With the building rebranded as THE MART, Merchandise Mart is getting a fresh suite of tenant amenities as well as food and beverage retailers and lobby renovations. Owned and operated by Vornado Realty Trust, THE MART is an architectural icon and the largest privately held commercial building in the United States.
Designed by Gensler, the new updates will provide the future of office space to some of the country's most creative and forward-thinking companies. The highly visible transformation will honor and challenge the building's heritage and its existing Art Deco architecture to create an open and accessible meeting place, opening its doors as a marketplace of experiences, creativity, and ideas.
With new spaces and amenities set to open this summer, the offerings include a revitalized approach to the South Lobby, one of the city's most iconic Art Deco interiors, that includes the installation of new lounge seating to create a warm and welcoming environment for the public, with furnishings sourced exclusively from design showrooms at THE MART.
An extensive, centralized amenity experience on the second floor will feature a 23,000 square-foot health club with state-of-the-art equipment, studios offering a full range of classes, and a juice bar; an intimate tenant-exclusive speakeasy lounge overlooking the river; and a cluster of new curated retail offerings across beauty, health, and wellbeing.
A 21,000 square-foot tenant-exclusive conference center and workspace with conference and meeting rooms, lounge areas, flexible programming space, and a private café, designed for quiet focused and productive collaboration will also be part of the new offerings.
On the exterior, a reimagination of THE MART's River Park public space will include a plaza for pedestrian traffic and gathering, a lush central lawn for community celebrations and programming, al fresco seating activated by new food and beverage offerings, and a localized approach to landscaping that introduces foliage and perennials from the surrounding Chicago region. Designed by Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, the new River Park is part of a larger approach to make privatized space public by bringing the rooftop amenities to the street level, creating a new front yard for Chicago and one of few dynamic spaces available to the public on the riverfront.
The upcoming transformation follows an earlier phase of improvements to THE MART in 2016 that saw the introduction of the Grand Stair and Marshall's Landing, one of Chicago's top dining destinations, and a new Food Hall with robust and varied offerings, as well as a new reception and information desk.