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’s Jason Utah shares challenges and triumphs of life sciences construction at Bisnow Conference

Bisnow hosted its Chicago Healthcare and Life Sciences Real Estate Conference on August 11, 2022, at the Illinois Science + Technology Park in Skokie, IL. The standing-room-only crowd listened to three different panels of experts focused on Chicago’s evolution as a life sciences hub. The panelists agreed that there is staggering demand for this specialized real estate and the City of Chicago needs to invest heavily in innovation to attract companies to Chicago (and keep them from leaving).

Jason Utah, Senior Project Manager at Skender, was a participant on the “Strategic Lab Design and Construction” panel, which included speakers with diverse backgrounds in engineering, technology, real estate consulting and brokerage, building controls and construction. Carl Wolf, COO of LanzaTech, offered the end user’s perspective. Mr. Wolf spoke of how important flexibility was in the design of his company’s space at Illinois Science + Technology Park, a key factor in their ability to grow at their own pace.

Jason agreed, and indicated how important it is to collaborate with all disciplines as early as possible in the process to build that flexibility in. But he also stated that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for developers looking to build new spec lab space.

“Different biomedical companies operate differently depending on the science conducted in their space, and if they are using wet labs or dry labs,” he said. “Flexibility is key, but it’s not always possible to make that same flexibility translate from tenant to tenant.”

The panel transitioned to discuss conversions from traditional office use to lab and R&D. JLL’s Scott Brandwein mentioned the difficulty of these conversions due to certain things that can’t be changed—even with an endless flow of capital— such as loading docks and the need for first-floor chemical storage.

Jason mentioned Skender’s Hazel Technologies project, which was a complex two-story, 54,000-square-foot conversion for a USDA-funded technology company developing solutions to extend the shelf life of fresh produce.

“There were challenges on this project, for sure,” he indicated. “Hazel wanted their own space in Fulton Market that demonstrated their culture, but they also needed it fast to accommodate their growth. We had to figure out how to make the existing infrastructure of a Fulton Market office building manage all of the lab equipment and technology. A generator took over a parking space, and a restaurant was eliminated so its shafts could be used for Hazel’s air handling and exhaust. The project was really successful, but conversion might not be the right fit if you need speed-to-market,” he added.

The conversation shifted away from conversion vs. purpose-built projects to flexible working in the life sciences sector. Jason mentioned BioLabs, a co-working provider, and its 30,000-square-foot location at 2430 N. Halsted Street in Chicago. Skender is managing the interior construction on the project. “This ‘WeWork’ concept that is available in Chicago is having a big effect on attracting young talent. Start-ups normally looking at the East and West Coasts are now looking here,” he said.

Generally, the panelists were bullish on Chicago’s future in life sciences and feel that the sprawl of new development or conversions to different parts of the city is a really positive thing compared to very concentrated clusters you see in markets like Boston. Partnerships between the City of Chicago, research hospitals and universities and developers will be critical as we to try to attract more talent and innovation to this great city.

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.

Skender Completes AZEK Company HQ in Fulton Market

Skender recently completed interior construction of the new 24,000-square-foot headquarters for The AZEK Company, an industry leader of premium building products previously based in Skokie, Illinois, with manufacturing facilities in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Ohio.

The AZEK Company relocated to 1330 W. Fulton in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood from its former office in Skokie to accommodate the business’s rapid growth and future needs. Its new third-floor open-plan office includes a single porch with pergola and lattice ceiling made from materials produced by AZEK. Skender is also building out space nearby at 316 N. Elizabeth that is dedicated to product demonstration and vendor training for AZEK, which is projected to be complete in January 2019.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with HED, ESD Global and JLL to complete the project. Skender has successfully completed new interior construction projects at 1330 W. Fulton for numerous inaugural tenants, including Sterling Bay, Glassdoor, and The Climate Corporation, as well as Skender’s own headquarters.

Skender Foundation Adds Two New Board Members

Today Skender Foundation announced two new appointments, Jared Funk and Tim Swanson, to its board of directors.

Jared Funk is vice president at Lenox Advisors and his involvement with Skender Foundation dates back to 2013 when he joined the Builders’ Board, a subcommittee of Skender Foundation comprised of young, driven professionals with a passion for helping others. He served as sponsorship committee co-chair in 2014 and 2015 as well as co-chair of Harvesting Hope and the Builders’ Board in 2016 and 2017. His commitment to the organization has helped spread the foundation’s mission of perpetuating the legacy of giving through providing health, education and wellness opportunities. Funk holds a degree in economics from Vanderbilt University as well as a Master of Education in organizational leadership.

As chief design officer at Skender, Tim Swanson leads Skender’s team of architects and designers, bringing his passion for integrating the design and construction process to the firm’s clients. He formerly headed up CannonDesign and led its City Design practice, a national group focused on helping cities around the world grow and prosper. He is an advocate for smart growth and sustainable development, working with leaders at the intersection of urban planning, public health, and education. Tim earned a Master of Architecture with a specialization in urban development and infill from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and undergraduate degrees in fine arts and economics from Colgate University.

As board members, Jared and Tim will help oversee the nonprofit foundation’s business activities and build new partnerships. “We are excited to leverage Tim’s and Jared’s passion for helping Chicago’s youth into larger roles on the Skender Foundation Board of Directors,” said Skender Foundation Chair and President Cheryl Skender. “Their energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and I am looking forward to leveraging their ideas and networks to further expand our philanthropic footprint.”

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About Skender Foundation

Skender Foundation was launched as a 501(c)(3) public foundation in 2012 and has donated more than $2.6 million to over 200 deserving charitable organizations that support community education and wellness in the Chicagoland area. The foundation’s mission is to provide access to resources and relationships that help people make good life decisions through greater education and wellness. For more information on Skender Foundation, visit www.skenderfoundation.org.

Skender and BuiltWorlds Release “Going Lean: Toward Waste-free Building” Report

Nearly half of the nearly 2.2 billion annual tons of solid waste projected by year 2025 is generated on the construction job site. Today, a new report from Skender and BuiltWorlds offers “Going Lean: Toward Waste-free Building.” The 10-page research report, available for download here, is a resource filled with waste-reducing possibilities using lean construction solutions.

Skender, a fully-integrated construction, design and manufacturing firm headquartered in Chicago, has compiled this lean construction guide based on a thorough examination of the history of lean production utilized by some of the world’s largest manufacturers and most innovative brands. BuiltWorlds has a network of over 50,000 members sharing tech-driven news on innovation in the built environment. The Skender+BuiltWorlds report uncovers the practical ways to translate lean from manufacturing to construction, add value and reduce sources of waste in construction. Driven by Skender’s commitment to the high-efficiency and waste-reducing principles of Lean construction, the report conveys the value of optimized processes.

Download the “Going Lean: Toward Waste-free Building” report by clicking here.

Skender Expands Strategic Accounts Team

Skender today announced that Michelle Levy has joined Skender as strategic account manager. Levy spent the last six years as an urban retail brokerage associate and office/industrial researcher for CBRE. She previously specialized in urban retail tenant and landlord representation, and consulted for numerous restaurants and small eateries in downtown Chicago. Levy’s background in real estate provides a foundation of industry knowledge and the ability to leverage her network to now provide integrated design, build and manufacturing solutions.

“I am delighted to welcome Michelle to our growing strategic accounts team,” said Skender Vice President Dan Ulbricht. “Her expertise in real estate brokerage will help us expand and strengthen our relationships across all of Skender’s market sectors.”

Levy holds a B.S. in communication from the University of Kansas. She is a licensed real estate salesperson in Illinois and a board member for Women in Retail Leasing.

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

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently launched the interior renovation of the future 40,000-square-foot headquarters of Vital Proteins, a fast-growing private retailer of health supplement products. Vital Proteins is assuming full occupancy of the four-story 939 W. Fulton Street, one block from Google’s Midwest headquarters in Chicago’s lively Fulton Market neighborhood. As sole tenant, Vital Proteins will enjoy private access to the building’s roof terrace, which also is being renovated as part of the base building scope.

Vital Proteins is relocating 130 employees from its current 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 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. Notable renovation elements include the 5,000-square-foot roof terrace and a new atrium that will dramatically span two floors of the building and feature a stadium-style staircase. Also, the interior design will retain the historic landmark building’s high ceilings, exposed brick walls and wood floors.

Skender is collaborating with SCB and JLL to complete the project by July 2019. Skender’s work continues to shape office, hotel and retail development in the popular Fulton Market corridor. Recent Skender interior 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’s Annual Volunteer Day Draws Highest Turnout Yet

On Saturday, October 13, nearly 100 volunteers gathered at Skender’s new manufacturing facility for the firm’s annual Volunteer Day. Volunteers built wood wall panels for two homes that will be delivered to families in need via Skender’s partners for the event, Appalachia Service Project and Solid Rock Carpenters.

The volunteers wrote messages of hope on the wall panels to bring comfort to the future inhabitants of the homes. Additionally, Skender employees leveraged their construction expertise to help Solid Rock Carpenters launch this framing day concept to bring to other organizations in the future.

The participation for this event was the highest yet for Skender’s volunteer day, and the volunteers left feeling inspired and excited.

Skender Completes Independent Living Facility Rehabilitation in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (October 23, 2018) – Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed a 50,000-square-foot full-building rehabilitation of Lake Merritt Apartments, an affordable housing development located at 1417 1st Avenue in Oakland, California. The four-story independent living facility is owned by Preservation Partners, a privately-held real estate company (and repeat Skender client) that specializes in the rehabilitation and permanent preservation of existing affordable housing assets.

Skender installed new plumbing fixtures, kitchen cabinets, countertops, bathroom vanities and appliances in all 54 units, as well as upgraded lighting, fire alarm and emergency call systems in each. Following construction, six units became handicap-accessible. The scope of work also included installation of a new fire suppression sprinkler system, boiler replacement and new backup generator. The project required upgrading the common area kitchen and building a tenant support office and fitness center. Exterior improvements included installing new windows, James Hardie siding, a storefront, roofing, landscaping and creating an ADA-compliant path of travel to the public sidewalk.

Skender worked in collaboration with Los Angeles-based architecture firm Relativity Architects and other key trade partners to successfully complete the project. Skender has completed multiple rehabilitation projects for Preservation Partners in Illinois, including Westmont I-Care Apartments, Sage Crest Apartments, Hillcrest Apartments and Rand Grove Village.

Skender Starts 85,000-SF Training Center Addition and Renovation for Chicagoland Laborers’ Union

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently started construction of a 55,000-square-foot steel structure addition and 30,000-square-foot office renovation to the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Chicagoland Laborers’ District Council Training and Apprentice Fund Training Center.

Located at 5700 W. Homer, the training center is seeking to expand its existing facility to accommodate more training of new workforces. The existing interior is being renovated to increase office and classroom capacity. In addition to the new structure, pre-cast wall panel and renovation work, Skender is increasing the on-site storm water retention space to manage additional run-off that will be created by added parking.

Classrooms within the facility will contain high ceiling training bays that can be used to complete real life training for laborer activities. Renovation of the 30,000-square-foot office area is expected to be completed in January 2019 and the larger addition completed in August 2019.

Skender is working in collaboration with design firm Eckenhoff Saunders Architects as well as IMEG, TGRWA, V3 and landscape architecture firm Teska Associates to successfully complete the project.

Skender Adds AZEK Company HQ to Fulton Market Portfolio

Skender recently started interior construction of the 24,000-square-foot headquarters for The AZEK Company, a Skokie-based industry leader of premium building products with manufacturing facilities in Scranton, PA and Wilmington, OH.

The AZEK Company is relocating from its current offices in Skokie to accommodate the business’s rapid growth and future needs. Once complete, the third-floor open-plan office will include multiple porches with pergolas and lattice ceilings made from materials produced by AZEK. Skender is also building out space at 316 N. Elizabeth dedicated to product demonstration and vendor training for AZEK.

Serving as general contractor, Skender is working in collaboration with HED, ESD Global and JLL to complete the project by the end of November 2018. Skender has successfully completed new interior construction projects at 1330 W. Fulton for numerous inaugural tenants, including Sterling Bay, Glassdoor, The Climate Corporation as well as Skender’s own headquarters.

Skender Starts Work on Independent Living Facility Rehabilitation

Skender, serving as construction manager, has started work on the full-building rehabilitation of Westmont I-Care, an affordable housing development located at 501 North Cass Avenue in Westmont, Illinois. The five-story independent living facility is owned by Preservation Partners, a privately-held real estate company (and repeat Skender client) that specializes in the rehabilitation and permanent preservation of existing affordable housing assets.

