CHICAGO—Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) has leased approximately 34,295 square feet in Trammell Crow Company’s (TCC) Fulton Labs innovation hub, announced today by the Chicago office of TCC, a global real estate developer. Illinois Tech will occupy the entire 7th floor of the cutting-edge wet lab facilities at 400 North Aberdeen, aiming to fuel scientific breakthroughs and industry-relevant research as the first academic institution to join the thriving and collaborative innovation ecosystem alongside their Fulton Labs neighbors, which include Portal Innovations and the Chan Zuckerberg BioHub. 400 North Aberdeen will mark the university’s first off-campus move to a commercial research hub, which it will occupy in Fulton Market by late summer of 2024.
“As Chicago’s only technology-focused university, Illinois Tech is uniquely positioned to advance cutting-edge innovations, offering a distinctive education and unique research program focused on using science, technology, and design thinking to address global challenges,” said Illinois Tech Provost Kenneth Christensen. “As the first academic institution to be part of this hub of innovation at Fulton Labs, we’re not only setting the pace but also fortifying a diverse and thriving innovation ecosystem.”
Illinois Tech will utilize Fulton Labs to expand its research and development presence and drive innovation. Researchers will focus on biomedical and biological engineering, including sensors, separation science, and electrochemical energy materials, along with more biology-focused research, such as therapeutics development. These advanced research facilities, along with opportunities to collaborate with employers, offer Illinois Tech students exposure to industry-aligned research that is an integral part of the Elevate experiential learning experience that Illinois Tech offers students. At Fulton Labs, Illinois Tech will help grow a vibrant ecosystem, collaborating internally and with nearby partners.
“In the dynamic realm of scientific research, partnership and collaboration are more than mere concepts—they are the driving forces of groundbreaking discoveries that lead to impact for humanity,” said Christensen. “By championing an ecosystem that thrives on shared resources and mutual growth, we are laying the foundation for a future where innovation knows no bounds. Expanding our research footprint to Fulton Labs is the natural next step to advance synergistic scientific collaborations in an ever-evolving landscape.”
“Illinois Tech growing its R&D and innovation presence at Fulton Labs further validates the promise of innovation and access to a wealth of science-forward talent in Chicago,” said Johnny Carlson of TCC. “The University will be able to catalyze innovation within the neighborhood, where many other prominent ecosystem drivers, like Portal Innovations and the Chan Zuckerberg BioHub, have recently established a presence. Illinois Tech is the first academic institution to lean in off-campus to create an innovation hub in the city. Being near like-minded companies and institutions will allow Illinois Tech to support student and faculty advancement, and enhance student networking and job opportunities.”
Dan Lyne of CBRE represented TCC in the deal, while Max Zwolan and Scott Brandwein of JLL represented Illinois Tech. Perkins&Will designed Illinois Tech’s space at the building. Power Construction is the general contractor of this project.
“Chicago is really starting to flex its core scientific and innovative roots,” said Lyne. “The success of the Fulton Labs campus, attracting powerhouses like Illinois Tech and so many other biotech and science-focused companies, is measurably moving the needle for the city’s business and life sciences ecosystem on the global stage.”
TCC’s Fulton Labs campus—totaling 725,000 square feet across two world-class buildings—is part of the firm’s 1.2-million-square-foot life science portfolio in Chicagoland, which also includes the under-construction Evanston Labs (175,000 square feet) and Hyde Park Labs (302,000 square feet), both slated for delivery in 2024.
“At its core, true impact is born from the fusion of innovation with collaboration. By establishing our presence at Fulton Labs, we’re embracing a philosophy that believes in pushing boundaries through collective endeavor,” said Christensen. “With this expansion, Illinois Tech is not just broadening its geographical reach but also amplifying its relevance in the ever-evolving world of technology and research. Our aspiration is clear: to shape a future with relevant and impactful research that resonates locally and globally.”
With this strategic move, Illinois Tech continues to position itself as a leading force in innovation, research, and collaboration, proving once again its commitment to driving growth and shaping the future.