction Club

Skender CEO Mark Skender was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin–Madison Construction Club. This prestigious award recognizes individuals who have impacted the engineering and construction industries, demonstrated a commitment to excellence, and have shown an interest in developing students, the future leaders of the profession, throughout their career.

Mark is being recognized for his integral role in the development of Skender’s long-term vision, strategic direction, organizational design and values. With the recent opening of its 105,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Chicago, Skender has successfully integrated construction, design and manufacturing all under the same brand. In this new facility, Skender is able to apply modular construction techniques to various healthcare, hotel and apartment projects.

Mark also helped pioneer Chicago’s Lean construction movement and speaks frequently on the subject. He is a founding member of the Lean Construction Institute’s Chicago Community of Practice.

Mark earned a bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison’s civil engineering program and holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Skender Advances Five to Senior Positions on Growing Operations Team

Skender, a Chicago-based construction, design and manufacturing firm, has been recognized as one of the industry’s top employers over the past decade, most recently as a finalist in the Crain’s Best Places to Work list for 2019. Further proving its commitment to continuous improvement of the firm and professional growth of its employees, Skender is pleased to announce the following individuals’ recent promotions on its expanding operations team:

Pete Conlin to Director of Field Operations from Senior Superintendent, Team Leader. Conlin joined Skender in 2011 and successfully completed several large-scale tech build-outs, including Motorola Mobility, Google, ConAgra Foods and GGP. Conlin continues to demonstrate his strong loyalty to Skender and his team, and currently plays an integral role in building out Skender’s new manufacturing facility prior to production start. In his new role, he will oversee all field operations of tenant improvement projects.

John Estes to Director of Field Operations from Senior Superintendent, Team Leader. Estes joined Skender in 2013 and has been a driving force behind Skender’s successful field operations at Northwestern Medicine. He has served as superintendent for numerous high-profile build-outs at Northwestern Medicine and, as team leader, helps guide Skender’s healthcare field operations teams. In his new role, Estes will oversee all field operations of healthcare projects.

Jeff Krause to Director of Field Operations from Senior Superintendent. Krause joined Skender in 2017 and has overseen field operations of Skender’s 14-story, 200-room Hyatt House hotel project in the Fulton Market neighborhood of Chicago. Through his vast experience leading field operations of high- and mid-rise developments, Krause has led Skender’s team through the successful Hyatt House project that has consistently been ahead of schedule. In his new role, he will oversee all field operations of ground-up projects.

Brian Ribordy to Director of Field Operations from Senior Superintendent, Team Leader. Ribordy joined Skender in 2011. Prior to his current work at North Shore Place assisted living, Brian successfully completed the Woodlawn Station affordable housing project in Chicago and Grandbrier of Prospect Heights ground-up memory care and assisted living facility. He continues to demonstrate his expertise in managing ground-up projects in the affordable and senior living sectors. In his new role, Ribordy will oversee all field operations of multi-unit projects.

Dan Torres, CHST, STS-C, to Safety Director from SPQ Manager. Torres, who joined Skender in 2018, specializes in safety, production and quality with a mindset that each are interconnected and of equal importance. During Torres’ time as SPQ Manager, Skender won its sixth construction safety award since 2013. Another measure of safety in the construction industry is the experience modification rate (EMR), which calculates past cost of injuries and future chance of risk. As further evidence of an exceptional safety record, Skender’s EMR is 22 percent lower than the national average.

“These five individuals epitomize our core values and embody what it means to be a leader at Skender,” said Justin Brown, President. “Their enthusiasm and proven track record of driving successful projects in the field is unparalleled, and their ability to execute projects, meet deadlines and satisfy our clients is impressive. We are thrilled to announce their well-deserved promotions and look forward to their continued leadership over our field operations teams.”

Skender Named a Finalist for the 2019 Best Places to Work in Chicago

Skender has been named a finalist for the 2019 Best Places to Work in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business. This is the third time in six years that Skender has earned the Crain’s recognition; and makes over 25 best place to work awards (by multiple awarding bodies) in total over the last dozen years.

Since 2008, Crain’s has set out to find the local businesses rated highest by their employees for creating quality workplaces. Its survey and awards program are designed to identify, recognize and honor the 100 best companies to work for in the Chicago area. In a wide-ranging questionnaire, Crain’s asked about everything from workplace comforts to benefits and culture. 4,522 employees participated in the survey this year.

