University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Development of a new commercial lab building

Leggat McCall Properties (LMP) was engaged by the University of Chicago in 2018 to advise the University on the development of a new commercial lab building. This building would be in partnership with a private-sector developer. The project, envisioned as a 280,000-SF tower adjacent to the University’s Hyde Park campus, failed to meet the University’s financial targets. Ultimately it was not built in its then-envisioned configuration.

In 2021, LMP was asked to run a process to identify a new developer for the site. LMP worked with the University to establish a framework that would be economically feasible, developed an RFP and identified potential bidders. Additionally, they guided the University through the selection process. Through the selection process LMP was able to confirm that the proposed project would indeed meet the University’s goals. Facilitating a multitenant commercial lab development in the Hyde Park area while providing sufficient space for a University-affiliated biotech incubator program.

“We have a historic opportunity to strengthen Chicago’s innovation capacity, while laying a foundation for further growth in our dynamic Hyde Park neighborhood,” Juan de Pablo, UChicago’s Executive Vice President for Science, Innovation, National Laboratories, and Global Initiatives, said in a press release about the project.

The LMP team

The LMP team supported the University of Chicago in negotiation of transaction agreements from predevelopment through closing in December 2022. The new project was structured as a ground lease from the University of Chicago. With a joint venture between Beacon Capital and Trammell Crow as the developer. Construction is underway, and the building, which will be a 300,000 SF, 13-story structure built partially over an existing retail/parking garage structure, is expected to open in late 2024.

“The project will provide new opportunities to enhance the University’s strengths in the sciences, engineering, and other fields, including engagement of the Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine, the Physical Sciences Division, the Booth School of Business, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Chicago Quantum Exchange,” de Pablo and Kenneth S. Polonsky, M.D., Senior Advisor to the President, said in a message to academics and staff.

A birds-eye view rendering of the outdoor amenity space. (Courtesy of Trammell Crow Company and Beacon Capital Partners)

A birds-eye view rendering of the outdoor amenity space. (Courtesy of Trammell Crow Company and Beacon Capital Partners)


Project Highlights

  • Size: 300,000 SF
  • Property Type: Commercial Lab Building
  • Year started/completed: 2018/Ongoing
  • Owner/Client: University of Chicago
  • Developer: Beacon Capital and Trammell Crow
Services Rendered:
  • Strategic Advisory