Skender will install new plumbing fixtures and upgraded lighting in all 60 units of Westmont I-Care, as well as extend fire protection from the common space into individual units. Following construction, six units will be handicap-accessible. The project also requires upgrading the common area kitchen and building a computer room for tenant use. Exterior improvements will include the installation of a new roof and improved, ADA-compliant path of travel to accessible parking spots.

Skender is working in collaboration with architecture firm Fitzgerald Associates Architects and other key trade partners to successfully complete the project by December 2018. Skender has completed multiple rehabilitation projects for Preservation Partners in Illinois, including Sage Crest Apartments, Hillcrest Apartments, Rand Grove Village, as well as Lake Merritt Apartments in Oakland, California.

Skender Completes 225,000-SF Restack Project for HERE Technologies’ New Americas HQ

Skender recently completed interior construction of the 225,000-square-foot office space for HERE Technologies, the leading location intelligence and open location platform company, at 425 West Randolph Street. HERE Technologies recently designated the Chicago office, now totaling more than 275,000 square feet, as the company’s Americas headquarters.

Throughout eight floors of the Boeing Building, the HERE Chicago office was transformed into a contemporary environment that reflects the company’s vision, brand and history of innovation. HERE Chicago, recently named one of the coolest companies in the city by Chicago Inno, contains space for more than 1,400 employees in an open-floorplan seating arrangement that facilitates better and faster collaboration. The office features a variety of meeting rooms that accommodate anywhere from two to 200 people, immersive telepresence capabilities for teamwork with peers and customers across the globe, several dedicated “wellness” and “mothers’” rooms, immersion/quiet workspaces, large and small café areas, and a game room. The office also includes a fully immersive Experience Center where the company’s technology is on full display. Local artists were commissioned to create several interior murals and significant enhancements were made towards green initiatives and ergonomics.

Skender coordinated utility shutdowns and all construction logistics to minimize the impact on ongoing building operations. Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with Gensler, JLL and ESD Global to complete the project.

Skender Starts Work on Independent Living Facility Rehabilitation

Skender, serving as construction manager, has started work on the full-building rehabilitation of Arboretum West Apartments, an affordable housing development located in Lombard, Illinois. The two-story independent living facility is owned by Over the Rainbow Association (OTR), an Illinois nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable, barrier-free housing solutions for people with physical disabilities. All 14 units in the concrete masonry structure are energy efficient, handicap accessible and barrier-free.

Built in 1983, the building requires extensive masonry rework as well as enlarging all window openings and adding significant structural reinforcement to the exterior perimeter wall. Once brought up to code, Arboretum West Apartments will contain numerous self-sufficient, ADA compliant features including luxury vinyl plank flooring, large roll-in bathrooms with integrated showers, accessibly designed custom kitchens and expansive elevator lobbies. Prior to performing rehabilitation work, Skender demolished an adjacent building to create more green space and a storm detention pond area for future residents to enjoy.

Skender is working in collaboration with architecture firm Weese Langley Weese and other key trade partners to successfully deliver another barrier-free apartment community for OTR in December 2018.

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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. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, we offer expertise to local and global brands. For more information on Skender, visit www.skender.com.

Skender Partners with Solid Rock Carpenters for Annual Volunteer Day

Skender’s annual employee volunteer day will take on new importance this year as Framing Day—a day to volunteer locally and build housing to then be shipped in modules to where it is needed most. Through a partnership with Solid Rock Carpenters, the day will benefit the Appalachia Service Project and take place on Saturday, October 13 onsite at Skender’s new advanced manufacturing facility.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Solid Rock Carpenters and utilizing our volunteers’ talents in the building trades for an amazing cause,” explains Cheryl Skender, Chair and President of Skender Foundation. “Our mix of friends, family, Builders’ Board members and professionals will help Solid Rock Carpenters create a replicable volunteer framing program that any organization willing to roll up their sleeves and swing a hammer can execute in the future.”

During the Framing Day, volunteers will come together under the guidance of Solid Rock Carpenters (SRC) to build wood wall panels for single-family homes. Those panels will then be shipped to sites chosen by the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to provide accessible, stable and safe housing for low-income families. SRC will continue to work with onsite volunteers to help assemble and finish the homes at their final destination. Skender and SRC are also collaborating on a manual for use during future Framing Days.

SRC was founded in 2005 to provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds and skill levels to build homes and bring hope to those impacted by Hurricane Katrina. SRC has since expanded to provide volunteer opportunities and build safe, accessible homes for underserved populations across the U.S.

“We were founded to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, which opened our eyes to the urgent need for housing in low-income communities throughout the country—and the enthusiasm from volunteer groups to help. The Framing Day program will help us scale our volunteerism to include more organizations, perform the volunteer activities locally, and add more destinations where there is a need,” said Scott Engle, co-founder of Solid Rock Carpenters. “We are creating something that will connect volunteer enthusiasm with the communities that need it most. Thanks to modular construction, the work can be done anywhere—in a church or company parking lot, for example.”

Skender’s volunteer day starts at 8:30 am CT and ends at 2:00 pm CT on Saturday, October 13, at the Skender Manufacturing facility at 3348 S. Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60641. The minimum age to frame wall panels is 12 years old; youth volunteers aged 7-11 can participate in a birdhouse building activity.

Skender Named a San Francisco Bay Area Best and Brightest Company to Work For

Skender was recently named as one of San Francisco Bay Area’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR). The award recognizes companies that excel at employee relations, use innovation to motivate employees, implement creative compensation programs and more.

An independent research firm evaluates each company’s entry based on key measures in various categories. They include compensation, benefits and employee solutions; employee enrichment, engagement and retention; employee education and development; recruitment, selection and orientation; employee achievement and recognition; communication and shared vision; diversity and inclusion; work-life balance; community initiatives; and strategic company performance.

This recognition is the 24th best-place-to-work award won by Skender over the last decade. In Chicago, Skender has been named a Best and Brightest Company to Work For 11 years in a row since 2008.

As one of the nation’s largest general contractors, Skender began managing construction projects for clients in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010. Skender opened its local San Francisco office in 2016, expanded the following year and has grown the local team to now comprise more than 20 construction experts. Skender’s San Francisco operation has successfully completed renovation and new construction work in the Bay Area and beyond for numerous clients, including Prezi, Fletcher Jones, Capital One, Here, JPMorgan Chase, Paramount Group, Preservation Partners Development, Harley Ellis Devereaux, ESD and Bay Labs.

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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. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, we offer expertise to local and global brands. For more information on Skender, visit www.skender.com.

Skender Completes Loyola University Chicago Engineering Science Flex Laboratory

Skender, serving as base building and interior construction manager, has completed the construction of Loyola University Chicago’s new 10,000-square-foot engineering science flex laboratory located near the intersection of North Broadway and Sheridan Road. The mission of the new single-story building is to provide open space, movable furniture and equipment, and a collaborative environment for the university’s engineering science program and its active learning framework.

This experimentation hub not only provides engineering and other STEM students with opportunities to invent, investigate and create, but also allows the public to observe and join the community through the front of the building’s large glass façade. Designed to put engineering on display and provide natural light, the glass façade utilizes electrochromic technology, a form of Smart Glass that changes with daylight using sensors that monitor the sunlight’s intensity on the façade. The glass becomes less transparent as the sun sets, reducing solar heat gain and glare.

Skender collaborated with SmithGroup, Elara Engineering and Thornton Tomasetti to successfully complete this unprecedented, tech-forward facility for Loyola.

 

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

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

  • Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Clinic (West Loop, Chicago) – 5,500-SF build-out in new core and shell building at 171 N. Aberdeen featuring six exam rooms, an x-ray room, infusion treatment areas, laboratory space, staff lounge and work areas, and an internal mechanical room with a standalone air handling unit.
  • Northwestern Medicine Lavin Pavilion 21st Floor Internal Medicine Clinic (Streeterville, Chicago) – 15,000-SF build-out in core and shell building on Northwestern Medicine’s Streeterville Campus featuring 25 exam rooms, staff offices and lounge area, laboratory space, and various support spaces. The project was completed on an expedited time frame and utilized extensive building information modeling (BIM).
  • Northwestern Medicine Galter 1 Renovations (Streeterville, Chicago) – Upgrades to the existing Galter Pavilion 1st Floor Lobby including seating areas featuring new terrazzo, lighting and upgraded finishes. The project was completed in multiple phases with no impact on hospital operations.
  • Prentice Operating Room Video Integration (Streeterville, Chicago) – Interior upgrades to 10 Operating Rooms and supporting services within Prentice Women’s Hospital at Northwestern Medicine. The upgrade consisted of finishes, millwork, terrazzo flooring, operating room (OR) booms and lights with structure, and video integration systems with associated electrical work. Extensive coordination with the Owner’s equipment vendors was involved to provide the complete electrical infrastructure for the new systems. This project involved the refreshing of an old OR suite for temporary use and moving the entire OR operations to the temporary space prior to the start of construction.

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, Rush University Medical Center and Loyola Medicine.

Skender Ranks Among Nation’s Top 130 Contractors

Skender ranked among the top 130 construction firms in the U.S., according to a report compiled by Building Design+Construction magazine. As part of the publication’s 2018 Giants 300 Report, which ranks U.S. building contractors by annual revenue, Skender earned the No. 80 spot with 2017 revenues of $400 million.

Building Design+Construction also ranks U.S. contractors by building sector. Skender earned the No. 31 spot in the list of top retail contractors, No. 35 among the top office contractors, No. 55 among the top healthcare contractors, and No. 67 among the nation’s top multifamily contractors.

In August, Skender was recognized by Midwest Real Estate News. In the magazine’s “2018 Best of the Best” issue, Skender ranked among the top 25 general contractors in the Midwest. This ranking was also determined by 2017 revenues.

In addition to these industry accolades, Skender was recently recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business. In the publication’s “Chicago’s Largest Privately Held Companies” list, Skender earned the No. 137 spot of nearly 370 privately-held companies. This ranking was determined by 2017 revenues. Skender was also named to Crain’s Chicago Businesses’ “Best Places to Work” list, earning the No. 6 spot of 100 companies.

Seventh Annual Summer Eclipse Raises $380,000 for Local Charities

Skender Foundation hosted its annual fundraiser, Summer Eclipse, on Thursday, July 19 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. A total of $380,000 was raised in one night by sponsors and more than 500 event attendees. Of that, $30,000 will be donated to The Bridge Teen Center while the balance will be dispersed to other charities dedicated to education and wellness throughout the year. In 2017, Summer Eclipse donations went to more than 100 different charity organizations.

Located in Orland Park since 2010, The Bridge Teen Center has served over 5,900 different teens and families from 128 Chicago Southland and Northwest Indiana communities. The organization’s mission is to provide free programs for students in 7th to 12th grade during after school and unsupervised hours.

“Skender Foundation was built on providing opportunities, tools and resources to those in need to make better life choices. We chose to highlight The Bridge Teen Center based on our aligned missions to provide a safe place where students can find hope, purpose and direction in their lives,” Skender Foundation Associate Executive Director Belinda Moore said regarding the motivation behind Summer Eclipse.

Since its 2012 inception, Skender Foundation has raised over $2,300,000 for more than 200 charitable organizations. To learn more about The Bridge Teen Center, visit http://thebridgeteencenter.org/.

Skender Completes Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Development on Chicago’s South Side

Skender, serving as base building and interior construction manager, recently completed Woodlawn Station, a transit-oriented affordable housing development in Chicago, Illinois. Located just under the Cottage Grove Green Line CTA terminus station in Chicago South Side neighborhood Woodlawn, the mixed-use development features a main building that contains 55 units and two additional nearby buildings containing 12 and 3 units respectively. Occupation has begun in the 55-unit building and the 3- and 12-unit buildings will be completed at the end of this month.

The owner, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), hired Skender to complete its fifth new construction project along Cottage Grove Avenue, regenerating acres of blighted sites with affordable housing. Woodlawn Station returned a blighted sight back to use and also will provide much needed affordable housing for the neighborhood. According to POAH, its investments and partnerships are having a dramatic impact on Woodlawn—the population has grown 15 percent (the first increase in decades), new jobs are being created, the number of vacant properties has plummeted, and violent crime has fallen by 40 percent.

Woodlawn Station strives to not only improve the lives of its residents, but also to support local entrepreneurs who will be moving into its ground-level retail space. These businesses will be offered lower rents and generous tenant improvement packages. One such business is locally renowned Ain’t She Sweet Café, the first retail tenant announced for the building.

Servicing a mixed-income community, Woodlawn Station will provide replacement housing for 35 former Grove Parc Plaza residents, another 20 units for middle-income residents and 15 units of market rate housing.

