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John Hancock Center to Get New Plaza, Reports Say

By DNAinfo Staff on June 25, 2013 2:27pm

 The John Hancock Center is in line to get a $45 million makeover.
The John Hancock Center is in line to get a $45 million makeover.
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STREETERVILLE — The John Hancock Center, one of Chicago's most famous buildings, will reportedly undergo a $45 million makeover that includes a redesigned plaza that aims to attract young office workers.

"We think it's a tremendous opportunity to turn the [outdoor] plaza into a public gathering place," the new owner of the building's office plan, Stephen Hearn of the Hearn Co., told GlobeSt.com.

The real estate web site said the revitalization will "place a special emphasis on increasing the visability of the street entrance and using contemporary design to make the building more appealing to younger workers now filling up nearby offices."

Under the 100-story tower's current configuration, "you can walk all the way around the building and not know where to come in if you're a visiting an office tenant," Hearn told GlobeSt.

Hearn also plans to upgrade the lobbies and common areas and add bicycle storage, Chicago Real Estate Daily reported. An outdoor bar in the plaza might be part of the improvements as well.

Hearn, along with Mount Kellett Capital Management and Lynd. Co., paid about $145 million for the Hancock's office space and parking deck, Real Estate Daily said. The space was previously owned by Deutsche Bank AG.

The Hancock, at 875 N. Michigan, was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and opened in 1970 at a cost of $95 million. It has a mix of residential, office and retail space.

The original sunken plaza on Michigan once featured a reflecting pool and included an ice skating rink.

The Hancock is the fourth tallest building in the city, at 1,127 feet, and ranks 36th in the world.

In Chicago, the king is Willis Tower at 1,451 feet, followed by the Trump Tower at 1,170 feet and the Aon Building at 1,136 feet tall.