Introducing Our Document Review Center

July 20, 2010

Until three years ago, Theatre District Business Center offered the same traditional accommodations and amenities of most shared office environments . . . fully furnished office space, telephones, shared internet access, conference rooms, receptionist and secretarial services, etc.  However, a phone inquiry led to our making a very unique addition to our selection of services.

A local legal staffing agency was looking for an immediate short term space to house about 30 contract attorneys for a document review for a major law firm.  Until that point in time, even our corner boardroom fell short of those requirements.  But, as luck would have it, one of our tenants was leaving the state and vacating a space that we believed could serve the agency’s needs.

Within two weeks, we had the space set up and ready to welcome the agency and their attorneys, and provide the professional atmosphere they needed to accomplish their goals.  Within a relatively short time-frame, we marshaled our forces to coordinate desk space, computer rentals, phone service and expanded internet capacity.  What began as a six-week rental ended up extending to an 18-month commitment.   For all those months, this due diligence/meeting room space had been occupied and now it has been leased by a new tenant. 

Now, we have created a new space and are once again pleased to offer a flexible, convenient space for document reviews, training sessions and meetings of any kind.  It’s a great room . . . well lit, overlooking Dearborn Street, able to accommodate 24-26 people.  It is available by the day, week, month or longer.  Public transportation makes it convenient for most users and there are many restaurants, shops and services close by.

We’ve learned that flexibility is a major component of managing shared office space to meet the varied needs of our tenants and clients, and being able to offer this space affords us the opportunity to set our center apart and to expand our horizons to keep pace with the ever-changing economic climate.

If you would like to tour this space, please call 312.762.9200 or visit our website for rates for this and other meeting rooms, http://thesuitescollection.com/conference.asp.available

Our Doors Are Open to the Community

July 2, 2010

The Suites Collection has a wide variety of conferencing choices available at our three locations – Court House Executive Offices and Tree Studios in River North and Theatre District Business Center in Chicago’s North Loop.

Recently, Court House Executive Offices had the pleasure of working with The University of Chicago/School of Social Services Administration.  They required the use of several of our conference rooms and a number of furnished offices.  The flexibility of our business center made this very complicated process run smoothly for their interview sessions for Administration positions for the Chicago Public Schools.  Their intent was to put together a team of Education Professionals that could be integrated into a public school and help them redefine their current administrative operations for optimum success.  

The staff and tenants at Court House Executive Offices met some very talented and dedicated individuals over the two weeks that they were here.  We had the opportunity to speak with staff and candidates alike and share the excitement they had about their plans.  It brought all the recent news headlines about our public schools to the forefront for all of us.  We wish University of Chicago staff and all of their candidates the best of luck in their endeavors.

At each Center, we have a large board room that offers a flat screen TV for presentations and all meeting rooms have internet and conference calling capabilities.  If needed, there are a number of great restaurants in the areas that offer tasty catering options for meetings. One of the great advantages to these rooms is the wonderful experience our staff and tenants provide when we host outside groups.  Our spaces are convenient for long term due diligence teams, shorter term training seminars, formal board meetings and quick casual meetings. 

 

If you would like to be part of our community and reserve a conference room for a special meeting or for a training session you are hosting, please contact us at 312-994-2700. 

We look forward to welcoming you to our community.

Best of NeoCon 2010 Winner at Tree Studios

June 21, 2010

Wilkhahn, the noted and technologically innovative German furniture design company, recently opened its first Chicago office at Tree Studios.  With the architectural belief that “an alarming number of people live and work in buildings to which they do not relate at all, (and wonder) how harmonious, user-friendly products can be made in an alienated, inhuman environment,” they felt the history and thoughtful design of our business center was a good fit for them. 

Fast forward to the recent NeoCon 2010 in Chicago, where Wilkhahn entered its newest office product, ON®, and set an international benchmark for healthy office seating, winning the “Best of NeoCon” award honoring new commercial interiors products introduced to the contract furnishings industry during that show.   Five years of development combined with Wilkhahn’s four decades of expertise in dynamic seating, has produced ON®, a fluid combination of natural, 3-D movement – freedom to sit the way our bodies want & can. Ergonomists and healthcare experts are not the only ones to welcome this scientific research showing that, for the first time, an office chair encourages the natural, three-dimensional flexibility of the human body.

Over the past few months, ON has garnered several international awards and, now, at North America’s premier fair for commercial interiors, Wilkhahn’s new development won the top award in the “Best of NeoCon” competition. From the 326 products submitted, the judges gave ON a “Gold Award” in the “Ergonomic/Task” category and a “Silver Award” in the “Seating/Conference” category.  Then followed with the most coveted prize of all categories: ON scooped the “Best of Competition” award as NeoCon 2010’s top product.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate one of our newest tenants, Wilkhahn, on this exceptional achievement.  For more information or a presentation of this award winning chair and the remainder of their line, contact Samuel Gowland of Wilkhahn at 312.896.3446 or samuel.gowland@wilkhahn.com.