The winners’ rankings will be revealed on April 11 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel.

Skender CEO Receives BuiltWorlds Maverick Award

Skender announced today that Mark Skender has been selected as a 2019 BuiltWorlds Maverick Award winner. This annual list highlights innovative professionals in the AEC/RE space who are pushing the built industry forward. This year’s list of winners features 50 architects, engineers, technologists, contractors, real estate moguls, venture investors and urban designers from some of the leading companies around the world.

Mark has played an integral role in the development of Skender’s long-term vision, strategic direction, organizational design and values. He is the driving force behind Skender’s recent vertical integration and modular manufacturing facility, and a pioneer in Chicago’s Lean construction movement. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Other Maverick Award winners will be recognized at the 2019 Summit in Chicago in May, where Skender Chief Design Officer Tim Swanson will also be speaking.

Skender Wins Top Safety Award

Skender recently won an award for outstanding safety from the Great Lakes Safety Training Center, qualifying for the top division with over 500,000 hours worked and an exemplary safety record for 2018.

Every Skender project prioritizes safety, production and quality with a mindset that each are interconnected and of equal importance. As a result of our progressive approach, this honor marks the sixth construction safety award won by Skender since 2013. Another measure of safety in the construction industry is the experience modification rate (EMR), which calculates past cost of injuries and future chance of risk. As further evidence of an exceptional safety record, Skender’s EMR is 22 percent lower than the national average.

Skender Named to Fast Company’s “World’s Most Innovative Companies” for 2019

Skender, a vertically integrated design, construction and manufacturing firm based in Chicago, has been named to Fast Company’s “World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019,” the publication announced today. This year, more than three dozen editors, reporters and contributors sought out the most notable innovations of the year in 35 industries and across every region of the world. They considered the impact of each company on both industry and the larger culture. Skender was ranked number 10 in the Architecture category.

“At Skender, we’ve always championed innovations and improvements that push our industry past the boundaries of what has ‘always’ been done,” said Mark Skender, CEO of Skender. “We’re honored to be included with such pioneering and inspiring companies from across all industries, that will truly shape the future of how we live and work around the world.”

In 2018, Skender built upon its 60-year history in the construction industry by launching a vertically integrated advanced manufacturing capability and acquiring a design team. At the firm’s new factory on Chicago’s southwest side, Skender will use emerging technologies to design, engineer and manufacture modular building components such as smart apartment and hotel units, and healthcare treatment rooms. The modules are built in the factory then assembled onsite, removing significant waste, risk, time and cost from the conventional construction process. The company expects to revolutionize the way housing, hospitality and healthcare spaces are built, making the process more efficient and less expensive while maintaining or exceeding the highest quality performances and aesthetics. Skender’s first modular productions will be rolled out in mid-2019.

Earlier this month, Skender also launched the Future Built podcast, featuring Skender leaders in conversation with other industry innovators about design, construction, technology, urban planning and other related topics.

The “World’s Most Innovative Companies” is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March-April 2019) is now available online at https://www.fastcompany.com/MIC, and will be available on newsstands nationwide beginning February 26.

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About Skender

Skender is revolutionizing how the industry builds by unifying construction, design and advanced manufacturing to create a more efficient, streamlined process—and a single source of truth. We bring together every stage of the journey for designing and constructing commercial, healthcare and multifamily properties. Our Lean, integrated and tech-infused business model focuses on optimizing and innovating, ensuring our clients and project partners walk away feeling energized about the design and construction process. For more information on Skender, visit www.skender.com.

About Fast Company

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine Of The Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.

Skender Completes Construction of Aspen Dental Midwest Headquarters

Skender, serving as interior construction manager, has completed construction of Aspen Dental’s new 50,000-square-foot Midwest headquarters. Aspen Dental, an East Syracuse, New York-based company that provides administrative and business support to branded dental practices, has relocated to the art deco building vacated by Sterling Bay at 1040 W. Randolph.