The Nia Architects-designed apartment community was funded by POAH, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other lending partners. Construction took 12 months and materials included steel and precast on the 55-unit building, and concrete masonry units and wood framing on the 12- and 3-unit buildings.

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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. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, we offer expertise to local and global brands. For more information on Skender, visit www.skender.com.

Skender Completes Prezi’s 3-story Office Renovation in San Francisco

Skender, serving as general contractor, has completed the renovation of Prezi’s three-floor, 20,000-square-foot office suite in San Francisco’s growing SoMa (South of Market) District. Skender completed the renovations for this innovative presentation software technology company in partnership with architect Gensler.

Similar to many tech firms, Prezi searched for a new home within the competitive San Francisco leasing market, leading it to the older buildings in the warehouse-heavy SoMa District. With complex permitting processes to get mechanical systems and building structures up to code coupled with an expiring lease, Prezi brought in Skender to quickly strategize how to reinvent the space, without disturbing employees, under the tight timeframe. Together, they decided on a multi-phase approach, including extensive target value design and pre-construction services to allow for productive work to continue in the offices while still offering a rapid build-out.

The highlight of the completed space is the “Show and Tell” assembly space throughout levels one and two with stadium-seating that connects the first-floor presentation area to the mezzanine on the second. The first floor features a specialty kitchen that can provide full catering services for office meals and after-hours functions. Prezi’s Hungarian roots and storytelling values are prominent throughout the space, which includes a signature wall in the entryway that features memorabilia representing the company’s history.

This fast-paced project marks Skender’s first partnership with Gensler in San Francisco. The collaboration builds on a long-standing collaborative relationship the two firms enjoy in Chicago, having worked together on recent interior office projects including Wilson Sporting Goods, Facebook and Motorola Mobility.

Skender has completed significant new construction and office interior renovation projects in the Bay Area across multiple downtown neighborhoods like SoMa, East Cut and Mission Bay. The San Francisco office has expanded, driven by organic growth with an expected 10 times increase in revenue from 2017 to 2018 and a doubling of its workforce since the beginning of 2017. With this expansion have come several impressive, tech-enabled projects, including three office interior build-outs for a financial institution competing for technology industry talent; a location data firm connecting with its other U.S. HQ in Washington, D.C.; and a large Silicon Valley technology company showcasing its work in a significant visitor’s center. The first two projects are located in Class A office buildings in the “East Cut” area of SoMa, and the final project is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. These three projects and the work for Prezi are valued at around $45 million in total, underscoring the immense growth the Skender San Francisco operation has experienced this year.

As one of the nation’s largest general contractors, Skender began managing construction projects for clients in the San Francisco area in 2010. Skender opened its local San Francisco office in 2016, expanded the following year and has grown the local team to now comprise more than 20 construction experts. Skender’s San Francisco operation has successfully completed renovation and new construction work in the Bay Area and beyond for numerous clients, including Fletcher Jones, Capital One, Here, JPMorgan Chase, Paramount Group, Preservation Partners Development, Harley Ellis Devereaux, ESD and Bay Labs.

# # #

About Skender

Skender is revolutionizing how the industry builds. Using an efficient, streamlined process, we bring together every stage of the journey for 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. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, we offer expertise to local and global brands. For more information on Skender, visit www.skender.com.

Skender Completes Interior Construction of New 207,000-square-foot C.H. Robinson Office in Chicago’s Lincoln Yards Development

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction of a new, 207,000-square-foot office for C.H. Robinson, a Fortune 500 third-party logistics and supply chain management provider. The office, located at 1515 W. Webster, is the first riverfront property in Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards development, a contender for the Amazon HQ2 bid.

C.H. Robinson relocated from its former office at 1840 N. Marcey Street to accommodate the business’s rapidly growing Chicago workforce. The new, technology-rich office space offers a wide range of amenities in support of a highly collaborative and productive workplace, including open office workstation areas, private offices, conference rooms of varying size, two reception areas, a warming pantry and large café, a 5,000-square-foot roof terrace with unobstructed views of downtown Chicago and an open atrium that cuts dramatically through all four floors of the firm’s space.

Skender has built millions of square feet of award-winning interior workspace environments for clients that include 1871, Facebook, Google, Whole Foods, Wilson Sporting Goods and countless others. Skender and Sterling Bay have partnered throughout Chicago in the office, hotel and retail sectors. For the C.H. Robinson office, they collaborated with designers Vocon and SOM.

# # #

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. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, we offer expertise to local and global brands. For more information on Skender, visit www.skender.com.

Skender Breaks Ground on Senior Lifestyle Assisted Living Facility in Northbrook, IL

Skender, serving as base building and interior construction manager, has broken ground on 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, 74,000-square-foot assisted living facility will offer 38 memory care units. Special infrastructure will allow for the installation of a video memory screen adjacent to every tenant’s entryway door that cycles through digitized photographs of family and friends to assist tenants with room identification. Once the new building is complete, Skender will convert the former memory care wing into 30 assisted living units. All work is being performed adjacent to a fully operational, twenty-four seven facility and requires shut down of the main access drive for building deliveries and egress.

Skender is working 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 10 months followed by a four-month conversion of the existing North Shore Place facility from memory care to assisted living.

Skender Hires Two Industry Veterans

Skender is pleased to welcome to its team two industry veterans who have a combined 55 years of experience in the construction industry. 

Jerry Winchester has joined Skender as Senior Project Manager. With nearly 25 years of construction experience, Jerry Winchester brings large-scale healthcare, luxury hotel, higher education and multifamily project experience to Skender. He previously led construction projects for Power Construction, including the 685,000-SF Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center and 381,000-SF Presence Center for Advanced Care in Lakeview. Jerry holds a B.S. in construction management from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Matt Baker has joined Skender as Senior Superintendent. Matt Baker brings to Skender more than 30 years’ experience in the construction industry. Most recently, he worked at Leopardo Companies, where he was a project superintendent since 2010. Matt’s recent project experience includes interior build-out work for Grant Thornton, Grubhub and Whirlpool. Matt holds a B.S. from Elmhurst College.

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. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, we offer expertise to local and global brands.

Skender Releases “101 Ways to Build Smarter” eBook, Featuring Ideas to Offset Rapidly Escalating Construction Prices

Construction costs have been consistently rising just when the industry can least afford it. Today, a new report from Skender offers “101 Ways to Build Smarter.” The 18-page eBook, available for download at www.skender.com/buildsmarter/, is a resource filled with quality-enhancing and value-optimizing possibilities for building owners, developers, architects, brokers, contractors, corporate real estate and workplace executives, and all those involved in the building process.

Skender, a fully-integrated construction, design and manufacturing firm with offices in Chicago and San Francisco, has amassed this list of insider tips, industry secrets and best practices through their work building for some of the world’s largest companies and most innovative brands. Working with their trade partners, end-users, vendors and global industry experts, Skender’s eBook uncovers practical ways to drive quality up, without a similar increase in cost. Driven by Skender’s commitment to the high-efficiency, waste-reduction principles of Lean construction, the eBook conveys the value of collaboration and transparency.

“It is essential that everyone involved in a new building look for innovative ways to deliver high-quality projects while stemming the tide of rising costs,” said Mark Skender, CEO. “In this eBook, we are sharing some of the best practices we’ve learned with our clients and project partners over the past six decades. Many of these ideas have inspired us to revolutionize how the industry builds through our recent vertical integration.”

While the eBook delivers high-level concepts specific to several project types—including corporate interiors, affordable housing, senior living, new office buildings, multifamily, hospitality, higher education, retail and healthcare—more than half of the tips can apply to any construction project. The following four ideas, sampled from the eBook, can enhance efficiency and improve quality across all commercial developments.

  1. Lock in pricing to hedge against rising interest rates. In an inflationary environment, lock in materials and equipment costs as soon as possible. As prices escalate, it often pays off to pre-purchase materials to avoid price hikes.
  2. Build lighter and smarter. Sometimes owners ask for materials and equipment that are larger or more powerful than the anticipated use requires. Your contractor may know of a less expensive way to get the job done.
  3. For owners, installing smart tech now can mean big facilities management savings later. Installing certain technologies that represent cost increases during construction can deliver large future savings, such as remote programming of HVAC and security systems.
  4. Go Lean. Start by hiring an integrated design and construction team with experience in Lean Construction, our industry’s take on the Toyota Way. These pros will share a focus on reducing wasted materials, time and labor costs.

Skender recognizes that firms looking to build new facilities, expand their footprint or renovate existing spaces must collaborate and crowdsource ideas from industry veterans, including design gurus, construction experts, end-users and developers alike. According to a corporate real estate end-user client, “In days past, the building process was very linear: everybody handed something off to another. But now it’s got to be more collaborative, to adhere to our budgets and time frames.”

These ideas and tips are more than theory, vetted through hundreds of projects and field experience with Skender’s myriad corporate real estate and developer clients, and they can relieve the shared burden of escalating construction costs. Download the free “101 Ways to Build Smarter” eBook at www.skender.com/buildsmarter/.

Skender Breaks Ground on Loyola University Chicago Engineering Science Flex Laboratory

Skender, serving as base building and interior construction manager, has broken ground on Loyola University Chicago’s new 10,000-square-foot engineering science flex laboratory located near the intersection of North Broadway and Sheridan Road. The mission of the new single-story building is to provide open space, movable furniture and equipment, and a collaborative environment for the engineering science program’s active learning framework. The state-of-the-art facility will innovate how the university utilizes available space.

Scheduled to open in summer 2018, this experimentation hub will not only provide engineering and other STEM students with opportunities to invent, investigate and create, but also allow the public to observe and join the community through the front of the building’s large glass façade. Designed to put engineering on display and provide natural light, the glass façade utilizes electrochromic technology, a form of Smart Glass that changes with daylight using sensors that monitor the sunlight’s intensity on the façade. The glass becomes less transparent as the sun sets, reducing solar heat gain and glare.

Skender is working in collaboration with SmithGroupJJR, Elara Engineering and Thornton Tomasetti to successfully complete this unprecedented, tech-forward facility for Loyola.

 

Skender Completes Interior Construction of National Law Firm’s 121,000-Square-Foot Headquarters in Chicago

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently completed interior construction of the 121,000-square-foot headquarters for national law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP at 151 N. Franklin Street in Chicago’s West Loop. The building is a newly constructed 35-story office tower that will soon be known as CNA Center when CNA moves in from its current headquarters at 333 S. Wabash and Northern Trust takes over the naming rights to that building.

Relocating from its current offices at 222 N. LaSalle, Hinshaw’s new, five-floor workspace features high-end finishes throughout the space; two floor-to-ceiling Italian marble feature walls on the 25th floor; a stone, glass and millwork feature wall on the 24th floor; a substantial employee café and open-plan benching for support staff. Universal size private offices with lakefront views contain large sidelites around the office doors that bring natural light into the common areas. Skender also built a large conference center with modern metal-framed glass pivot doors and custom millwork that will function as an impressive event space.

Skender collaborated with several Chicago-based firms to successfully complete this project, including design firm SCB, consulting-engineering firm Environmental Systems Design (ESD) and project management firm ConopCo Project Management.

Skender Ranks Among Top U.S. Contractors, Climbs 26 Spots on National List

Skender ranked among the top U.S. contractors, according to Engineering News-Record (ENR) magazine’s recently published list of the largest contractors by revenue.

Ranked at No. 208 out of 400 U.S.-based contractors, Skender moved up 26 spots from last year’s spot with 2017 revenues of $400 million.

Some of Skender’s prominent projects in 2017 included the 168,000-SF HQ relocation for GGP, a 100,000-SF multifamily rehabilitation, a 62,000-SF affordable senior housing facility in Chicago, as well as several projects for major Chicago healthcare systems. Skender’s San Francisco office also expanded in 2017 with many new projects and project team hires.

Skender Named as a Best Place to Work in Illinois for Tenth Consecutive Year

Skender was recently named as one of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Illinois. Established in 2006, the awards program is facilitated by Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC), MRA-The Management Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Advocacy Council.

This statewide program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Illinois, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses. Skender took home the second-place honor in the mid-sized company category.

“The Skender community is made up of incredibly talented and innovative individuals that make it refreshing to come to work every day and extend our core values to our clients. Every employee at Skender impacts the environment through thoughtful contributions to our cultural framework,” said Lisa Latronico, Skender Vice President of People and Culture.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Illinois. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Illinois as well as analyzed the data to determine the final rankings.

Skender was one of 75 companies recognized and honored at the Best Places to Work in Illinois awards ceremony hosted by Daily Herald Business Ledger on May 17 and will be profiled in a special publication.