Summer in the City

June 3, 2010

One of the great pleasures of having your office in the city is being able to take advantage of the many summer events the city has to offer.  You can walk to an arts festival during your lunch break like the one starting tomorrow at Michigan and Lake, the Eastside Millennium Art Festival.  The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Tuesdays on the Terrace, the annual outdoor jazz series, will begin after work June 8th.  The annual Blues Festival begins June 11th in Grant Park followed shortly by Taste of Chicago on June 25th.  The Pritzker Pavilion is now home to the Grant Park Music Festival as well as several other concerts during the summer.  Just keep a blanket under your desk, stop off for some food and drink along the way and you’re ready to take advantage of some of the pleasures of the season.

Of course, we think the best place to have that office in the city is one of the business centers of The Suites Collection.  They’re each located conveniently close to public transportation so you can hop the red line whether you’re heading north to see the Cubs or south to see the Sox. 

Lunch in the sun is delightful each summer.  Court House Executive Offices is directly above Maggiano’s and steps from La Madia, NAHA and Frontera and their outdoor spaces.  Theatre District Business Center is above Petterino’s corner café and Tree Studios has its beautiful private courtyard and Pops for Champagne right downstairs.

There is plenty of time for you to make one of our centers your new summer business home.

Entrepreneurial Necessities

May 27, 2010

 

People embarking on new businesses adventures when traditional income streams dry up are called “necessity entrepreneurs”.  As you might imagine, the number of people turning into necessity entrepreneurs is increasing.  The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a research project that tracks entrepreneurship, cites “necessity” as a factor for 24.7% of new U.S. ventures in 2009.  This is up from 16.3% in 2007. 

If you no longer have a traditional job and you possess dreams of owning your own business, now is a great time to give yourself that chance!  Use local resources to help you set up shop and get the support you need to achieve success. 

Court House Executive Offices in River North is the ideal workplace for an entrepreneur.  You will have your own private, furnished, affordable office for as little as $600 per month.  That price includes your telephone and high speed internet connection as well as a receptionist to answer your calls and a professional office manager.  In addition, the benefits of working among entrepreneurs who have followed the same path can be inspiring and educational.   

Connect with the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and check out their newly federally funded program The Cluster Acceleration Program (CAP).  CAP provides entrepreneurs with access to resources and relationships in key industries – including alternative energy, consumer products and services, information technology for the new media, as well as financial services and healthcare markets.

For the lighter side of business networking, attend a “High Speed Networking” event with Chicago’s Networking for Professionals branch.  Meet other business people looking to make connections in a casual, but fast paced environment.  They claim that with high speed networking you can make more new business contacts in one evening than most people will make in 6 months!

Sometimes life gives you an opportunity.  Sometimes you have to take a risk and try something new.  The economy will be back and stronger than ever eventually.  Put yourself in a position to make the most of it – try something you’ve always wanted to and become a successful entrepreneur!

Sale! 25% off new Court House leases signed in May

May 1, 2010

Announcing a great deal – 25% off of all new leases for our location at 101 W. Grand signed during the month of May. 

Situated in Chicago’s lively River North neighborhood, Court House Executive Offices will provide you the essentials for success in today’s market – flexibility, efficiency and affordability.  With a wide range of private offices to choose from, you will find one that perfectly suits your needs.   All offices are furnished and delivered with telephone and high speed internet in place.

Court House Executive Offices is a “shared office” environment which means you will share certain common areas with other business owners and entrepreneurs.  The copy center, mail room and kitchen are all common areas designed for convenience and productivity.    You will have access to your own private office 24/7. 

We offer several conference and meeting rooms for your convenience.    Host your meetings in one of the professionally equipped rooms, which comfortably seat 2 to 12 people.

With plenty of nearby parking, the convenient location at the corner of Grand and Clark streets is right above the original Maggiano’s Little Italy.  It’s easy to grab lunch at the Potbelly’s next door, entertain guests at Rick Bayless’ award winning Topolabampo on Clark or have pizza in the wine bar at La Madia on Grand.

Whether you are looking for a full time private office or a convenient place to conduct an upcoming meeting, we will accommodate your individual tastes and preferences.  Find out more about our celebrated office environment and the May sale by calling us at 312-994-2700.

      Why not schedule a tour today!

Should you work from home?

April 12, 2010

Working from home may seem like a walk in the park for some.  For others, it is an absolute impossibility.  Why the difference?  You may think the disparity lies between older workers accustomed to traditional offices vs. younger workers who are “hip” to technology trends.  Actually the difference is more about personality type and life situation than your age bracket or owning a smart phone.

In his recent Chicago Tribune editorial titled, “Work at Home?  Not so darn fast”, Clarence Page admits that working from home can make him feel like a “prisoner”.   Especially for extroverted personalities, being alone all day is depressing.  For people whose home office is a make-shift desk in the corner of a living room, they just can’t achieve the privacy and quiet they need to accomplish anything. 

