By all accounts, Riverside Investment & Development’s 150 N. Riverside in Chicago, IL is an architectural marvel. The glittering 54-story Class A office building boasts 1.2 million square feet along the Chicago River, plus an additional 1.5 acres of plaza and green space. Adding to its impressive accolades, the building has also been independently rated best-in-class in Internet connectivity and boasts a Platinum-level Wired Pre-Certification - WiredScore's highest level. "In today's market, a robust telecommunications infrastructure is something all tenants know they need, but they don't necessarily always have the information or comparative benchmarking to determine how one location differentiates from another," explained Anthony Scacco, Executive Vice President at Riverside Investment & Development. "We are very excited about what the WiredScore team is doing and jumped at the chance to get our project pre-certified as part of their entry to the Chicago market.”
When it came to becoming the first Pre-Certified building in Chicago, Anthony Scacco, saw the value of Wired Certification early on. "When this was brought to us and we saw the level of adoption that was occurring in New York as well as the initial stages of WiredScore's initiatives outside of New York, it became very, very interesting because we tell tenants that we plan buildings that are head and shoulders above what's available in terms of existing stock." Scacco further explains, "To have measurable, definable objective criteria by which to be able to demonstrate that is very useful to us. It became a little bit of a no brainer. A building's ability to differentiate itself on telecommunications infrastructure is going to become and continue to be a very meaningful attribute in this market."
This site of 150 N. Riverside had been vacant for over 50 years because of limitations imposed by its proximity to an active commuter rail yard, as well as the Chicago River. However, 150 N. Riverside’s innovative superstructure design tapers to a central core supporting the office tower above. As a result of its design, 150 N. Riverside’s footprint comprises less than 25% the total site area, with the remaining 75% reserved for a public park, riverside amphitheater and 360 foot riverwalk. Other innovative design features include a façade with a rippled texture, and a dramatic lobby with a ceiling height of more than 100 feet.
With these state of the art design elements, the building at 150 N. Riverside is an engineering and architectural feat. However it’s also designed to ensure that tenants will have all of the wired and wireless technology they need, including Wi-Fi capabilities and cutting-edge cell phone reception. In regards to the property’s wireless investments, Scacco explains, “Tenants of all types are moving towards a more 'disconnected' and collaborative operational paradigm as opposed to their employees being wired into a desk nine hours a day. We're trying to respond to that by planning the building infrastructure robustly and diversely, as it pertains to telecommunications infrastructure."
With the changing trends in the needs of tenants and the technological requirements of companies, Scacco knows that his new office building has to be tech-savvy and provide businesses what they want. 150 N. Riverside's Platinum Wired Certification is a big part of that. Says Scacco: "I think the telecommunications infrastructure and connectivity up until this latest development cycle was reactive. We would figure out what we needed to do based on a tenant stipulating their baseline requirements. Generally speaking, telecommunications is a bit of a “black box” for non-tech professionals, and as a result tends to be one of the last things people negotiate. I think what the Wired Certification process has helped us do is more proactively investigate what’s out there in the market, including markets beside Chicago, and then deliver solutions which anticipate rather than react to tenant needs."
When asked about the value of Wired Certification, Scacco explained "I think the real value has been in the learning process about what other markets are doing, how other buildings are differentiating themselves, and what constitutes truly best-in-class infrastructure when it comes to telecommunications. This is because we want to build buildings at the top of the market, and we want to be the thought leaders in terms of trying to find new and interesting ways to respond to tenants' problems."
And in building a cutting-edge 150 N. Riverside and being the first Pre-Certified Platinum building in Chicago, Anthony Scacco and Riverside Investment are doing just that - being proactive, and leading the charge in staying ahead of today's tenants' Internet and technology needs.