This recognition is the 22nd best-place-to-work award won by Skender over the last decade. Earlier this year, Skender was named the No. 6 Best Place to Work in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Skender Completes Clinic for Major Chicago Health System

Skender, serving as general contractor, completed the 17,000-square-foot interior build-out of a health care clinic for a major Chicago health system.

Located on the first floor of the building, the new clinic included the expansion of the existing imaging department with a new Siemens 3TMRI, Rad/Flouro Machine, and relocated Carestream Rad. Skender built out an immediate care center, including seven additional exam rooms; a new cancer treatment center with infusion rooms; and expansion of the building’s laboratory. Lastly, the build-out included two procedure rooms, six recovery bays, nursing stations, a conference space and new lobby.

Working in the occupied space, Skender coordinated utility shutdowns and all construction logistics to minimize the impact on ongoing building operations. Skender collaborated with Anderson Mikos Architects, ltd. and ESD Global to successfully complete the build-out.

Skender Receives City of Elgin’s Mayor’s Award for Historic Preservation of 15-story Elgin Tower Building

Skender, along with St. Louis-based Webster Design and owner Capstone Development Group, received the William Stickling Memorial Award at the 28th annual Mayor’s Awards Presentation honoring outstanding contributors to Elgin’s heritage. The award recipients were selected by the Elgin Heritage Commission and Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin based on the project team’s dedicated efforts to preserving Elgin’s historic architecture, neighborhoods and cultural resources.

In February, Skender completed the 60,000-square-foot, 15-story rehabilitation of The Elgin Tower Building, a historic centerpiece in downtown Elgin, Illinois. Condemned in 2014 due to a fire, the former bank turned office building underwent a complete gut rehab transformation into 44 market-rate apartment units with modern finishes.

Skender worked with Webster Design and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to protect and preserve the building’s historic elements, which involved retaining original terrazzo in the corridors, refinishing or recreating wooden landmark unit entries, rebuilding elevators to operate within the existing shafts, replacing exterior windows and coordinating local street closures to facilitate the project’s temporary loading dock.

Skender Starts Interior Construction of new 207,000-SF C.H. Robinson Office in Chicago’s Lincoln Yards Development

Skender, serving as general contractor, recently launched interior construction of a new, 207,000-square-foot office for C.H. Robinson, a Fortune 500 third-party logistics and supply chain management provider. The office is located within the first Sterling Bay riverfront property in its Lincoln Yards development in Lincoln Park, a contender for the Amazon HQ2 bid.

C.H. Robinson is relocating from its current offices at 1840 N. Marcey Street to accommodate the business’ rapidly growing Chicago workforce. The technology-rich office space will offer a wide range of amenities in support of a highly collaborative and productive workplace, including open office workstation areas, private offices, conference rooms of varying size, two reception areas, a warming pantry and large café, a 5,000-square-foot roof terrace and an open atrium that cuts dramatically through all four floors of the firm’s space.

Skender frequently delivers interior spaces to companies of all sizes—from startups to global brands. Skender has built millions of square feet of award-winning interior workspace environments for clients that include 1871, Facebook, Google, Whole Foods, Wilson Sporting Goods and countless others. Skender and Sterling Bay are frequent collaborators throughout Chicago in the office, hotel and retail sectors, with much of their work together shaping the popular Fulton Market corridor. They are working with designers Vocon and SOM on the C.H. Robinson office, scheduled for completion in July 2018.

 

Skender Breaks Ground on 14-story, 167,000-SF Hyatt House Hotel, a New Development in the Fulton Market District

Skender, serving as base building and interior construction manager, has broken ground on Chicago’s newest 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 will be 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.

Scheduled to open in summer 2019, the hotel building will offer a first-floor lobby and 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 is collaborating 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) is being 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 will include local community hires from the surrounding West Loop neighborhood, as well as ample participation from minority-owned business enterprise (MBE) and women-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 has constructed the firm’s own headquarters and the headquarters for Sterling Bay, as well as spaces for The Climate Corporation and Glassdoor.

Skender Named No. 6 Best Place to Work in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business

Skender was recognized today as the No. 6 best place to work in the Crain’s Chicago Business 2018 Best Places to Work list. To determine the top 100, Crain’s partnered with an independent workplace excellence research firm to survey nearly 9,000 employees at Chicago-area companies. The 100 finalists were further assessed using a variety of criteria including benefits, policies, practices, employee experiences and workplace culture. The award program was open to all publicly or privately held organizations, either for-profit or not-for-profit, and organizations, with at least 25 employees working in the seven-county Chicago area. Of the 100 finalists, Skender ranked No. 6 overall, and No. 4 in the medium-sized company category.

With a focus on innovation, teamwork and efficiency, Skender has earned more than 20 best-place-to-work awards in the last decade. 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.

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. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, we offer expertise to local and global brands.

Skender Completes 64,000-SF Headquarters Expansion for Sprout Social

Skender recently completed the 64,000-square-foot interior build-out expansion for social media management company Sprout Social at 131 S. Dearborn.

Skender previously completed Sprout Social’s seventh floor build-out in 2016. To accommodate rapid growth, the client decided to expand its footprint to the eighth floor, which previously served as a call center. The one-story build-out added open-office seating, interior private offices, flex space, conference rooms, a training room, large boardroom, makers space, two additional intermediate distribution frame (IDF) rooms, as well as a second café with full presentation capabilities. The tech-driven project required the restoration of the HVAC system and addition of a unique underfloor electrical infrastructure. The first five weeks of the project were spent on demolition alone as the previous space required complete demolition and roughly 50% of its raised floor had to be raised to create a level surface.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with architect Partners by Design, MEP engineer Syska Hennessy Group and owner’s representative Development Resources, Inc. to successfully complete the build-out.

Skender Named a Finalist for the 2018 Best Places to Work in Chicago

Skender has been named a finalist for the 2018 Best Places to Work in Chicago. Since 2008, Crain’s Chicago Business has set out to find the local businesses that have excelled in creating quality workplaces for employees. This year, Crain’s partnered with Best Companies Group to survey Chicago employees about everything from their workplace to benefits to company culture.

This survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the 100 best companies to work for in Chicago. The full Best Places to Work in Chicago ranking—plus two lists that spotlight the employers who rank especially high among women and baby boomers—will be announced at an event on April 12 and featured in the April 16 issue of Crain’s. It will also be available online at www.chicagobusiness.com.

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 also analyzed the data and used its expertise to determine the final ranking.

For more information on the Best Places to Work in Chicago program, visit www.bestplacestoworkCHI.com.

 

Skender Completes Build-out of San Francisco Homeless Support Facility

Skender recently completed the 6,000-square-foot interior build-out of At The Crossroads (ATC), a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that helps homeless youth and young adults build healthy and fulfilling lives.

The three-story tenant improvement project included major upgrades to the existing cold shell space. These improvements included the addition of new electrical and water service to the space, new interior partitions creating offices, flex space, lounge areas, conference room space as well as a break room area. Additional improvements included upgrades to the perimeter windows, new restrooms and a fully integrated millwork package that was custom built to meet ATC’s needs.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with Architectural Resources Group, Ventura Partners, WSP and multiple trade partners. The project team volunteered services in support of the nonprofit organization.

Skender Starts Work on Sterling Bay’s 35,000-SF Headquarters Relocation Project

Skender recently started interior construction of the 35,000-square-foot headquarters for Sterling Bay, a Chicago-based real estate investment and development company, at 1330 W. Fulton, a Sterling Bay property known as Fulton West.

Sterling Bay is relocating from its current offices at 1040 W. Randolph to accommodate the business’s rapid growth and future needs. Once complete, the eighth-floor space will showcase the company’s forward-thinking brand and innovative work environment. The space includes open office workstation areas, private offices, conference rooms of varying size, a reception area, commercial kitchen and large café. Skender is working with the design team to procure materials for high-end finishes within an aggressive 14-week time frame.

Serving as general contractor, Skender is working in collaboration with Perkins+Will and WMA Consulting Engineers to complete the project by the end of May 2018.

Skender Wins Interior Contractor of the Year

Skender took home the Interior Contractor of the Year award last night at the Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Real Estate Awards. The awards program raises money to provide meals for hungry Chicago-area residents while recognizing outstanding achievements in the industry.

The annual ceremony attracts nearly 2,000 of the top commercial real estate, architecture and construction professionals. Skender has won the coveted Interior Contractor of the Year award three of the last four years and was one of 10 finalists in the category this year.

With locations in Chicago and San Francisco, Skender collaborates with companies of all sizes—startups to global brands—to deliver their real estate visions. Skender has built millions of square feet of award-winning interior workspace environments for clients that include 1871, Capital One, Conagra Brands, Facebook, GGP, Glassdoor, Google, Kraft Heinz, Morton Salt, Motorola Mobility, United Way, Whole Foods, Wilson Sporting Goods and countless others.

Blending six decades of experience with our culture of efficiency and innovation, Skender partners with its clients to create something incredible—new construction or renovation, for offices, healthcare, multifamily housing, hospitality, higher education, and retail.

Skender Revolutionizes How the Industry Builds, Integrates Design, Construction, and Manufacturing

Embracing Vertical Integration, Skender Expands on its Core Construction Business, Launches a New Advanced Manufacturing Company, Acquires Design Team, and Hires Design and Construction Technology Industry Leaders

Envisioning a radically more efficient future for the building industry, Skender announces its expansion beyond construction, becoming a vertically integrated company including construction, design and building component manufacturing functions. The expansion includes significant investment in the launch of a new Chicago-based advanced manufacturing subsidiary and the acquisition of the boutique design firm Ingenious Architecture. Skender has also recruited two industry trailblazers: architect and thought leader Tim Swanson and construction technology innovator Kevin Bredeson. As part of the transformation, Skender Construction has rebranded as Skender, reflecting the expansion beyond its core construction business.

“Fragmentation has crippled our industry far too long,” states Mark Skender, the company’s CEO. “Our new business model revolutionizes how the industry builds by demolishing the silos between design and construction, and introducing manufacturing. Combined with our Lean project delivery approach and culture of perpetual innovation, we can now fully realize the potential of vertical integration to significantly reduce risk, delays and waste while maximizing value, quality and positive experiences for our clients. It’s a uniquely stress-free building solution.”

Challenging traditional assumptions is at the heart of the Skender culture, which is rooted in collaboration and the Lean construction approach of waste reduction, transparency and ideation. “We are asking new questions,” explains Justin Brown, Skender President and Partner. “Why can’t we apply sophisticated design principles to modular manufacturing? How can we eliminate weather delays by bringing large parts of the process indoors? How can we significantly boost productivity without sacrificing quality? We are not just rolling out a new business model—we’re rethinking everything about building design and construction, from concept to completion and beyond.”

Skender Launches a New, Chicago-based Advanced Manufacturing Start-up

Launching a new, start-up advanced manufacturing company, Skender will open a manufacturing facility on the southwest side of Chicago that will employ union labor to build modular building components. Relocating some or most of the onsite construction process to the manufacturing facility will centralize and stabilize labor, realize a standardized assembly line process for higher-quality building components, and eliminate weather-related delays during much of the construction process. Among the many benefits are increased flexibility, shorter schedules, reduced costs and greater speed to revenue.

Both a CEO search and a rigorous facility selection process are currently underway; production is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018. More details will follow this initial launch announcement.

Skender Acquires a Design Team Focused on Efficiency, Integration

Leveraging technology to enhance architecture firm partnerships and maximize design efficiency, Skender is making multiple investments in people and technology. The company has made two key executive hires, including Kevin Bredeson as Chief Technology Officer and Tim Swanson as Chief Design Officer. In the new role of CTO, Bredeson will use his recognized leadership in design and construction technologies to ensure Skender’s technology stack is constantly evolving, supporting forward movement toward maximum efficiency and optimal integration. Kevin’s past technology leadership experience includes tenures at Suffolk Construction, Pepper Construction and Gilbane Building Company. Swanson, a thought leader and regular speaker on the value of integrating design and construction, joins Skender from CannonDesign, where he led the Chicago office and the firm’s national City Design practice. Swanson will serve as leader of Skender’s new integrated design team.

To provide the design expertise required to fully integrate the building process, Skender has also acquired Ingenious Architecture, a team of 10 research-based, technology-savvy architects and designers. The new design team will work under Swanson’s leadership to offer Lean, integrated services such as design-build, design-assist and design-for-manufacturing to new and existing healthcare, hospitality and multifamily clients. To further bolster productivity and enhance client experiences, the team will collaborate with the new CTO to infuse operations-focused technologies, such as virtual design and construction (VDC) and building information modeling (BIM), with emerging technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and drone imaging. The team will continue to serve their existing Ingenious Architecture clients, primarily focused on the healthcare and corporate/commercial sectors, as well as collaborate across the firm’s projects.