Editorial staffers at Inc. Magazine just undertook a fascinating work experiment.  They spent an entire month away from their Manhattan office and made their department virtual.  When it was over and they returned to the office, most of them were relieved.  Their blog about it is a fascinating read on how the experiment impacted the individual employees and overall business. 

Not everyone gets to make a choice about where they work, but if you can, it is a hugely important decision.  As Americans, we spend more time working that doing anything else – 8.8 hours a day on average!   At The Suites Collection, we count many former telecommuters among our current tenants. Their reasons for choosing our offices range widely, but “professional environment”, “support services” and “networking opportunities” rank among the highest.   Depending on the type of person you are and the type of business you are in, you just might want a traditional office where you can feel productive and connected.   If so, contact us and we will find you a great new location. 

Spring cleaning for your small business

March 17, 2010

Here in Chicago, spring is in the air.  The increasing sunshine and warmth are happy reminders of the growth we’ll soon see in flowers and Trees.   The courtyard at Tree Studios is looking particularly promising right now.  For small business owners, this time of year signifies a few challenges, too.  Taxes are nearly due, New Year’s resolutions have been forgotten and piles of paperwork likely need to be shed (or shred!).   Kick start your own growth season with some spring cleaning; it’s a great time to eliminate the unnecessary clutter and institute good practices for your small business.

To ready yourself for tax season, visit the IRS’ small business and self employed tax center and participate in a quick virtual workshop.  Even if you have an accountant, you need to be apprised of the process and the government’s expectations for you as a business owner.  There are also good guidelines for record retention.  Paperwork that should be retained can be scanned and converted to electronic form so the paper can still be put in to the recycling bin.   

Are you making regular back ups of your important electronic files?  The process can be quick and easy with a small flash drive or more comprehensive with an external hard drive.  Specialized back up software is another option.  Whatever you decide, pick a regular back up schedule and put it on your calendar.

Another way to renew your business momentum is by reaping the benefits that come with a great office location and efficient work environment.  Contact The Suites Collection for a tour of our three outstanding office centers and let us handle your administrative concerns while you focus on building your company.

Incubate your business

March 9, 2010

We got some exciting news today at Tree Studios.  One of our favorite tenants, a strong company that has been with us for three years, will be moving out soon.  Why are they moving?  Their business has done so well that they are expanding their staff and transitioning to dedicated office space.  Though it is bittersweet for us to loose them, we know that one of our highest values as a shared office provider is providing a safe place for fragile start-ups to flourish.

What motivates your dreams of entrepreneurial success?  Is it the desire to be your own boss?  Do you wish to imprint your talents and ideas on the world?  It is not likely that the prospect of researching phone systems, leasing copiers and ordering office furniture drives you to start a company.  With all of the hats small business owners must wear, organizing and maintaining the office is understandably low on the priority list. 

Some companies may always consist of one or two individuals, some may increase or decrease depending on seasonal and project demands.  Especially in an economic climate like ours, many people are pursuing their dreams of entrepreneurship because they’ve lost their job.  Our offices, services and prime locations offer a support system to these small and burgeoning new companies.  We have special furnished start-up offices at Court House Executive Offices that are move in ready and include your telephone and internet connection. Change can feel daunting, but at the same time exhilarating.  If it’s time to make a change and you want to find an environment that encourages you to grow, give us a call and we will work together toward building your dreams.

How’s business?

February 10, 2010

It’s not hard to find predictions for the U.S. economy in today’s 24/7 media frenzy.   If you look around long enough you’ll find one that predicts just about every possible scenario.   One of the direst comes from Russia, where a former KGB agent is asserting our country will enter into civil war, the dollar will collapse and our nation will break into six pieces in 2010 – with Alaska reverting to Russian control!  This baloney was not reported on some fringe website, but by the Wall Street Journal.  The media will keep throwing darts hoping they’ll land somewhere accurate or entertaining.  Meanwhile, it’s small business owners and their employees doing the heavy lifting in this economy, and we’ve got to keep our ear to the ground for valuable information.

From 1980-2005, firms less than five years old accounted for all net job growth in the country. In 2007 alone, young firms (1-5 years old) accounted for nearly two-thirds of job creation.  As such a singularly vital part of the economy, we should look to each other for ideas.  That’s one of the biggest benefits in a shared office environment: the day to day opportunities to exchange practical information with other small business owners, employees and burgeoning entrepreneurs.  Going to work and connecting with your neighbor becomes a way to expand your understanding of your own business.  Another way we can increase our individual prowess is to present an organized front to legislators.  Kaufman, the foundation for entrepreneurship, is one group dedicated to doing that.  They aim to organize entrepreneurs to confront fundamental issues needed to achieve an improved small business climate.

At The Suites Collection, we are researching some big new trends in our sector and examining how we can incorporate these new approaches in 2010.  Change is constant in every business, and we are working hard to understand how our changes will affect us at every level – from daily operations to upper level management to the overarching marketing strategies.  Even though the specifics of each business may be unique, the subjects we tackle are the same.  We know we’ve got to stay nimble and find ways to do more with less.  Flexibility, affordability and adaptability are the new economy key words and they are here to stay.