To accommodate a practice support center and 250 newly created jobs, Aspen Dental’s two-story buildout includes a state-of-the-art training center for corporate employees, including private virtual training studios; three large training rooms with movable partitions; and an audiovisual media wall with interactive digital signage. Additional features include a custom millwork coffee bar, open café and catering kitchen space used for training and company events. A custom concrete reception desk shaped like the firm’s logo anchors the large space. The new practice support center will house a learning and development center for dentists around the country whose practices operate under the Aspen Dental brand.

Skender collaborated with architecture firm Perkins+Will to complete the project in January.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of Upwork HQ

Skender, serving as construction manager, has completed construction of Upwork’s new 34,000-square-foot Chicago headquarters. Upwork, a digital platform for freelancers, has relocated to 525 W. Van Buren from its former space at 224 N. Desplaines.

To accommodate its growing, 100+ person enterprise sales team, Upwork’s interior renovation included an open café, server room, virtual reception area, open office concept for workstations, and an executive suite. The open floor plan features a wood slat ceiling in the café and thin brick installation in the executive suite and game room to capture West Loop aesthetics, as well as high-end millwork it the reception area. The 11th floor space allows for future expansion to 242 workstations, and Upwork plans to build out an additional 34,000 square feet for use in 2020.

Skender collaborated with architecture firm SCB, engineering firm Syska Hennessy Group and owner’s representative Cresa to complete the project in December.

Skender Completes First Data Cable-Free HQ for ShopRunner

Skender, serving as interior construction manager, has completed construction of ShopRunner’s new 25,000-square-foot corporate headquarters. ShopRunner, a Chicago-based, multi-retailer e-commerce start up, has relocated to 350 N. Orleans from its former space at 350 N. LaSalle.

To accommodate a newly consolidated team, ShopRunner added numerous technologically forward features to its new office space, including 100% WiFi capabilities, eliminating the need for data cabling. The open floor plan features a town hall space and large conference room that can combine to allow for all-hands meetings and events. The space also features three 98” televisions and an audio-visual system that accommodates video conferencing as well as large presentations.

Skender collaborated with Partners by Design and ConopCo Project Management to complete the project in December 2018.

Skender Promotes Five to Leadership Board

Underscoring its commitment to an award-winning employee culture that fosters talent and innovation, Skender is pleased to announce five key leaders have been promoted to partner:

Brian Bukowski to Project Executive and Partner. Since joining Skender in 2007, Bukowski has been integral to the growth of the firm’s interiors team, specifically in the technology sector. He is responsible for helping lead large-scale tech office projects for Skender, most notably Google and Motorola Mobility. He oversees multiple interior construction teams and mentors Skender’s next generation of unrivaled talent. Bukowski earned a Bachelor of Science in building construction management from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Jeff Janicek, CHC, to Vice President and Partner. With more than 30 years of industry experience, Janicek has played an instrumental role in expanding Skender’s healthcare portfolio since joining the firm in 2015. As Vice President of Skender’s healthcare group, he is responsible for cultivating relationships with major Chicago-area health systems. Janicek earned a Bachelor of Science in construction engineering from Bradley University.

Joe Pecoraro to Project Executive and Partner. Since joining the firm in 2005, Pecoraro has played an instrumental role in driving Skender’s Lean-focused culture. As a leading adopter of Lean construction, Pecoraro utilizes its principles in his work in the multifamily residential, affordable housing and senior living sectors. He oversees Skender’s multi-unit housing team and has spoken for a national audience as part of the Lean Construction Institute. Pecoraro earned a Master of Science in project management from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Tim Rogers to Project Executive and Partner. Since joining the firm in 2010, Rogers has led numerous interior construction teams on award-winning buildouts, including Capital One, Morningstar, Mead Johnson and others. Rogers’ dedication to success and client service includes running jobs on the West Coast and in Chicago. Rogers oversees multiple interiors teams at Skender and is recognized for mentorship and talent development. He earned a Bachelor of Science in building construction management from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Brian Simons, CHC, to Project Executive and Partner. Since 2007, Simons has played an instrumental role in driving Skender’s Lean-focused culture for healthcare clients and expanding the firm’s healthcare portfolio. Simons oversees a team of more than 20 healthcare construction professionals and manages numerous relationships with major Chicago health systems. Simons earned a Bachelor of Science in construction engineering and management from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

“These five individuals embody what it means to be both a leader and a teammate at Skender,” said Mark Skender, CEO. “Their enthusiasm and proven track record of driving Skender’s revolutionizing vision is unparalleled, and their work in expanding their respective markets’ footprints in healthcare, multifamily and interiors is invaluable. We are thrilled to announce their well-deserved partnerships at Skender. I am personally looking forward to their continued contributions to the company’s strategic initiatives and growth.”