In Skender’s award-winning corporate interiors business, the integrated design team will provide support to third-party architectural firms chosen by Skender’s clients, contributing their expertise to enrich the construction-architecture firm relationship.

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.

Skender Breaks Ground on 26,000-SF Esperanza Health Center

Skender broke ground on the new 26,000-square-foot Esperanza Health Center at 4700 S. California Avenue in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood.

The two-story clinic will serve an area in great need of health care services. Large portions of residents in Esperanza’s service area live below twice the poverty level and have been designated as medically underserved with a health professional shortage by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Esperanza, meaning hope in Spanish, is living up to its name as the new facility will be a fully accessible building, providing critical services that are currently lacking in this area of southwest Chicago.

By teaming up with local specialty care and community-based organizations, the new facility will house comprehensive medical and wellness services, and utilize forward-thinking design, featuring a dynamic façade comprised of color-shifting metal panels, to attract and unite the surrounding community. The two-story 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 construction manager, is collaborating with architect JGMA and McNitt Consulting on the project, which is on track for a February 2019 completion.

Skender Rock Band to Perform at West Loop Concert Benefiting Music Education in Chicago Public Schools

Little Kids Rock will host a fundraiser, Big Kids Rock, on February 27, 2018 at City Winery in the West Loop. This year’s event will help raise funds for Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by restoring, expanding and innovating music education in our schools. Skender Construction’s band, Not to Exceed (NTE), will perform and consists of Chicago-based construction industry musicians with a vibrant, rock-inspired sound, powered by strong vocals and unified rhythm. NTE members bring to the stage a vast history of performances at high profile Chicago venues such as House of Blues, Joe’s on Weed Street, Buddy Guy’s Legends, Hard Rock and various street festivals.

Little Kids Rock pioneered Modern Band, a music program that teaches kids to perform, compose and improvise the music they love—be it rap, reggae, rock or R&B. The organization trains teachers to run the innovative program, and donates accompanying instruments and resources as necessary to teach popular music in a way that empowers students to experience instant achievement. Little Kids Rock has been serving Chicago Public Schools children and teachers since 2008, and is currently active with over 32,000 students, 150 schools and 160 trained and equipped teachers.

The “big kids” of the Big Kids Rock benefit concert are titans of various industries, including lawyers, doctors, bankers, entrepreneurs, engineers and others who have been impacted by the power of music and want to share that gift with the next generation of music-makers. Every $5,000 raised helps Little Kids Rock launch a Modern Band music program in another school, serving nearly 200 students per year.

Skender Starts 225,000-SF Restack Project for HERE Technologies

Skender Construction recently started interior construction of the 225,000-square-foot office space for HERE Technologies, the leading location intelligence and open location platform company, at 425 West Randolph Street.

Throughout eight floors of the Boeing Building, the HERE Chicago office is being transformed into a contemporary environment that reflects the company’s vision, brand and history of innovation. Scheduled to be completed by late Summer 2018, HERE Chicago will have space for more than 1,400 employees in an open-floorplan seating arrangement that will facilitate better and faster collaboration. Employees will have a variety of meeting rooms that accommodate anywhere from 2 to 200 people, immersive telepresence capabilities for teamwork with peers and customers across the globe, several dedicated “wellness” and “mothers'” rooms, immersion/quiet workspaces, large and small café areas, and a game room. Local artists will be commissioned for several interior murals and significant enhancements will be made towards green initiatives and ergonomics.

HERE Technologies is backed by Audi, BMW, Daimler, Intel, Pioneer, Bosch and Continental. The company’s location data and services are extensively used across industries, from automotive to the Internet of Things (IoT). When work is completed, the new-look office space is expected to serve as a showcase for the company’s smart office and location tracking technology.

“At HERE Chicago, more than 1,100 employees are working toward our vision of the future, where an Autonomous World benefits everyone,” said Angel Mendez, Chief Operating Officer of HERE Technologies. “We’re proud to be a longstanding member of the city’s tech community where our team of professionals – including hundreds of passionate engineers and product managers leveraging agile processes – help to deliver software, products and services that enable everyone to harness the power of location. This workspace transformation strengthens our approach, opens up new lines of communication, and makes room for many new employees we expect to join us in 2018.”

Skender will coordinate utility shutdowns and all construction logistics to minimize the impact on ongoing building operations. Serving as general contractor, Skender is working in collaboration with Gensler, JLL and ESD Global to complete the project by September 2018.

Skender Completes Iconic Elgin Tower Rehabilitation Project

Skender Construction recently completed the 60,000-square-foot, 15-story rehabilitation of The Elgin Tower Building, a historic centerpiece in downtown Elgin, Illinois.

Condemned in 2014 due to a fire, the former bank turned office building underwent a complete gut rehab transformation into 44 market-rate apartment units with modern finishes. Demolition included the removal of old coal fired boilers and radiators to update the building with energy efficient water heaters and individually controlled fancoil units within each apartment. Skender and the design team worked with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to protect and preserve the building’s historic elements, which involved retaining original terrazzo in the corridors, refinishing or recreating wooden landmark unit entries, rebuilding elevators to operate within the existing shafts, replacing exterior windows and coordinating local street closures to facilitate the project’s temporary loading dock. Exterior façade tuckpointing, stone replacement and abatement activities were completed by outside contractors, but coordinated through Skender to maintain the project schedule.

Skender, serving as general contractor, collaborated with St. Louis-based architect Webster Design, owner Capstone Development Group and the City of Elgin to complete the monumental project.

Skender Completes 176,000-SF Headquarters Relocation Project for GGP

Skender Construction recently completed interior construction of the 176,000-square-foot headquarters for retail real estate company GGP, formerly known as General Growth Properties, at River North Point.

GGP relocated 700 employees to its new headquarters at 350 N. Orleans. GGP’s new, three-floor space contains modern finishes, an abundance of natural light, and an open office format with exposed ceilings. The design includes strategically placed conference rooms, phone rooms, hubs and gathering areas to foster a collaborative environment and serve as launching pads for the next great commercial real estate idea. Barz™ paneling systems by Ceilings Plus are located throughout the office in addition to four open hub collaboration rooms enclosed by curved glass. The focal point of the space is the third-floor café that walks out to a 10,500-square-foot private roof deck overlooking Wolf Point and three branches of the Chicago River.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with Chicago-based design firm ARCHIDEAS, Environmental Systems Design and JLL to successfully complete the project.

Skender Chairman Joseph Skender Inducted into Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame

Skender Construction Chairman Joseph Skender was inducted into Midwest Real Estate News‘ Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Each year the magazine inducts a new class of the biggest names in the commercial real estate industry. Joseph was selected from a pool of more than 500 nominations and joins 96 others in this year’s class.

In high school, Skender began working summers with his father who owned a small residential construction company in the south suburbs of Chicago, eventually working his way through college on a variety of construction jobs. Since taking a leadership position at the firm in 1980, Skender has helped Skender Construction grow to become one of the largest general contractors in Chicago.

Skender is a busy supporter of charitable and community organizations, and co-founded Skender Foundation, a 501(c)(3) private foundation dedicated to helping organizations impacting education and wellness. Skender serves on DePaul University’s board of trustees and is a member of the Executives’ Club of Chicago and Economic Club of Chicago.

Midwest Real Estate News officially announced the Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame class of 2018 in the December/January 2018 issue.

Skender Completes 100,000-SF Rehabilitation of Multifamily Property

Skender Construction recently completed the rehabilitation of Sage Crest Apartments, a two-building, 100,000-square-foot affordable housing development.

Located along Rt. 31, just north of downtown Aurora, the two six-story apartment buildings are owned by Preservation Partners Development III, LLC. To complete the remodel of 102 occupied units, Skender coordinated one-week resident move-outs in batches of 12 units per week. Residents moved out Saturday and returned the following Saturday to a completely renovated apartment. Each one-, two- and three-bedroom unit was turned over on time.

In addition to the unit remodeling, the project included extensive exterior and accessibility improvements, as well as community room updates and energy efficiency upgrades. Additionally, Skender resurfaced the parking lot, provided roof replacements, new sidewalks, new exterior lighting, new floors in the corridor, an elevator refresh and a new roof drain installation.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with architect Fitzgerald Associates and multiple trade partners to successfully complete the project.

Skender Completes 90,000-SF Office for Wilson Sporting Goods

Skender Construction recently completed a 90,000-square-foot headquarters relocation project for Wilson Sporting Goods, the American sports equipment manufacturer.

Located on the fifth and sixth floors of One Prudential Plaza, the sports-inspired, open-office workspace incorporates brick walls, a wood ceiling in the café and a communicating stair. The stair required Skender to remove a large section of the 6th floor slab and provide structural reinforcement around the new opening.

Wilson’s passion for sport is branded throughout the office with custom graphics of sponsored athletes and a café floor striped with different fields of play for football, basketball, golf and tennis. The reception lounge features custom metal display boxes with glass fronts and internal lighting that will hold vintage sporting artifacts mounted for display. The reception desk includes leather hides that were stitched together to resemble baseball stitching.

Skender, serving as general contractor, collaborated with architect Gensler and owner’s representative Newmark Knight Frank to successfully complete the build-out.

Belinda Moore Promoted to Associate Executive Director of Skender Foundation

Skender Foundation recently announced the promotion of Belinda Moore to associate executive director of the nonprofit organization.

Belinda has been integral to Skender Foundation’s growth since the organization’s inception in 2012, most recently serving as volunteer committee chair of the foundation and member of the Builders’ Board, a subcommittee of Skender Foundation comprised of philanthropic-minded leaders working together to inspire positive, sustainable change in Chicago. Previously, Belinda held multiple accounting and administrative roles for Skender Construction, one of the nation’s largest building contractors.

In her new role, Belinda is responsible for developing and implementing the foundation’s vision and strategic plan. She also oversees the planning and execution of events; program and committee oversight and implementation; coordination of volunteer opportunities; and the approval process for grant applications.

“Belinda has been a vital contributor to the foundation’s development and success over the past five years,” said Skender Foundation Chair and President Cheryl Skender. “Her passion for giving back to the community will continue to drive the foundation’s vision: to perpetuate the legacy of giving.”

Lisa Latronico Promoted to Partner at Skender Construction

Skender Construction recently announced that Vice President of People and Culture Lisa Latronico has been promoted to Partner at the firm.

Lisa has played an instrumental role in driving Skender’s Lean and employee-focused culture. Since joining the firm in 2001, Lisa has pioneered many award-winning employee enrichment and recruiting programs, leading the firm to consistent recognition as a best place to work in Illinois and Chicago. She oversees Skender’s human resources team to cultivate the next generation of unrivaled talent and superior culture. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Governors State University and a certificate from DePaul University in human resource management.

“Lisa is an extraordinary leader and teammate, and as such, we are thrilled to announce that Lisa has been named a partner at Skender. Her enthusiasm is unparalleled, with a deep focus and commitment to distinguishing Skender through our people and culture. More so, she has become a valued executive leader and strategic partner, helping to guide our company’s future,” said CEO Mark Skender.

As Vice President and Partner, Lisa will continue to lead the human resources team and focus her operational efforts on employee enrichment, retention and recruiting. She joins her colleagues Joseph Skender (Chairman of the Board), Mark Skender (Chief Executive Officer), Justin Brown (President), Afshan Barshan (Executive Vice President), Andrew MacGregor (Executive Vice President), Dan Marijan (Executive Vice President) and Clay Edwards (Vice President) on Skender’s leadership board.

“When I joined Skender in 2001, I recognized something special in Joe and Mark Skender. Their integrity was instantly apparent and admirable,” Lisa said. “A deep affection for our culture and team quickly developed. That same affection and team approach inspires me every day as I strive to create meaningful programs for our employees and their families to feel connected, empowered and engaged like I did from the very beginning.”

Skender Completes Specialty Clinic for Rush Oak Park Hospital

Skender Construction recently completed the interior build-out of a specialty medical clinic at Rush Oak Park Hospital (ROPH).

Located on the fifth floor of the ROPH medical office building, the new specialty clinic includes 21 exam rooms, an allergy room and infusion room, as well as four procedure/treatment rooms. Support and ancillary spaces include reception, waiting, blood draw and administrative offices. A portion of the build-out is dedicated to the adjacent ROPH hematology/oncology practice, adding four infusion bays and a nurse’s station.

