JLL Chicago headquarters renovation timeline

How long does a corporate headquarters office renovation really take? We documented all the key milestones of our five-year renovation of six floors at Chicago’s Aon Center.

February

Move-in day: Phase 3

The final phase of JLL's corporate headquarters revitalization comes to close as employees move into new desks on floors 43 and 47. There remain several boxes left to unpack and new layouts to explore for members of the firm's staff. While the end of the construction phase, there is still work left to do to properly accommodate and educate employees on their new surroundings.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

February

Move-in day: Phase 3

The final phase of JLL's corporate headquarters revitalization comes to close as employees move into new desks on floors 43 and 47. There remain several boxes left to unpack and new layouts to explore for members of the firm's staff. While the end of the construction phase, there is still work left to do to properly accommodate and educate employees on their new surroundings.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

January

The dust settles

Final touches are being made to Chicago's corporate headquarters at the Aon Center. Pieces are coming together to prepare for a February move-in date for the new and final floors of the Office Renew project on 43 and 47.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

November

Construction continues for Phase 3

The third phase of JLL's corporate headquarters renewal continues on floors 43 and 47 of Chicago's Aon Center. Floors are prepared for final construction stages as move-ins loom for February and March.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

November

Construction continues for Phase 3

The third phase of JLL's corporate headquarters renewal continues on floors 43 and 47 of Chicago's Aon Center. Floors are prepared for final construction stages as move-ins loom for February and March.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

September

Welcome to the Club: Two new floors open

JLL welcomed more than 400 employees to its new club space on Monday morning, serving snacks, beverages and a new blend of coffee courtesy of the Aon Center's two new baristas. The celebration kicked off Phase 3 of Project Renew for the firm's corporate headquarters.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

September

Sending the right message

As final plans for a new office space come together, it's important not to forget the little things. Brand values, identity and messaging were all woven into the final design of JLL's corporate headquarters at Chicago's Aon Center. Features like this message wall were carefully considered for open areas throughout the new space.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

September

Sending the right message

As final plans for a new office space come together, it's important not to forget the little things. Brand values, identity and messaging were all woven into the final design of JLL's corporate headquarters at Chicago's Aon Center. Features like this message wall were carefully considered for open areas throughout the new space.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

September

Finishing touches: New floors nearing completion

JLL will welcome the opening of two new floors in Chicago's Aon Center on Monday, Sept. 12. Finishing touches are being made to prepare for the third phase of the headquarters redesign. These new floors will include unique collaboration spaces (above) to give JLL staff new ways to meet and interact.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

June

New floors taking shape for Phase 2

Renovations continue to take shape on floors 44 and 45 of Chicago's Aon Center. Though mid-construction, the updated floors are starting to look more and more like their finished counterparts on 46 and 48. Areas like this updated kitchen and pantry will soon feature updated backsplashes and countertops to welcome a new wave of JLL employees looking for a place to eat, work and collaborate.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

June

New floors taking shape for Phase 2

Renovations continue to take shape on floors 44 and 45 of Chicago's Aon Center. Though mid-construction, the updated floors are starting to look more and more like their finished counterparts on 46 and 48. Areas like this updated kitchen and pantry will soon feature updated backsplashes and countertops to welcome a new wave of JLL employees looking for a place to eat, work and collaborate.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

May

Stairway to haven

Construction workers finalize preparation and equipment necessary to raise new stairs between floors 44 and 45 in Chicago's Aon Center. Where there was once a workforce separated by ceilings and inefficiency, now is slowly morphing into JLL's new "Club" space. The transition will offer a collaborative space that is at the heart of the project's design goals—open space for open interaction. The process will take one week to complete.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

March

Tearing down walls (and ceilings)

Chuck Kelly, JLL Senior Director of Office Services, surveys the future home of "The Club," a two-story, 277-employee capacity lounge, training area and centralized collaboration hub for the firm's corporate headquarters at Chicago's Aon Center. This week's progress builds toward grander visions in September when the space is slated to open. Barren beans will morph into a flexible, wide-open space suitable for any style of meeting or event.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

March

Tearing down walls (and ceilings)