As partners, these five individuals will continue to lead their teams and focus their operational efforts on market expansion. They join their colleagues Mark Skender, Chief Executive Officer; Justin Brown, President; Lisa Latronico, Vice President, People & Culture; Afshan Barshan, Executive Vice President; Dan Marijan, Executive Vice President; and Clay Edwards, Vice President on Skender’s leadership board.

Belinda Moore Promoted to Executive Director of Skender Foundation

Skender Foundation recently announced the promotion of Belinda Moore to executive director. In her new role, she is responsible for developing and implementing the foundation’s vision and strategic plan. Moore has been integral to Skender Foundation’s growth since the organization’s inception in 2012, most recently serving as associate executive director since June 2017.

In her tenure with Skender Foundation, Moore also served as volunteer committee chair and member of the Builders’ Board, a subcommittee of Skender Foundation comprising philanthropic-minded leaders working together to inspire positive, sustainable change in Chicago. Previously, Belinda held multiple accounting and administrative roles for Skender, one of the nation’s largest building contractors.

Moore will continue to oversee the planning and execution of events; direct program and committee implementation; coordinate volunteer opportunities; and lead the approval process for grant applications.

“Belinda has been a vital contributor to the foundation’s development and success over the past seven years,” said Cheryl Skender, Skender Foundation Chair and President. “Her passion for giving back to the community will continue to drive the foundation’s vision: to perpetuate the legacy of giving.”

2018 was an unprecedented year for Skender Foundation, reinforcing its mission to perpetuate the legacy of giving. It began with the launch of Skender Foundation’s first endowment fund, which will involve an impactful, financial contribution of $150,000 over the course of three years to VOCEL, a nonprofit organization dedicated to early childhood education.

The foundation raised $380,000 at its annual summer fundraiser, Summer Eclipse, and also hosted Skender’s annual volunteer day in September, which saw record attendance and output — producing wood wall panels for two homes benefiting underserved communities via the Appalachia Service Project. The Skender Foundation Board of Directors added two new members and a record number of dollars were raised at the Builders’ Board annual fall event, Harvesting Hope, benefiting Purple Asparagus.

Skender Starts 100,000-SF Renovation for Perspectives Charter Schools

Skender recently started construction on the conversion of the 100,000-square-foot former Soft Sheen building at 8522 S. Lafayette into a middle and high school for Perspectives Charter Schools.

Founded in 1997, Perspectives Charter Schools (PCS) is one of the first charter schools in Illinois. Today, PCS manages five open enrollment, tuition-free public schools serving students in grades 6-12 in the communities of Auburn Gresham, Bronzeville, South Loop and now Chatham.

The project includes interior and exterior alterations to an existing two-story steel framed structure with masonry exterior. Once complete, the charter school will include STEM forward classrooms, a monumental staircase that will also serve as seating for an auditorium, two large gymnasiums and potentially an athletic field.

Serving as general contractor, Skender is working in collaboration with Perkins + Will and ConopCo Project Management to complete the project by August 1, 2019, providing a new, healthy and productive school environment in time for PCS students to enjoy for the fall semester.

Skender Advances Five to Senior Positions

In its commitment to continuous improvement and professional growth, Skender is pleased to announce the following individuals’ recent promotions to senior positions on its growing operations team:

Nestor Acance to Senior Superintendent from Superintendent. Acance, who joined Skender in 2017, recently completed a 20,000-SF renovation at the Latin School of Chicago and is currently working on the 85,000-SF training center addition and renovation for Chicagoland Laborers’ Union.

Tom Boehm to Senior Superintendent from Superintendent. Boehm joined Skender in 2017 and successfully completed the 150,000-SF build-out for Cars.com prior to his current 37,500-SF interior buildout work at a real estate investment company.

Bob Kedzorski to Senior Project Manager from Project Manager. Kedzorski joined Skender in 2016 and most recently helped lead Skender’s successful completion of the 225,000-SF restack project for HERE Technologies’ new Americas headquarters in Chicago.

