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Huge Innovation Lab Coming to More Than Century-Old Fulton Market Building

By Lizzie Schiffman Tufano | August 25, 2014 5:48am | Updated on August 25, 2014 7:47am
 A sneak peek of Morgan MFG compound, currently coming together in the West Loop for a September opening.
Morgan MFG
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FULTON MARKET — A six-building brick manufacturing complex that pre-dates the Chicago Fire will re-open in September as an event space, office complex and "innovation lab" called Morgan MFG.

The opening next month follows a $19 million "adaptive reuse project" led by real estate entrepreneur Marc Bushala, who also owns Untitled in River North and other restaurants.

Lizzie Schiffman says the new "compound" is already nearly leased:

Bushala announced Monday that Morgan MFG (its staff pronounces it "manufacturing") at 401 N. Morgan St. will include a 32,000-square-foot "innovation lab" that has been chosen as the new home of Chicago's Innovators Connection, a project funded in part by the Chicago Innovation Awards that connects small businesses with large corporations.

"My goal for Morgan Manufacturing is to be a resource center devoted to fostering the collaborations that lead to successful innovation," Bushala said Monday in a release.

Bushala has built up around the 88,000-square-foot building, once home to Salisbury by Honeywell, that his MAB Capital Management bought in January for an estimated $2 million.

The decor stays true to the building's industrial vibe, adding dulled metallic accents like a lattice-work steel staircases with daubs of rust. Smoked glass and mirrored panels define smaller areas.

The front entrance opens into the cavernous innovation lab that doubles as an event space, encircled by a Tetris-stacked pattern of leased offices, a two-story craft distillery, and smaller event areas that will house furniture with a nightclub vibe.

Secured tenants include Swedish digital agency Nansen, whose clients include Electrolux and Coop, a "Chicago-based innovator in the apparel space" and "another technology-based marketing firm," Bushala hinted in a release, promising an announcement later in September.

By early October, a brasserie and cafe will open in the southwest corner of the complex.

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