Chuck Kelly, JLL Senior Director of Office Services, surveys the future home of "The Club," a two-story, 277-employee capacity lounge, training area and centralized collaboration hub for the firm's corporate headquarters at Chicago's Aon Center. This week's progress builds toward grander visions in September when the space is slated to open. Barren beans will morph into a flexible, wide-open space suitable for any style of meeting or event.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

March

Week One goes social

Employees celebrate their new space with breakfasts, giveaways and photo booths. The #OfficeRenew conversation also builds online, both internally on Yammer and externally across social networks. Regular tours of the new space excite employees slated to move in during later project phases.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

March

Move-in day arrives for 500 employees

It’s moving day for 500 JLL employees who will call Aon Center’s 46th and 48th floors their new home. The transformed space reflects their desire for a more collaborative, flexible workplace. The Project ReNew team also unveils the two-story Reception space.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

March

Move-in day arrives for 500 employees

It’s moving day for 500 JLL employees who will call Aon Center’s 46th and 48th floors their new home. The transformed space reflects their desire for a more collaborative, flexible workplace. The Project ReNew team also unveils the two-story Reception space.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

March

Furniture and technology is installed

The installation of dynamic office equipment, enabling technologies and floor-to-ceiling furnishings nears the final stages on the 46th and 48th floors of Aon Center. Anticipation builds as 500 employees begin preparations to move into the new space the week of March 21.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

February

Construction ends on floors 46 and 48

The construction phase nears completion on the first two of six floors that will ultimately comprise JLL’s new global headquarters at the Aon Center. Floors 46 and 48 will be the first floors unveiled and opened for employee move-in near the end of March. The whole project will be completed in March 2017.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

February

Construction ends on floors 46 and 48

The construction phase nears completion on the first two of six floors that will ultimately comprise JLL’s new global headquarters at the Aon Center. Floors 46 and 48 will be the first floors unveiled and opened for employee move-in near the end of March. The whole project will be completed in March 2017.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

December

Construction continues

Throughout the fourth quarter, demolition and construction continue as planned on the 46th and 47th floors, with efforts made to minimize noise disruption for employees during work hours. The project team continues to meet weekly to monitor progress and advise on communications to keep employees and stakeholders apprised of project status.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

December

Construction continues

Throughout the fourth quarter, demolition and construction continue as planned on the 46th and 47th floors, with efforts made to minimize noise disruption for employees during work hours. The project team continues to meet weekly to monitor progress and advise on communications to keep employees and stakeholders apprised of project status.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

September

First swing space moves are completed

The first group of JLL employees are moved to the swing space to accommodate the beginning of construction. The decision is made to conduct this project as a three-phase project—vacating, building and then re-occupying two floors at a time.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

August

Branding and design options are considered

JLL Project ReNew Communications team and external branding experts present initial concepts for best use of corridor walls and common space “real estate” from a branding and design perspective. Internal experts in communications, branding and design are tapped to participate.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

August

Branding and design options are considered

JLL Project ReNew Communications team and external branding experts present initial concepts for best use of corridor walls and common space “real estate” from a branding and design perspective. Internal experts in communications, branding and design are tapped to participate.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

July

Furniture selections are recommended

Based on input from Gensler and employees, initial furniture options are presented for project team consideration. Options from three manufacturers are staged in a swing space studio for hands-on review by the project team. Change Ambassadors and Millennial Representatives are invited to provide feedback to support a final decision.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

June

Swing Space Program is developed

JLL project team and Gensler agree on final plan for swing space use and occupancy to accommodate employees who need to be moved from initial construction zones per construction plans and timeline. Communications are created for employees informing them of project status and plans for moving teams in the initial construction zones into the swing space.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

June

Swing Space Program is developed

JLL project team and Gensler agree on final plan for swing space use and occupancy to accommodate employees who need to be moved from initial construction zones per construction plans and timeline. Communications are created for employees informing them of project status and plans for moving teams in the initial construction zones into the swing space.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

May

Millennial representatives are tapped

Millennial representatives across JLL business lines are selected and invited to participate in Project Renew development to ensure JLL’s workplace reinvention appeals to the workforce of tomorrow. The project team opens lines of communication with this key demographic intentionally and early in the process. It is established that our ultimate goal is to design and build space that allows our people—regardless of their demographic—to do their best work.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

