The “Big Red” building on Chicago’s skyline, long occupied by insurance giant CNA Financial, will soon have new tenants.
Financial services company Northern Trust Corp. has leased 462,000 square feet of office space at the notably crimson 44-story tower at 333 S. Wabash Ave., officials announced on Wednesday.
Northern Trust will move up to 3,000 employees from around the Chicago area to the Loop building in 2020, company spokesman Doug Holt said. Some will come from their building at 801 S. Canal St., where their lease expires that year.
Northern Trust will keep its global headquarters at 50 S. LaSalle St., according to a statement from real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank.
The leasing deal includes signage and naming rights, and it will allow Northern Trust to eventually lease up to 750,000 square feet in the 1.2 million-square-foot tower.
“This move will provide greater opportunities for our employees to collaborate and develop creative solutions in a state-of-the-art environment,” Northern Trust CEO Frederick Waddell said in a statement.
Before moving in, the new owners are planning a series of renovations, including a new lobby, auditorium and food hall, along with an upgraded fitness center, day care and tenant lounge.
CNA sold the building for $108 million last year to The John Buck Co., which then broke ground on the company’s new Loop tower at 151 N. Franklin St. That building is expected to open next summer.
Besides its characteristic red hue, many Chicagoans remember 333 S. Wabash as the site of a freak accident in 1999, when a woman was killed by a jagged piece of glass that fell from 29 stories.
The tragedy led to an $18 million lawsuit settlement and the highest housing-code fine in Chicago history being slapped on CNA.