Working in the occupied space, Skender coordinated utility shutdowns and all construction logistics to minimize the impact on ongoing building operations. Skender served as general contractor and collaborated with Eckenhoff Saunders Architects and Berg Engineering Consultants to successfully complete the build-out.

Skender Completes New 45,000-SF Independent Living Facility

Skender Construction recently completed Midtown Crossing Apartments, a new 45,000-square-foot affordable housing development located near downtown Des Plaines, Illinois. The four-story, 33-unit independent living facility is owned by Over the Rainbow Association (OTR), an Illinois nonprofit association dedicated to providing affordable, barrier-free housing solutions for people with physical disabilities. All 33 units in the Green Enterprise Community building are energy efficient, handicap accessible and barrier-free.

The building takes on a geometrical form with large roof overhangs and a vibrant combination of colors and materials throughout the building. Midtown Crossing exemplifies self-sufficient ADA compliance with unique features such as luxury vinyl plank flooring, large roll-in bathrooms with integrated showers, accessibly designed custom kitchens and expansive elevator lobbies.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with architect Weese Langley Weese and key trade partners to successfully deliver another barrier-free apartment community for Over the Rainbow Association.

Skender Construction Uses Green Power and Partners with EPA

Skender Construction announced today that it recently joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. Skender is offsetting 100 percent of its annual Chicago office electricity use, or 250 thousand kilowatt-hours (kWh), with the purchase of green power via renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Renewable Choice Energy.

Skender Construction is currently the only general contractor Green Power Partner in Illinois. As a Green Power Partner, Skender joins DePaul University, the Morton Arboretum, and a wide variety of leading organizations committed to leading their industries in the reduction of carbon emissions and the movement toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally-preferable carbon-free resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of those sources in the United States and advance the American green power market.

As a Green Power Partner, Skender’s Chicago headquarters earned enough points to pursue LEED Gold certification for commercial interiors from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Skender Completes 21,000-SF Office Build-out for The Climate Corporation

Skender Construction recently completed a 21,000-square-foot office build-out for The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company and creator of digital tools to help farmers sustainably increase their productivity.

Located at 1330 W. Fulton Market, the new open office workspace incorporates rustic wood walls and a custom art feature wall at the entrance. The Climate Corporation’s passion for agriculture is manifested throughout the office with an antique tractor on display and huddle rooms built out as silos using oversized barn doors. Two dedicated workshops house The Climate Corporation’s equipment and ongoing projects, and a large breakroom with a custom chain link design wall offers ping pong and foosball for employees.

Skender, serving as general contractor, collaborated with architect Shive-Hattery and owner’s representative COR Consulting to successfully complete the build-out.

Skender Construction Wins Top Safety Award

Skender Construction recently won the “gold medal” safety award in the construction achievement category from Raffles Insurance. More than 70 other companies were eligible in this category and Skender earned the top honor, which recognizes outstanding safety, loss prevention and claims management.

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 fifth 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 27 percent lower than the national average.

Three Skender-built projects honored at AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards

Three Skender Construction projects were recently honored at Designight 2017, the annual design excellence awards event of the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). At the event, AIA Chicago recognized outstanding work from Chicago architecture firms for projects designed and built throughout the world. The three Skender-built projects that earned recognition were:

  • Morningstar: The 26,000-square-foot build-out of Morningstar’s global headquarters in Chicago was awarded a Citation of Merit in the Interior Architecture Awards category. Selected from nearly 100 entries, the project was designed by Perkins+Will and built by Skender for Morningstar’s technology employees. The space includes open concept space and a custom-built stage area called “The Drum,” which serves as an auditorium with bleacher-style seating shaped like Morningstar’s signature logo.
  • Safe Haven Veteran Village: The 55,000-square foot affordable veterans housing development received a Citation of Merit award in the Distinguished Building Awards category. Serving as general contractor, Skender collaborated with architect UrbanWorks to successfully complete the Melrose Park, Illinois project, which includes 12 buildings and 35 residences on five nearby but separate sites. All of the buildings are wood construction with cement board, brick and a cedar veneer.
  • Echo Global Logistics, ECHO Wall: Designed by CannonDesign and built by Skender, the ECHO wall received Special Recognition for Architectural Branding within the Divine Detail Awards category. Located at the entrance of the transportation logistics firm’s new office, the ECHO wall is constructed from raw Cor-Ten steel and resembles a scalar representation of the box trailers that are the hub of Echo Global’s business.

The 62nd annual Designight celebration was held at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom on October 13.

Skender Completes Two Restaurants for Four Corners Tavern Group at 150 N. Riverside

Skender Construction recently completed two restaurant build-outs for the Four Corners Tavern Group at 150 N. Riverside, one of Chicago’s newest commercial high-rise buildings along the Chicago River. The two eateries total nearly 15,000 square feet of space for Small Cheval and Porter Kitchen & Deck.

Porter Kitchen, a restaurant and bar, occupies the ground level and includes warm and elegant décor as well as a riverfront patio with seating. Small Cheval, a retro-style burger venture between Four Corners Tavern Group and Hogsalt Hospitality, is located on the main floor. Above Small Cheval, Porter Kitchen occupies the roof deck and offers views of the river and Chicago architecture. The interior construction project also included some restaurant administration office space.

Skender collaborated with Four Corners Tavern Group and design firms Box Studios, Studio K, ESD, Next Step Design food service consultants, and Travis Sound Design to successfully complete the restaurant construction.

Skender Expands in Chicago with Move to 38,000-SF Space in Fulton Market

Skender, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing contractors, has helped many organizations attract talented employees by building out inviting workplace interiors that promote collaboration and well-being. Now the Chicago-based firm has done the same for its own headquarters space, in a relocation and expansion lease in the Fulton Market district.

Skender is moving into its new 38,000-square-foot space at 1330 W. Fulton, a Sterling Bay property known as Fulton West. The new location is 50 percent larger than its previous space at 200 W. Madison to accommodate Skender’s rapid growth, and the move to Fulton Market reflects the firm’s high-energy culture.

“We set out to build a premier office space that fits our culture and enables us to continue hiring top construction talent,” said CEO Mark Skender. “In two years, we have doubled in size, growing from 114 to 226 employees.”

The flexible, open-plan workspace features exposed concrete ceilings and numerous collaboration spaces with the latest video conferencing technology. Three large multipurpose rooms feature overhead doors that open to a central corridor and coffee bar. A variety of unique lounge spaces create an inviting environment for teamwork.

“This is an exciting milestone for Skender,” said President Justin Brown. “Through our work for clients, we’ve seen how a dynamic, appealing workplace can help attract the best employees and sets the table for collaboration and innovation.”

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked with architect Perkins+Will to complete its new headquarters.

Skender Ranks Among Nation’s Top 100 Contractors

Skender Construction ranked among the top 100 construction firms in the U.S., according to a report compiled by Building Design+Construction magazine. As part of the publication’s 2017 Giants 300 Report, which ranks U.S. building contractors by annual revenue, Skender earned the No. 82 spot with 2016 revenues of $335 million.

Building Design+Construction also ranks U.S. contractors by building sector. Skender earned the No. 31 spot in the list of top retail contractors, No. 37 among the top office contractors, No. 51 among the top healthcare contractors, and No. 68 among the nation’s top multifamily contractors.

Additionally, Skender was recently recognized by Midwest Real Estate News. In the magazine’s “2017 Best of the Best” issue, Skender ranked among the top 20 general contractors in the Midwest. This ranking was also determined by 2016 revenues.

In addition to these industry accolades, Skender recently earned multiple “Best Place to Work” honors. The Daily Herald Business Ledger named Skender as a Best Place to Work in Illinois for the ninth consecutive year. And for the tenth consecutive year, the National Association for Business Resources named Skender one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. The regional competition honors companies that distinguish themselves as having the most innovative and thoughtful human resources approach.

Skender Starts 168,000-SF Headquarters Relocation Project for GGP

Skender Construction recently started interior construction of the 168,000-square-foot headquarters for retail real estate company GGP, formerly known as General Growth Properties, at River North Point.

GGP is relocating 700 employees to its new headquarters at 350 N. Orleans. Once complete, the space will reflect GGP’s brand and culture with a bright, collaborative work environment that includes open workstation areas, private offices, conference rooms, reception, satellite pantries, large café and teaming areas throughout. The space will also include a two-story viewing atrium.

Serving as construction manager, Skender is working in collaboration with Chicago-based design firm ARCHIDEAS, Environmental Systems Design and JLL to complete the project by January 2018.

Jeff Krause, Experienced Senior Superintendent, Joins Skender Construction

Jeff Krause has joined Skender Construction as a senior superintendent. With more than 20 years of construction experience, Krause brings to Skender an impressive background in ground-up high-rise, healthcare, education and institutional projects. He will be working with Skender’s housing and healthcare teams to manage projects in those markets.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jeff to the Skender team,” said Skender Construction President Justin Brown. “Jeff’s knowledge of complex, ground-up construction is an exceptional addition to our company and we’re excited to have him help push us forward on large-scale projects.”

Prior to joining Skender, Krause was a senior superintendent at Power Construction where he oversaw a variety of large-scale, high-profile projects, including the 42-story Ritz-Carlton residences, 690-unit Marquee at Block 37, 56-story Essex on the Park, 300,000-SF residential mid-rise building at 1200 W. Madison, and the new hospital / bed tower at Rush University Medical Center. He earned a bachelor of science degree in construction management from Western Illinois University.

“The energy level here at Skender Construction is like nothing I have seen in my 20-plus years in the industry,” said Krause. “It is contagious and has sparked tremendous enthusiasm that I look forward to sharing with our clients and project teams.”

Sixth Annual Summer Eclipse Raises $400,000 for Local Charities

Skender Foundation hosted its annual fundraiser, Summer Eclipse, on July 20 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). This year’s event highlighted Chicago Youth Programs (CYP), an award-winning organization that serves children across the entire city with a simple philosophy—to impact the long-term outcome of a child’s life, you must serve the child long-term.

A total of $400,000 was raised in one night by sponsors and more than 500 event attendees. Of that, $30,000 will be donated to CYP while the balance will be dispersed to other charities dedicated to education and wellness throughout the year. In 2016, Skender Foundation donated to more than 100 different charity organizations.

CYP provides over 40 comprehensive programs to at-risk youth, from birth through 25 years of age, living in the Washington Park, Near North/Cabrini Green, North Lawndale and Uptown/Rogers Park neighborhoods. CYP is dedicated to serving those least likely to have access to support. These neighborhoods have some of the highest rates of youth living in poverty out of all 77 of Chicago’s neighborhoods.

“Skender Foundation and Chicago Youth Programs spent a beautiful evening in Chicago celebrating our shared commitment to serving the city’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Cinaiya Stubbs, deputy executive director of CYP. “We are thrilled to have been included and look forward to the impact that the donation from Skender Foundation will make in the lives of our youth and families. From healthcare to violence prevention, mentoring, academics and college readiness—all will be supported by the donation.”

“We are thrilled by the support we received at this year’s Summer Eclipse,” said Cheryl Skender, Skender Foundation President. “Chicago Youth Program’s mission is truly inspiring and we were honored to highlight CYP at this year’s Summer Eclipse. A big thank you to our generous sponsors for their donations and to attendees for making it a wonderful evening.”

Skender Completes New 64,000-SF Office for Global Nutrition Company

Skender Construction recently completed a 64,000-square-foot interior office buildout for Mead Johnson, a leading nutrition company for babies and children. The baby formula company, a new division of Reckitt Benckiser’s, has relocated from Glenview, Illinois to 444 W. Lake Street in downtown Chicago.

The three-floor project included a 1,500-square-foot slab cut for a self-supporting feature staircase with custom rails and a 2,000-square-foot one of a kind Arktura ceiling system. The space also contains a high tech audio visual system, high-end lobby, open floor plan, conference rooms and executive offices.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with Partners by Design, Environmental Systems Design and Development Resources, Inc. to complete the project in 20 weeks.

Skender Completes New 62,000-SF Independent Living Facility

Skender Construction recently completed J. Michael Fitzgerald Apartments (JMFA), a new 62,000-square-foot affordable senior housing facility in Chicago’s North Park Village neighborhood. The five-story, 63-unit independent living facility is located within an existing senior housing campus and designed to match the existing surrounding aesthetic. The project includes a precast concrete structure design, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system, double elevator shaft, ground floor multipurpose room, library, computer room and fitness center.

Serving as general contractor, Skender worked in collaboration with St. Louis Design Alliance, Harley Ellis Devereaux and Eriksson Engineering Associates to complete the residential complex. JMFA features one-bedroom apartments with full kitchens and baths. A new section of road was also added to the adjacent campus to improve traffic flow to and from the building.