March

Architect is announced

Gensler is publicly announced as the architect for Project ReNew. JLL selects Gensler for its reputation for innovation and proven track record of working with JLL on highly successful client projects nationally and locally.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

March

Architect is announced

Gensler is publicly announced as the architect for Project ReNew. JLL selects Gensler for its reputation for innovation and proven track record of working with JLL on highly successful client projects nationally and locally.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

February

General Contractor is selected

After a thorough vetting process, Clune Construction is hired as general contractor for Project ReNew. JLL selects Clune to spearhead the construction process after the contractor’s years of consistently superior results on both internal and client projects. Clune provides assistance on pricing and vetting planning concepts to ensure viability as envisioned by JLL and Gensler.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

December

Visioning continues with Gensler team

JLL Strategic Consulting and Gensler convene to continue the visioning process for the firm’s new corporate headquarters, building on the considerable work already accomplished by the JLL Workplace Solutions team. The team develops a diagnostics report, workplace standards and concepts, with the JLL culture and brand their top priorities. This group will continue to meet over the coming months.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

December

Visioning continues with Gensler team

JLL Strategic Consulting and Gensler convene to continue the visioning process for the firm’s new corporate headquarters, building on the considerable work already accomplished by the JLL Workplace Solutions team. The team develops a diagnostics report, workplace standards and concepts, with the JLL culture and brand their top priorities. This group will continue to meet over the coming months.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

November

Architect is selected

After a thorough vetting process, Gensler is chosen as the architect for the project. This is an important milestone as it brings on board an expert who can execute the JLL vision and begin to “translate” the data we are accumulating from Herman Miller, Interior Architects and the JLL Workplace Strategy Group into an actual plan for the space.

Courtesy of JLL | Design by Gensler

September

Lease renewal is finalized

JLL finalizes its new 199,730 square-foot long-term lease agreement that will keep its global headquarters in the iconic Aon Center, extending its long-standing commitment to the city of Chicago. JLL Managing Directors—including Jeff Liljeberg and Rob Schmidt—represent the firm in lease negotiations. JLL Managing Director Steve Smith and Vice President Mark Georgas represent ownership, Piedmont Office Realty Trust.

September

Lease renewal is finalized

JLL finalizes its new 199,730 square-foot long-term lease agreement that will keep its global headquarters in the iconic Aon Center, extending its long-standing commitment to the city of Chicago. JLL Managing Directors—including Jeff Liljeberg and Rob Schmidt—represent the firm in lease negotiations. JLL Managing Director Steve Smith and Vice President Mark Georgas represent ownership, Piedmont Office Realty Trust.

August

Employee surveys begin

Project team employs pre-occupancy surveys and incorporates “real-time feedback” via employee touch points throughout the process to determine necessary changes and measure impact. JLL experts lay the foundation for the revitalization by engaging business leaders and employees across functions and generations and analyzing their space usage. This workplace strategy approach of linking data and employee insight with the firm’s business goals and culture will be a consistent part of the project.

July

Change ambassadors are identified

JLL strategically selects influences across business lines to serve as Change Ambassadors throughout the project. These key players will liaise between the project team and JLL employees at Aon Center, delivering updates and soliciting feedback in real time as part of the strategic communications plan.

July

Change ambassadors are identified

JLL strategically selects influences across business lines to serve as Change Ambassadors throughout the project. These key players will liaise between the project team and JLL employees at Aon Center, delivering updates and soliciting feedback in real time as part of the strategic communications plan.

June

Project team is formed

The JLL Project Team is formed and establishes governance and reporting structure. At its helm: Chuck Kelly, head of Office Services; Adriana Calderon, Project Manager; and Ed Nolan, Workplace Strategy guru.

June

Letter of Intent is signed

JLL signs Letter of Intent with the Aon Center on June 10. On June 11, the firm announces the decision to all employees and launches a strategic communications plan. JLL begins negotiating lease terms in late June.

June

Letter of Intent is signed

JLL signs Letter of Intent with the Aon Center on June 10. On June 11, the firm announces the decision to all employees and launches a strategic communications plan. JLL begins negotiating lease terms in late June.

