From the CEO
Solid Digital Moves to the Willis Tower in Downtown Chicago
So, the big news this month, is that our Chicago headquarters is now located in the Willis Tower. That’s right, literally the largest building in America is now our home.
It’s already been an exciting year for the team here at Solid Digital. At the beginning of the year two companies, Usman Group and Solid Interactive, became one. Going from a 15 person team to a 30 person team overnight brings a variety of challenges, but we worked hard to organize ourselves into an effective group. Our driving force has been (and continues to be) to position the company as a top tier producer of quality creative, marketing, and engineering services within our two regions: Chicago and Portland.
Now, we are ready to take the next step towards achieving that goal. While the Portland office has been centrally located in the heart of the city for awhile now, the Chicago office was in the northern suburbs. We recognize that if we want to truly compete in our region we should also follow suit and move into the downtown area. So, the big news this month, is that our Chicago headquarters is now located in the Willis Tower.
That’s right, literally the largest building in America is now our home.
I would be lying if I didn’t say there was more than a little bit of reluctance to move away from the Highland Park office. We love the neighborhood and had become friendly with many of the other shops and their awesome employees in the area. While the office itself was pretty small for our team, it also brought us all closer together as a family. Needless to say, the day we left was bittersweet. We will all miss our old home.
We started looking for a new office in March this year, and at first it was very challenging. There are a lot of options, but there was a significant increase in what we were used to budgeting for our rent. I know that should come as no surprise to anyone, but it was important that our suburbanite team members are able to conveniently get to and from the train stations. And guess what? Costs go up as you get closer to the trains… go figure.
We had just about given up hope that our budget didn’t match our options when we found a listing for a short term sublease in the Willis Tower. I would have never thought that we would find an opportunity to find a home in one of the most recognized skyscrapers in the world, but the size, location, and cost worked out perfectly.
As I mentioned, our time at the tower is limited to 2 years, but it has provided us the ability to get established in the loop and begin looking for our permanent home. Our plans are to continue to grow our team which means that by the time we’re ready to move we’ll have a better sense for the size we need on a longer basis. For the time being, however, we’re going to take full advantage of all the amenities that are offered as a guest of this amazing building.
For me personally, having our office in the (what used to be) Sears Tower is one of the coolest accomplishments in my life. Growing up, the Sears Tower and John Hancock building were naturally the best known symbols of Chicago, but the Sears Tower in particular was such a monument to the capabilities of humanity while it held the title of tallest building in the world for over 25 years.
So, if you’re ever in the neighborhood, we’d love to have you stop by… I don’t even need to give you the address.