Innovation is the Name of the Game

by Brett Merz

There’s been a lot of activity at the KBS-owned 500 W. Madison property in Chicago. Accenture, a multi-billion dollar consulting company and KBS tenant, has revamped its existing office lease into a new 74,000-square-foot Digital Innovation Hub. The company had a very specific goal and vision in mind to update its existing space into a 21st century standard—fostering creativity and innovation for its employees, and technology capability and initiatives for its digital clients.

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KBS is one of the largest office owners in the world and has a keen understanding of what drives and motives tenants to thrive. From the beginning, the partnership between KBS and Accenture was transcending—both from a management and physical property standpoint. The KBS team took the time to engage with Accenture, understand their goals and objectives to make their business more successful, and partner with them to structure a deal that helps them accomplish their goals.

Structurally, 500 W. Madison’s very large, efficient, and technology-enabled floorplates allowed Accenture to create a workspace within two floors that fit their various large and small conference requirements, multiple breakout lounge spaces and hoteling desks for their mobile workforce. This flexibility affords them to cater to the needs of the different business units that operate under Accenture Digital, and was a real differentiator for them in deciding to invest in the space at 500 W. Madison.

Accenture has a predominately younger workforce and KBS has found that amenities and community is important to their teams. 500 W. Madison offers employees access to a rich amenity package, which includes a conference center, fitness center and tenant lounge. Additionally, employees are proximate to nearly 45 retailers/dining options and the train station. So far the employees have really taken to actively participating in the robust tenant programming provided by the management team and very much utilize the 14,000-square-foot fitness center available to the office tenants.

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500 W. Madison is one of those future-driven properties that fully embraces the work-play-live trend seen throughout Chicago, appealing to transformative and innovative companies like Accenture. The tenant landscape is changing, and KBS is changing with it. Accenture and its space within 500 W. Madison is a testament of that change.


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Mr. Merz is a senior vice president and asset manager for KBS Realty Advisors and its affiliate KBS Capital Advisors. As a part of the Central Region team, Mr. Merz oversees a portfolio size of seven assets containing approximately 4.1 million square feet.