Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield partners with Focus on Westfield Old Orchard’s transformative development

13 February 2024

This partnership will bring new residences, eateries, wellness facilities, and outdoor amenities to the North Shore’s top lifestyle destination

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) today announced Focus as the co-developer for the first phase of the landmark transformation of Westfield Old Orchard in Skokie, Ill.

Anticipated to break ground in 2025 and slated to open to residents in early 2027, the first phase will include the construction of approximately 400 luxury apartment homes and street-level retail, along with a park and event space designed as the center’s focal point where local events, concerts, farmer’s markets, and festivals can take place. When complete, the new residences, eateries, wellness facilities, and outdoor amenities will create a North Shore destination unlike anything else in Chicagoland, dramatically enhancing the center’s existing offering.

Geoff Mason, executive vice president, U.S. development, design & operating management, URW, said: “We look forward to working with Focus, a premier developer in Chicagoland, to further enhance one of the most desirable destinations on the North Shore. Focus’ local market knowledge, commitment to sustainability and DE&I initiatives, and shared vision for the future of Old Orchard make them an ideal partner to help curate what will be the preeminent mixed-use destination for residents, workers, and the wider community. Together, we’ll create what will become the residential, commercial, and cultural heart of Skokie.”

“We are thrilled to be partnered with URW on the transformation of Old Orchard. As a Chicago-based company many of our team members, myself included, have a long history at Old Orchard and personally understand the vital role it plays in the community, said Tim Anderson, CEO and Founder of Focus. “We share in a vision with URW for a more sustainable and dynamic future for the Old Orchard center. Through thoughtful design and careful consideration of the needs of the community, we plan to create an authentic live, work, play experience for the community of Skokie.”

Sustainability will be central to the development, with the project serving as an example of URW’s broader strategy to create unique, sustainable places that reinvent how people come together. Innovative, sustainable building strategies that incorporate renewable energy, natural materials, biophilic design, and biodiversity will be introduced, enhancing Old Orchard’s contribution to the environmental, social, and economic vitality of Skokie and the North Shore.

The multi-faceted vision for Westfield Old Orchard first took shape in 2018 when URW acquired the former Lord & Taylor space. The transformed space will soon be home to artisan-crafted, sustainably sourced home furnishings brand Arhaus, high-tech mini golf and social experience Puttshack, and top fashion brand ZARA. In addition, Old Orchard is modernizing the existing shopping center with dramatic enhancements to the common areas, as well as opening of a slate of new restaurants, health and wellness amenities, and retailers – including Bloomies, Bloomingdale’s curated shopping concept, local dining favorites Bar Siena and Hampton Social, and top luxury and fashion brands Louis Vuitton, Alo Yoga, and Vuori.

JLL, the global commercial real estate and investment management company, assisted URW in the selection of Focus as its co-developer at Westfield Old Orchard. More detailed plans for the development will be unveiled in 2024.

About Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is an owner, developer, and operator of sustainable, high-quality real estate assets in the most dynamic cities in Europe and the United States.

The Group operates 74 shopping centres in 12 countries, including 39 which carry the iconic Westfield brand. These centres attract over 900 million visits annually and provide a unique platform for retailers and brands to connect with consumers. URW also has a portfolio of high-quality offices, 10 convention and exhibition venues in Paris, and a €3 Bn development pipeline of mainly mixed-use assets. Currently, its €51 Bn portfolio is 87% in retail, 6% in offices, 5% in convention and exhibition venues, and 2% in services (as at June 30, 2023).

URW is a committed partner to major cities on urban regeneration projects, through both mixed-use development and the retrofitting of buildings to industry-leading sustainability standards. These commitments are enhanced by the Group’s Better Places 2030 agenda, which strives to make a positive environmental, social and economic impact on the cities and communities where URW operates.

URW’s stapled shares are listed on Euronext Paris (Ticker: URW), with a secondary listing in Australia through Chess Depositary Interests. The Group benefits from a BBB+ rating from Standard & Poor’s and from a Baa2 rating from Moody’s.

For more information, please visit www.urw.com

About Focus

Focus exists at the intersection of development and construction. For 30 years, their teams have worked diligently to exceed expectations and transform communities.

As a vertically integrated development and construction company, Focus is responsible for distinctive developments that value over $2.4 billion. These projects range from smaller, multifamily communities in historic districts to high-density, mixed-use redevelopments in thriving downtowns. Since 1993, Focus has delivered thousands of multifamily units, and millions of square feet of real estate but in addition, the company is committed to enhancing community. Through community partnerships, commitment to a sustainable future and corporate resonpsibility, Focus take an active role in positively shaping the communities where it works.

For more information, visit workwithfocus.com.

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