THE DESIGN CENTER RE-SIGNS 60+ RESIDENTIAL AND CASUAL TENANTS ALL PART OF MOVE TO NEWLY-DESIGNED FLOORS Showrooms will be Relocated and Completed in Phases at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart
CHICAGO (August 8, 2012) — The Merchandise Mart, the world’s largest commercial building and epicenter of fine design, completed negotiations and signed contracts for over 60 residential home furnishings and casual furnishings tenants that will be relocating from floors 15, 16, 17 and 18 into new spaces. Many will be relocated to a newly-renovated 14th floor – which will exclusively house Design Center tenants, previously occupied by Gift industry leaseholders and the 15th floor will be dedicated to casual/outdoor tenants. The floor renovations and tenant moves will be completed in phases now through the end of the year.
This leasing effort was in support of the reconfiguration of the Design Center into four floors, which will provide a more concentrated, easily navigable showcase of the TOP brand name showrooms in Residential and Casual design. More than 115 showrooms, representing 2,500 of the finest product lines, will span floors 6, 14, 15, and 16 featuring the best in luxury home furnishings, outdoor furnishings, rugs, lighting, fabric, accessories, art and much more.
“The Design Center moves from floors 16, 17 and 18 to new spaces on 6, 14, 15 and 16 required a tremendous leasing effort from the Mart’s Residential and Casual leasing teams,” said John H. Brennen III, executive vice president, MMPI. “It is unprecedented to negotiate and sign over 60 leases in a 3-month timeframe. This is a great example of the commitment and dedication our residential and casual resources have to The Merchandise Mart and maintaining their permanent showroom, in Chicago, a major market in the USA.”
The 15th and 16th floors, devoted to outdoor furnishings, will also play host to the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market, an annual trade show dedicated to the outdoor and casual furnishings industries. Upon completion of the relocation, buyers at the 2013 Market will enjoy a cohesive shopping experience with participating outdoor showrooms concentrated on the two floors, making it easier than ever to shop the Market to find the best resources. As a result of the reconfiguration, many casual tenants have also extended their lease beyond 2017, demonstrating their commitment to the Merchandise Mart’s casual furnishings industry.
Among those showrooms who negotiated leases and will be relocated to the renovated 14th floor include HOLLY HUNT, David Sutherland, Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman, J.Robert Scott, Jean de Merry, Century, Hickory Chair, Dessin Fournir, JANUS et Cie and Henredon while floors 15 and 16 will feature outdoor furniture premium brands Brown Jordan, Pride Family Brands, Tropitone, Lane Venture, Woodard, Gloster, Treasure Garden and more. The Design Center will continue to be home to the best designer lines and highest-quality furnishings in an easy to navigate one-stop luxury resource.
“With the support of our parent company, Vornado, we have been able to transform the Design Center by providing extensive funding, reconfirguration and design of the 14th and 15th floors and relocation of many tenants. We tapped renowned industry architect and Design Center tenant, Gary Lee Partners, to help us create the new, bright and open corridor layout, allowing visitors who patronize the Design Center to see our showrooms spotlighted among an improved aesthetic.”
The 14th floor renovation included the construction of a designer amenity center, “The Club,” which will feature a well-appointed conference area, lounge, café and audio/visual display. Gary Lee Partners designed and curated “The Club” so it will be a design inspiration and office-away-from-the-office for the many designers, architects, guests and showroom personnel who do business in the Design Center. “The Club” will be open Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm beginning this winter.
MMPI is a leading owner and operator of integrated showroom and office buildings, as well as trade show facilities, bringing buyers and sellers together through market events, trade and consumer shows and conferences each year. MMPI manages The Merchandise Mart in Chicago; the Architects & Designers Building, 7 W New York and Piers 92/94 in New York City; and Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center in Cleveland.
Vornado Realty Trust, owners of MMPI, based in New York City, is a fully integrated equity real estate investment trust. Vornado’s common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and are traded under the symbol VNO.