Regus, an innovator in creating co-working office environments, has opened up shop in downtown Oak Park, taking the entire second floor of the building at 1010 Lake St.
The office building and an adjacent two-story brick building, 1000 Lake St., which originally served as Lytton's Department store when it was built in 1956, was bought by UrbanStreet Group in August 2014 for $6.95 million.
UrbanStreet revealed plans in early 2015 to tear down the 1000 Lake St. building and replace it with an 8-story mixed-use apartment building, but it is uncertain now whether UrbanStreet plans to move forward with that proposed development.
UrbanStreet managing partner Robert Burk could not be reached for comment.
Robin Lockhart, area manager for the Oak Park Regus location, said the co-working office space has been up and running since November. Regus touts 3,000 locations in 900 cities across the globe.
Lockhart described Regus as an "instant office concept" that serves clients from individuals currently working from home to Fortune 500 companies looking for temporary office space.
Clients can come in just for a day or sign leases up to two years or more, Lockhart said.
She said the second floor of the 1010 Lake St. building provides enough room for 54 offices and shared work spaces. Regus also offers meeting rooms, video conferencing, receptionist services and other amenities, she said.
"We can mix and match products to meet our clients' needs," she said, noting that some customers lease suites of offices for multiple employees if needed.
The shared office space concept also allows for "free networking without having to go to an after-hours event," she said.
The new office space is the first of its kind in the downtown area, and John Lynch, executive director of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, said it's a welcome addition.
"We're thrilled they're seeing a demand for short-term or even longer term space for those who may need more office space than their kitchen table," Lynch said. "It's a sign that Oak Park is a viable alternative to having an office [in] downtown [Chicago]," he said.
Lynch said he has not heard news of the plans by UrbanStreet next door. "It's safe to say they're evaluating all their options on that site," he said.
Regus is holding a grand opening at its facility on June 8 with Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb and members of the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce, Lockhart said.
Regus has 47 locations in the Chicago area and has a new office space forthcoming to Hyde Park, Lockhart said.