Skender Ranks Among Top Chicago and U.S. Contractors

Skender Construction ranked among the top contractors on local and national industry lists recently compiled by two publications. This month, Skender earned the No. 15 spot on the largest contractors list published by Crain’s Chicago BusinessEngineering News-Record (ENR) magazine ranked Skender at No. 234 on its list of the top 400 contractors in the United States. Both rankings are based on 2016 revenues. Last year, Skender posted revenues of $335 million.

In addition to these accolades, Skender recently earned multiple “Best Place to Work” honors. The Daily Herald Business Ledger named Skender as a Best Place to Work in Illinois for the ninth consecutive year. And for the tenth consecutive year, the National Association for Business Resources named Skender one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. The regional competition honors companies that distinguish themselves as having the most innovative and thoughtful human resources approach.

Skender Completes 39,000-SF Interior Construction for Signal

Skender has completed the 39,000-square-foot build-out and interior renovation for marketing software company Signal. Located at 222 N. LaSalle, Signal’s new space is sleek and functional, featuring communal areas and conference rooms named after Chicago brewpubs.

The renovation, completed over a 20-week schedule in the 90-year-old Builders Building, required the demolition of existing offices and the construction of an open-plan workspace that features glass partitions, several conference / meeting rooms, kitchenettes and two restrooms.

Skender worked in collaboration with facility planning and design firm Eastlake Studio and owner’s representative CBRE to successfully complete the build-out.

Skender Construction Announces New Executive Hire

Todd Andrlik has joined Skender Construction as Vice President of Marketing. With nearly 20 years of construction and professional services marketing experience, Andrlik brings to Skender an impressive background in strategic planning, content marketing, digital marketing, branding and managing high-performing teams. He will be working with Skender’s executive leadership team to develop and execute branding and marketing initiatives to support the company’s strategic direction.

“We are very excited to welcome Todd to Skender,” said Justin Brown, President of Skender Construction. “Todd’s knowledge of the construction industry and track record of executing marketing programs are a great addition to our team. His leadership and talent for developing strategic marketing initiatives will help push us to the next level.”

Prior to joining Skender, Andrlik served as Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Leopardo Construction, where he was a member of the executive leadership team and responsible for developing and implementing all marketing communications initiatives.

Andrlik earned a Master of Business Administration from Roosevelt University with a concentration in integrated marketing communications as well as a Bachelor of Science in public relations from Illinois State University. He also holds a certification in public relations and international business from Salzburg College in Austria. Since 2012, he has served on the editorial advisory board of Illinois Real Estate Journal. Outside of his marketing career, Andrlik is a bestselling author and editor of history books.

“I am thrilled to join such a talented team and look forward to contributing to Skender’s continued growth and success,” said Andrlik.

Skender Construction Named as a Best Place to Work in Illinois for Ninth Consecutive Year

Skender Construction was recently named as one of the 2017 Best Places to Work in Illinois. Established in 2006, the awards program is promoted by The Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC), the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Student Business Advocacy Council, the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.

This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Illinois, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses. The 2017 Best Places to Work in Illinois list is made up of 29 companies in the small employer category (15-99 U.S. employees), 25 companies in the medium employer category (100-499 U.S. employees), and 21 companies in the large employer category (500 or more U.S. employees). For the fourth time in five years, Skender Construction took home the Number 1 honor in the medium employer category.

“Our People and Culture Team make this possible by helping to keep our employees engaged and creating wonderful programs that make people want to come to work every day,” said Lisa Latronico, Skender Construction’s Vice President of People and Culture.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Illinois. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated 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 an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Illinois as well as analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

Skender Construction was recognized and honored at the Best Places to Work in Illinois awards ceremony hosted by The Daily Herald Business Ledger on May 18 and will be profiled in a special publication on June 26. The final rankings will be announced at the event and on the Business Ledger website.

Skender Construction and Woodlawn Community Celebrate Groundbreaking of Woodlawn Station

Skender Construction and the Woodlawn community, along with state and local politicians, including U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, celebrated the groundbreaking of Woodlawn Station, a 95,000-square-foot transit-oriented development in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood. The development, located just under the Cottage Grove Green Line CTA terminus station, will feature a main building that contains 55 units and two additional buildings containing 12 and 3 units respectively.

Woodlawn Station marks the Preservation of Affordable Housing’s (POAH) fifth new construction project along Cottage Grove Avenue.

“Residents of Woodlawn Station will soon be able to leave their new apartment and walk steps to high quality restaurants and cafés, shops and services located on the ground floor. They’ll be able to walk steps to the Green Line to get downtown or take the 63 bus to the new Obama Library,” said Aaron Gornstein, POAH President and CEO. “At POAH, we believe in the power of mixed-income communities. This project will provide replacement housing for 35 former Grove Parc Plaza residents, another 20 units for middle-income residents and 15 units of market rate housing.”

Woodlawn Station strives to not only improve the lives of its residents, but also to support local entrepreneurs who will be moving into its ground-level retail space. These businesses will be offered lower rents and generous tenant improvement packages. One such business is locally renowned Ain’t She Sweet Café, the first retail tenant announced for the building.

Skender will serve as general contractor for the Nia Architects-designed apartment community funded by POAH, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other lending partners. Construction is expected to take 12 months and construction materials will include steel and precast on the 55-unit building, and CMU and wood framing on the 12- and 3-unit buildings.

“Chicago has a great need for affordable housing and we are honored to play a small part in bridging that gap. We take pride in being able to make a meaningful contribution towards an exciting future for this culturally rich neighborhood,” said Joseph Pecoraro, Project Executive at Skender.

Skender Construction Announces New Executive Appointment

Skender Construction, a leading Chicago-based general contractor, announced today a new executive appointment to strengthen the company’s business development initiatives.

Dan Ulbricht has joined Skender as Vice President. A 19-year commercial construction and real estate industry expert, Ulbricht brings industry experience, an understanding of real estate development and an aptitude for managing strategic relationships. He will be working with Skender’s executive leadership team to augment partnerships and expand new markets.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dan to the team,” says Justin Brown, President of Skender Construction. “Dan’s knowledge of the construction industry is complemented by both his skills in marketing as well as strategic accounts. He has a talent for understanding clients’ perspectives and translating their needs into constructive solutions. He is a great cultural fit for Skender and is someone whose outlook aligns with where we are going as a company.”

Prior to joining Skender, Ulbricht served as Vice President of Strategic Accounts for Leopardo Construction, where he was a trusted advisor in facilitating communication and working with CEOs, CFOs and real estate directors. In 2014, he was named to Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40 class. Ulbricht is a partner at Fort Knox Studios, a premier rehearsal, production and recording facility with locations in Chicago and Nashville. Ulbricht is also a past president of the Chicago Chapter of CoreNet Global and an active participant in Little Kids Rock, Beacon Therapeutic and City of Hope.

“I have always been impressed by the spirit and energy of the people at Skender. I am excited to now be a part of the dynamic team that pushes the boundaries of this industry and continues to transform the construction experience,” says Ulbricht.

Tom Conroy Joins Skender Construction as Senior Project Manager

Tom Conroy, SE, has joined Skender Construction as a senior project manager in Chicago. With nearly 30 years of construction and project management experience, Conroy brings an impressive portfolio of large-scale stadia, luxury hotels and high-rise, mixed-use development projects to the firm.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tom to Skender’s operations team,” says Mark Skender, CEO. “His experiences and talents in project management and tremendous portfolio are great additions to our strong project management team. Tom will also help drive our strategic plans for growth in several market sectors.”

Conroy comes to Skender from McHugh Construction, where he served as senior project manager overseeing luxury hotel, mixed-use development and high-rise projects. Most recently, he led construction of multiple renovation projects for Navy Pier, Inc., including the Ferris wheel replacement, reconfiguration of the Illinois Street / Streeter Drive intersection, installation of overhead roadway signage, reconstruction of the Polk Bros Fountain, renovation of Polk Bros Park and portions of the Family Pavilion.

Conroy also led the $40 million concrete construction of FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns. His other major projects include the Capella Telluride, a luxury 8-story, 100-rooms hotel with 60 condominium residences in Telluride, Colorado; State Place, a 27-story, 640,000 square foot, four-building residential and retail complex in Chicago, Illinois; and large-scale renovation projects at Hyatt Regency Chicago.

A Chicago native, Conroy earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in civil engineering, with an emphasis on structural engineering, from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He is a licensed structural engineer and member of the American Institute of Steel Construction and American Concrete Institute. “It is exciting to be part of an energetic and trusted company like Skender. I am looking forward to working with the strong teams of construction professionals and helping grow their presence in various markets,” says Conroy.

Fifth Annual Harvesting Hope Raises $25,000 for Embarc Chicago

The Builders’ Board of Skender Foundation, comprised of young professionals, hosted its annual fundraiser, Harvesting Hope, on October 20 at House of Blues Chicago. This year’s charity partner and beneficiary was Embarc, a nonprofit three-year program that provides experience-based learning opportunities to low-income high school students. More than 300 people attended the event and raised $25,000, which will enable Embarc to continue to inspire and prepare their students for college and career success.

Embarc is the nation’s only teacher-led experiential program, founded in 2010 by teachers Imran Khan and January Miller at West Englewood’s Harper High School. From a pilot of just 100 students, Embarc has quickly grown into a highly-demanded, social and cultural education program projected to serve more than 700 students in the 2016-2017 school year in 14 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high schools throughout the city. Embarc’s theory of change is simple: you can only become what you can see. Rather than addressing the achievement gap by simply driving academic skills, Embarc innovatively aims to close the achievement gap by addressing non-cognitive skills, sparking a passion and perseverance for long-term goals, and teaching students the action steps it takes to achieve those goals.

“Embarc’s students, teachers, team and volunteers are incredibly honored by Skender Foundation’s support,” says Imran Khan, CEO & Co-Founder of Embarc. “The Builders’ Board worked tirelessly to pull off an incredible event. The dollars raised at Harvesting Hope will bring a full year of Embarc’s award-winning program to a class of 25 CPS high school students this school year, providing transformative experiences around the city coupled with a curriculum that drives their academic, postsecondary and life success.”

“We are thrilled with the success of this year’s Harvesting Hope,” says Harvesting Hope Co-Chair, Brian Sanchez. “Embarc was a very inspirational organization to work with and we were moved by its mission from day one. Thanks to the generosity of this year’s sponsors and attendees, Embarc will hopefully be able to expand their student base and increase the number of cultural programs and outings.”

In past years, Harvesting Hope highlighted Foundations of Music, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Emergency Needs Fund, Common Threads and Urban Initiatives, all local charities promoting wellness and education.

Skender Completes Construction of Axley Place Apartments

Skender Construction has completed construction of Axley Place Apartments, a two-building, 13-unit affordable housing development located in Glenview, Illinois. The 11,200-square-foot complex features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including three ADA compliant units and three adaptable units.

“The opening of Axley Place is time for celebration,” said Richard Koenig, PhD, Executive Director of Housing Opportunity Development Corporation (HODC), the nonprofit organization developing the project. “The project is dedicated to the memory of our longtime board president Frederick Axley. We had some challenging twists and turns, including surviving frozen construction funding due to the state budget impasse, but through it all Skender Construction was a great partner to us. The buildings look beautiful and will provide a great asset to the village for years to come. We are proud to work with Skender Construction and look forward to building many more developments together serving low income families.”

Skender served as general contractor for the Cordogan, Clark & Associates-designed apartment community funded by IHDA and Cook County. The team overcame poor soil conditions and unforeseen schedule complications, with preconstruction beginning in January 2015, ground breaking in August 2015, stopping construction in November 2015, construction beginning again in June 2016 and substantial completion in September 2016. Construction materials included a concrete foundation; panelized wood framing; brick facades; cement board siding and trim; a shingle roof; vinyl windows and insulated glass front doors.

“Skender is grateful for the rewarding opportunity to build affordable housing. A lot of planning and foresight went into Axley Place Apartments and resulted in a successful turnover to ownership despite the delayed schedule,” said project engineer, Justin Skender. “To see the excited and appreciative faces when construction was complete is what Skender strives for and works so hard to achieve.”

Skender Construction Announces Promotions

Skender Construction announced today that five employees have been promoted.

Luke DeTolve was promoted from superintendent to senior superintendent. DeTolve has over a decade of experience managing ground-up and interior tenant improvement construction for major clients including Motorola Mobility, DeVry University and Cision. He joined Skender Construction in 2012, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

John Estes was promoted from superintendent to senior superintendent. With over 20 years’ experience managing construction projects, Estes has built both ground-up buildings and interior environments for senior living and healthcare clients, including Northwestern Medicine and Mercy Housing Lakefront. He joined Skender Construction’s team in 2013.