Jeff Reist to Senior Project Manager from Project Manager. Reist joined Skender in 2015 and managed multiple West Coast projects for Fletcher Jones, in addition to the Science of Spirituality in Lisle, Illinois, and Perspectives Charter School on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

Dave Ruzich to Senior Superintendent from Superintendent. Ruzich joined Skender in 2016 and successfully completed the 45,000-SF Midtown Crossing Apartments in Des Plaines, Illinois, prior to his current work at Perspectives Charter School.

Each of these individuals embodies Skender’s core values of building proactive and positive partnerships with all clients,” said Mark Skender, CEO. “As we begin 2019 with bright prospects, Nestor, Tom, Bob, Jeff and Dave will certainly contribute to our continued success.”

Joseph Skender Retires After 40 Years of Leadership

Today, Skender announces the retirement of Joseph Skender, Chairman of the Board of Directors. As he embarks on this new chapter of his life, this turning point allows a moment of reflection on the company’s journey from his family’s basement to one of the top construction firms in Chicago.

“There’s no way I could’ve imagined what this company would become when my father and I started the company decades ago,” said Joseph Skender. “I’ve always thought that as you’re climbing a ladder you shouldn’t look down. However, I am taking a moment to stop and be thankful for the journey that went into making Skender what it is today. It’s been an amazing ride.”

Reflecting on Skender’s growth

Throughout the years, Skender grew to the caliber of firm it is today by always looking forward. When Joseph Skender graduated from DePaul University in 1980, he joined the small carpentry company his father, Joseph Skender, Sr., started in 1955. Through most of the 1980s, the firm’s work focused on remodeling projects managed by less than 10 employees. Near the end of the decade, the firm undertook two major projects, a mixed-use residential building in Mount Prospect, Illinois, and its first senior housing project for the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago. As the projects grew in scope, Joseph put the tools down and transitioned into a strategic leadership role. By 1990, Joseph’s brother Mark Skender (now Skender’s CEO) joined the firm as VP and Partner, and the company moved into its first office in Palos Hills, Illinois. Throughout the ‘90s, Joseph and Mark developed and implemented growth strategies as the firm won bids for increasingly significant projects and solidified its eventual award-winning corporate culture.

In the early 2000s, Skender broke $30 million in revenues, established itself as the contractor of choice in the senior housing market, and opened an office in downtown Chicago. By the end of the decade, Skender had achieved more than $100 million in revenues, consolidated its offices to Chicago’s Loop, and diversified its offerings across sectors including healthcare, public projects, retail and corporate interiors to continue company growth even in an economic downturn.

Skender’s accelerated growth under Joseph Skender’s leadership resulted in the firm’s listing on Inc. Magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Crain’s Chicago Business “Fastest Fifty Growing Companies in Chicago.” Through this rapid growth period, the company culture stayed strong and was recognized as one of Chicago’s and Illinois’ best places to work.

“Our people and our passion for quality has stayed consistent as the company has radically changed,” remarked Joseph Skender. “I’m most proud of the opportunities we’ve created for people, both inside and outside the organization. We are dedicated to continued employee education and training, and have always been generous to those in our community. Establishing the Skender Foundation, which strengthens the reach of our charitable giving, impacts the lives around us in ways we can never fully grasp.”

What’s next for Joseph

Joe and his wife, Cheryl Skender, Chair and President of Skender Foundation, are staying active at this time in their lives. They have a trip to Africa planned this fall to hike to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda and witness the great migration in Kenya. Additionally, their fourth grandchild is on the way to keep them on their toes.

“We love to travel, and our home in Utah will allow us to stay active with our family,” said Joseph Skender. “As a family company, that has always been one of our top priorities: our family. I look forward to watching the future unfold at Skender in the solid hands of my brother, and with two of my sons on the team as well.”

Looking forward at Skender

“I am so grateful for the strong foundation Joe has set at Skender over the past four decades that allows for our culture of quality and innovation,” said Mark Skender, CEO. “I know he has great confidence in our recent vertical integration and modular manufacturing facility, which was made possible through his dedication to the company and his belief that we can change the industry status quo.”

In his retirement, Joseph Skender will take on the title of Chairman Emeritus. Mark Skender remains CEO, and Cheryl Skender will continue as Chair and President of Skender Foundation.