GOOSE ISLAND — Would you want to work in an industrial-turned-modern office with 25- to 30-foot-tall ceilings on Goose Island?
R2 Companies just snatched up a 132,000-square-foot industrial property at 1315 N. North Branch St., in the hopes of attracting either a creative office or distribution company.
It's the latest Goose Island project for R2 Companies, which is working to transform the former Goose Island Boat Yard site into an office development with a pedestrian and cycling bridge. It's also building another office development at 909 W. Bliss St., according to Curbed, the blog that first reported the news.
Check out renderings, courtesy of the project's designer, Gensler: (story continues below)
Matt Garrison, managing principal with R2 Companies, told DNAinfo Chicago that this purchase is part of his company's 10-year plan to transform Goose Island, which is situated along the North Branch of the Chicago river, into a "modern, amenitized urban office and R&D [research and development] park with great green spaces along the river and to connect it to existing CTA infrastructure and Clybourn Corridor retail through pedestrian bridge infrastructure."
Garrison said the key to revitalizing the industrial area is making it attractive for employees to work there by offering "interesting spaces, great amenities and making the river itself an amenity."
"There is a lot of work to do, but it needs to happen, and it will happen because it makes sense," he said.
All kinds of companies have already expressed serious interest in the site, Garrison said. But he said finding the right tenant will take a "combination of patience, foresight, private investment, progressive zoning and infrastructure."
Also part of the former manufacturing district is the site of the former A. Finkl & Sons Co. steel plant. What happens there has been and continues to be a burning question in the neighborhood.
Community leaders say whatever is built in Finkl's place — which has yet to be revealed, though there have been speculations — will shape the future of the neighborhood.
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