NAR President John Smaby shares what the Master Vision renovations mean for members.
Bob Goldberg, Charlie Oppler, John Smaby, Vince Malta, John Flor, and Elizabeth Mendenhall atop NAR's Chicago headquarters.

© National Association of REALTORS®

High-level View: NAR’s Leadership Team atop the Chicago headquarters building, from left, CEO Bob Goldberg, First Vice President Charlie Oppler, President John Smaby, President-elect Vince Malta, Treasurer John Flor, and Immediate Past President Elizabeth Mendenhall. Buildingwide upgrades, Smaby says, will beef up sustainability—and REALTOR® pride.

The Chicago headquarters of the National Association of REALTORS® is abuzz with renovation activity inside and out. Where do things stand on the vertical expansion and upgrades at 430 N. Michigan Avenue?

It’s exciting to see the 10-year Master Vision plan take shape. We’re almost a year into the construction and nearing the completion of phase one. The giant “R” looming at the top of the building will be one of the most notable features of the 14,000-square-foot sky level that’s being added to the 12-story building. The addition includes a circular boardroom, 100-seat auditorium, and reception area for member events. We expect the
new floor to be finished by February.

Our building is helping to give bustling Michigan Avenue a new look. Besides the expansion, the building is getting a mechanical overhaul and some terrific amenities for the staff, including a new fitness studio, meditation room, and café on the lower level. Our headquarters needs to be a comfortable and inviting place to work for our staff and tenants.

Video: See the progress made in the first 12 months on the Master Vision to revitalize NAR’s Chicago Headquarters.

How do REALTORS® benefit from the improvements?

We advise clients every day about the value of keeping a property in tip-top shape. We were overdue on updates for our REALTOR® home. The plumbing, electrical, elevators, and HVAC systems are being replaced throughout the building, which opened back in 1962. By investing $45 million over 10 years in our home, currently valued at $85 million, we are substantially increasing its value over the long haul. We want to be sure we’re accommodating our growth for the next 30 to 40 years. And the upgrades reinforce our professional pride and our brand.

What part does sustainability play in the vision?

We obtained LEED Gold status in 2011, and with this project, we’re focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. Everything from the bamboo walls on the lower level fitness center to the LED lighting that automatically adjusts based on sunlight levels stems from our commitment to investing in a smart and healthy building. A sustainable home for REALTORS® is essential to our story because “That’s Who We R.”