Dan Stefka was promoted from project foreman to field operations manager. Stefka has over 30 years’ experience in construction and joined Skender Construction in 2013. Stefka has helped manage day-to-day construction for Motorola Mobility and other high-profile clients.

Belinda Moore was promoted from project accountant to senior project accountant. Moore joined Skender in 2004 as an administrative assistant, and she has managed project accounts for the company’s multi-unit housing and healthcare projects.

Cathy Jenrich was promoted from project accountant to senior project accountant. Jenrich joined Skender in 2011, and she has worked on projects at Northwestern Medicine for the past five years.

“Luke, Jon, Dan, Belinda and Cathy have demonstrated a great work ethic and the ability to develop successful relationships with trade partners, their peers and our clients. I look forward to their continued success as our company grows,” said CEO Mark Skender.

Skender Construction Promotes Bukowski and Simons to Project Executives

Skender Construction has promoted two members of its team to oversee the company’s daily operations.

Brian Bukowski and Brian Simons were promoted to Project Executives, from Senior Project Managers. Bukowski and Simons will lead operations for all construction, project management and project administration activities throughout the firm.

Bukowski joined Skender Construction in 2007 as a Project Engineer. He has managed nearly 3 million square feet of corporate interior buildouts for clients across Chicago. Bukowski has managed projects for Motorola Mobility, Dentons, 1871 and others. Bukowski has 14 years’ experience in the construction industry and holds a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction Management from Purdue University.

Simons also joined the company in 2007 as a project manager. Over the course of his 14-year career, he has managed complex projects in the healthcare and multi-unit housing market sectors. Some of his clients include Northwestern Medicine, Ingalls Health System and NuCare Senior Development. Simons holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Purdue University.

“Both Brian and Brian have contributed to the growth of the company and have demonstrated tremendous leadership in the way they manage projects and build relationships. We’re looking forward to them contributing to the company’s very bright future,” said CEO Mark Skender.

Skender Foundation Announces Two New Directors

Skender Foundation has appointed Jeffrey Skender and Brian Skender to serve as directors of the foundation. Both members of the foundation’s young professionals division, Builders’ Board, Jeffrey and Brian will act as liaisons between Builders’ Board and the foundation’s Board of Directors while also assisting to improve overall operations, fundraising and membership efforts.

Jeffrey Skender is a broker at Cushman & Wakefield and founding member of Builders’ Board. He earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jeffrey is also a mentor for the Chicago Innovation Exchange at the University of Chicago as well as a member of The Chicago Leadership Alliance.

Brian Skender, a project manager at Skender Construction, has been integral to the growth of the Builders’ Board since its inception in 2012, most recently serving as president. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago. Brian is active with Safe Families for Children, a host parenting volunteer network for families in distress.

“Both Brian and Jeff have been vital contributors to the foundation’s development and success over the past three years,” says Skender Foundation Chair and President, Cheryl Skender. “Their leadership qualities and passion for giving back will continue to drive Builders’ Board and its vision: to perpetuate the legacy of giving.”

Skender Construction Completes Sleek New Space for PSAV

Skender Construction has completed construction on a new two-floor office space for PSAV, a global event technology service provider. The 75,000 square foot space at 5100 River Road in Schiller Park, IL features a bright, open design to encourage teamwork and collaboration.

The design utilizes natural light and high-end finishes for a warm, modern feel. Open work stations run along the windowed outer walls. Conference rooms and private offices are located in the space’s interior and feature full glass fronts to capture natural light. Ceilings were raised and partially opened to create a sense of openness and visual appeal. The main café includes large booths for impromptu gatherings.

“The new space has changed the work environment for PSAV,” said Skender senior project manager Ashlee York. “The space is more open and connected – people talk more and gather more.”

An internal stair, a major design feature, connects the office’s two floors. The custom staircase is slightly curved, to mirror the curved outer wall of the building. The nontraditional shape required close collaboration between trade partners, suppliers and structural engineers to fabricate each piece in sequence and to stay on schedule.

The new space in Schiller Park houses PSAV’s corporate office. The more than 200 employees of the corporate office moved into the space in July 2015. PSAV’s corporate office was previously located in Schaumburg, IL.

“PSAV continues to grow in the global event technology marketplace and we needed an office that reflected who we really are,” stated Annette Moody, Senior Vice President, Product Management, PSAV. “Working with Skender, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, and Savills Studley, we were able to create an office environment to allow for a new level of collaboration and communication.”

Savills Studley was the owner’s representative for this project, Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) provided the architecture and design services, Sentinel Technologies was the technology consultant and ESD provided the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer services.

Skender Completes Construction of The Villas of Lake in the Hills

Skender Construction has completed construction of The Villas of Lake in the Hills, a 60-unit affordable senior housing development located in Lake in the Hills, Illinois. The 75,550-square-foot independent living facility features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including six ADA compliant units and 12 adaptable units.

“The opening of The Villas this past summer marks DKI’s second development project in Lake in the Hills in recent years. Both projects, which included a number of energy efficient design elements as well as enhanced accessibility features, are located next to each other in the Village’s Town Center, where residents are walking distance to a variety of shopping, services and amenities,” said Tim Hedges, senior vice president and partner of DKI, a property restoration corporation. “Skender Construction, who built both projects, was a valuable team member throughout the planning, design and construction processes. Both new properties have been very well-received by the community.”

Skender served as general contractor for the UrbanWorks-designed, IHDA-funded apartment community. The team overcame poor soil conditions, an undulated site and unforeseen conditions under a compressed schedule, with construction beginning in June 2014 and ending in March 2015. Construction materials included a concrete foundation; panelized wood framing; brick facades; cement board siding and trim; a shingle roof; vinyl windows and fiber glass front doors.

“Skender was once again honored to experience the rewarding commitment to building affordable housing. A lot of planning and foresight went into The Villas of Lake in the Hills and resulted in a successful turnover to ownership despite the constricted schedule and long winter,” said project manager, Ramiro Trevino.

Fourth Annual Harvesting Hope Raises $30,000 for Foundations of Music

The Builders’ Board of Skender Foundation, comprised of young professionals, hosted its annual fundraiser, Harvesting Hope, on October 15 at House of Blues Chicago. This year’s charity partner and benefactor was Foundations of Music, a nonprofit organization that provides programs designed to implement culturally relevant, hands-on music education for children in Chicago. More than 350 people attended the event and collectively raised $30,000, which will enable Foundations of Music to deliver music programming to at least five additional schools.

Founded in 1988, Foundations of Music (formerly Rock for Kids) impacts more than 7,000 students in more than 30 Chicago public schools annually. More than 550 students receive direct music instruction from the organization’s artist in residency program in the form of general music and choir, as well as songwriting and production. Nearly 80% of classroom teachers surveyed reported that their students showed improvement in behavior, general demeanor and attitude as a result of their participation in the program.

“Foundations of Music relies on the support of people and organizations like Skender Foundation to make it possible for us to deliver high-quality, low-cost music education programming to some of Chicago’s most economically challenged neighborhoods,” says Steven Hartley, Executive Director of Foundations of Music. “We are grateful for the effort the Builders’ Board made on our behalf and for their generous support.”

“We are thrilled with the success of this year’s Harvesting Hope,” says Harvesting Hope Co-Chair, Brian Sanchez. “Foundations of Music was a very inspirational organization to work with and we were moved by its mission from day one. Thanks to the unprecedented generosity of this year’s sponsors and attendees, Foundations of Music will be able to bring music education programming to several new underserved schools.”

In previous years, Harvesting Hope highlighted Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Emergency Needs Fund, Common Threads and Urban Initiatives, raising money for these local charities promoting wellness and education.

Skender Construction Completes Vibrant New Home for Enova International

Skender Construction has completed construction of the 165,000 square foot office relocation for Enova International, a global technology and analytics-driven online lender. The new space, at 175 West Jackson Boulevard in Downtown Chicago, utilizes open space and an efficient layout to foster collaboration and provide room for future growth.

The bright, energetic space incorporates bold colors, open ceilings, exposed plywood and retro-modern lighting and furniture throughout. Large graffiti murals splash across several raw wood internal walls. The murals, commissioned by Enova, were created by School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Zachary MacTavish and teacher Miguel Aguilar. Special design and engineering considerations were required to accommodate a 24/7 call center that occupies one floor of the new space, including 24/7 heating and cooling, K-13 ceiling insulation treatment for noise abatement and durable design and materials to withstand constant use.

The new office, which opened in June 2015, spans 3 floors and incorporates open and private offices, cafes, multi-function rooms, gathering spaces and a game room. It is home to Enova’s more than 860 Downtown Chicago employees, with room to accommodate the company’s rapid growth.

“The space Skender constructed will enable our company to continue to attract the top-notch tech and analytics talent that drives our business,” said David Fisher, CEO. “It’s been great to have such a vibrant space in downtown Chicago that fits our culture and way of working.”

CBRE was the owner’s representative for this project, Partners by Design provided the architecture and design services and ESD provided the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer services.

Skender Completes Construction of Southwick Place

Skender Construction has completed construction of Southwick Place, a 40-unit affordable housing development located in south suburban Matteson. The apartment community is owned by Over the Rainbow Association (OTR), an Illinois nonprofit association dedicated to providing affordable, barrier-free housing solutions for people with physical disabilities. All units within the 37,000-square-foot complex exceed the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, designed to remove barriers for people who use wheelchairs or need other assistance with mobility.

“Southwick Place joins eight existing Over the Rainbow Association properties and two more apartment communities in development in the Chicagoland area. These homes positively impact the lives of nearly 300 people with physical disabilities by creating barrier-free living spaces, thus helping them to live independently and control their own lives,” said Eric Huffman, executive director of OTR. “For a number of brand new Southwick tenants, this is a very first fully accessible home, and they are elated and thankful for the opportunity to live and thrive with dignity. With Southwick, we really wanted to make a statement by pushing the boundaries from a design and construction standpoint. We wanted to convey that affordable housing doesn’t have to be so basic; it can be exciting.”

Skender served as general contractor for the Weese Langley Weese-designed, IHDA-funded apartment community. The team worked under a compressed schedule, with construction beginning in July 2013 and ending in May 2015. The building takes on a geometrical form with an angled roof system, and the facade is a vibrant combination of color and materials, connected by a floor-to-ceiling glass vestibule that allows sunlight to enter each floor. In order to exceed ADA compliance, unique design elements in the apartment community included wider hallways, limited carpet to better accommodate wheelchairs, large roll-in showers, elevated counter tops, additional elevators, varied base details, matching thresholds, drop-in cook tops, wall-mounted oven ranges, precisely positioned kitchen sinks and easy-to-open custom windows.

“From the beginning, Over the Rainbow’s mission motivated our team and we were all on board to create the best possible home for adults with mobility impairments,” said project manager, Brian Skender.

Skender Construction Continues to Grow Healthcare Construction Team

Skender Construction announced today that it has added a new senior superintendent to its growing healthcare team.

John Weaver, LEED AP, CHC, has over 30 years’ experience managing construction for major healthcare institutions across Illinois. Weaver has served as senior superintendent for high-caliber projects such as Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, The Heart Hospital at SwedishAmerican and The Methodist Medical Center of Illinois Replacement Hospital. Weaver was a general superintendent at Turner Construction Company.

Jeff Janicek, Vice President at Skender Construction, said Skender is strategically building a team experienced in managing healthcare projects of the future, as providers are approaching the built environment with efficiency and the patient experience in mind.

“Instead of building large replacement hospitals, providers are reinventing and remodeling their existing facilities to optimize patient satisfaction. Healthcare has become more localized, and is becoming more nimble to meet its patients’ changing needs. Our team is well-positioned to lead in this market, and we’re ready to help clients as they transform their industry,” he said.

Skender Construction Named One of Chicago’s “Best & Brightest” for Eighth Consecutive Year

Skender Construction was named one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For for the eighth consecutive year.

The regional competition, sponsored by the National Association for Business Resources, honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in their human resources practices and employee enrichment. Organizations are assessed based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more.

“Our employees are our greatest asset, and so many of our employees have played a hands-on role in building a culture that emphasizes entrepreneurship, innovation, client service and fun. It’s been very rewarding to watch Skender’s culture evolve as we’ve grown,” said Lisa Latronico, Vice President of People and Culture at Skender Construction.

Skender was recognized with fellow winning companies at an awards luncheon at Oak Brook Marriott on July 10. A consistent leader in employee satisfaction, Skender has also been recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Daily Herald for six consecutive years.