April

Aon Center is selected

JLL senior leadership makes the decision for renewal at the Aon Center. Aon Center is selected because it most closely meets the objectives for the space. The client relationship and the economics of the deal are also key drivers. Following this decision, an initial Letter of Intent is developed.

February

Short list is vetted

A thorough analysis is conducted against a final short list of options. In March, senior Americas leadership completes an extensive comparison between the Aon Center and another existing building. Meanwhile, JLL starts planning space pilots for businesses to explore different ways of working and to test concepts (such as adjustable-height desks and phone rooms).

February

Short list is vetted

A thorough analysis is conducted against a final short list of options. In March, senior Americas leadership completes an extensive comparison between the Aon Center and another existing building. Meanwhile, JLL starts planning space pilots for businesses to explore different ways of working and to test concepts (such as adjustable-height desks and phone rooms).

September

Initial options are presented

Incorporating feedback from leadership on building class and area, JLL Tenant Representation and Strategic Consulting teams present the Occupancy Committee with recommended locations and buildings for consideration. Over the course of several meetings, the teams narrow the search to either the Aon Center; another existing building; or a new development.

September

Initial options are presented

Incorporating feedback from leadership on building class and area, JLL Tenant Representation and Strategic Consulting teams present the Occupancy Committee with recommended locations and buildings for consideration. Over the course of several meetings, the teams narrow the search to either the Aon Center; another existing building; or a new development.

July

Visioning strategy is developed

JLL Strategic Consulting team conducts a comprehensive visioning session with the Occupancy Committee with the goal of “building agnostic vision.”

May

The Occupancy Committee is formed

The Occupancy Committee, including representatives from JLL Chicago Markets, Americas, Global and LaSalle Investment Management, comes together for the first of many monthly meetings. This team will collaborate to set the direction for the project.

May

The Occupancy Committee is formed

The Occupancy Committee, including representatives from JLL Chicago Markets, Americas, Global and LaSalle Investment Management, comes together for the first of many monthly meetings. This team will collaborate to set the direction for the project.

May

Decision-making framework is established

JLL leadership defines objectives for the space search and creates a framework for decision-making. The objectives are to find space that 1) facilitates a productive work environment for existing and future employees, 2) communicates JLL culture and values, 3) is flexible to meet the changing needs of our business over a long-term lease, 4) is environmentally sustainable and 5) is cost-effective. Decision-making criteria are created to prioritize financial implications, client relationships and the established objectives noted above.

January

The hard work begins

JLL’s Tenant Representation team initiates market surveys to consider and narrow options. The Account Team also completes business headcount growth projections and continues previously initiated work with Herman Miller, Interior Architects and the JLL Workplace Strategy Group to evaluate JLL’s space usage and determine best practices. Based on these findings and JLL’s existing 165,000 square-foot office, the space need is set at 200,000 square feet.

January

The hard work begins

JLL’s Tenant Representation team initiates market surveys to consider and narrow options. The Account Team also completes business headcount growth projections and continues previously initiated work with Herman Miller, Interior Architects and the JLL Workplace Strategy Group to evaluate JLL’s space usage and determine best practices. Based on these findings and JLL’s existing 165,000 square-foot office, the space need is set at 200,000 square feet.

August

Conversations begin

JLL Americas’ leadership team begins to discuss occupancy strategy, anticipating JLL’s lease expiration in five years (May 2017). Leadership agrees that they will need to consider the needs and opinions of all individuals and business lines, including the growing Chicago Markets team, as well as the financial and client implications of JLL’s largest lease in the Americas.

August

Conversations begin

JLL Americas’ leadership team begins to discuss occupancy strategy, anticipating JLL’s lease expiration in five years (May 2017). Leadership agrees that they will need to consider the needs and opinions of all individuals and business lines, including the growing Chicago Markets team, as well as the financial and client implications of JLL’s largest lease in the Americas.

January

JLL expertise is tapped

JLL engages its own Tenant Representation leaders—a team led by managing directors Rob Schmidt and Jeff Liljeberg—to represent the company. With their eyes on 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of space and complex negotiations on the horizon, the team prepares to cast a wide net.

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