150 N. Riverside Celebration with Chicago Mayor Emanuel

Friday, April 21, 2017

Jon Zindel, William Blair CFO; Rahm Emanuel, Chicago mayor; and John Ettelson, William Blair CEO

From left: Jon Zindel, William Blair CFO; Rahm Emanuel, Chicago mayor; and John Ettelson, William Blair CEO, at the grand opening of 150 North Riverside, William Blair’s new corporate headquarters.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel celebrated on April 20 the grand opening of 150 North Riverside, the 54-story skyscraper on Chicago’s riverfront and the new global headquarters of William Blair, saying it was a city “gem” that underscores the economic growth of Chicago.

“We just added a new jewel to Chicago—its beautiful architecture with the natural beauty of the Chicago River,” Emanuel told the crowd of several hundred gathered in the glass lobby who were responsible for the development, architecture, and construction of the office tower. “For everybody who played a role in this, I congratulate you.”  

William Blair, an investment banking and asset management firm with offices in 17 cities worldwide, is the anchor tenant and will begin moving into its new headquarters in mid-June. The employee-owned firm, with assets of $80 billion as of December 31, 2016, was founded in Chicago in 1935 by William McCormick Blair and has expanded to nearly 1,400 employees globally, with 1,120 in Chicago.

Emanuel touted the expansion of Chicago’s riverfront and reminded the crowd of the building’s groundbreaking ceremony in July 2014, which he also attended.

For the last four years, more companies have relocated their headquarters to Chicago and more investors from around the world have invested in Chicago than in any city in the Americas, he said.

“Something I’m also proud about is that the city of Chicago’s economy for the last five years has grown at a faster rate in the United States than both New York and D.C.,” Emanuel added.

Goettsch Partners, based in Chicago, was the architect of the 1.2 million-square-foot office tower, surrounded by a 1.5-acre park and walkway along the Chicago River. The building has been pre-certified LEED-Gold and exceeds all local code requirements for energy and efficiency.

Among its many architectural features is the lobby with its non-structurally supported glass wall, the tallest in the country. The building was also designed to touch the ground in as minimal space as possible and still maintain stability. The concrete central wall extends 125 feet into the bedrock below.

“This building, all the work that went into it, and all the people who work here full time speak to the growth and economic opportunity, but also the economic optimism that people have in the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.

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