Donna Mondi a jll project profile

Donna Mondi had a vision for her 16-year-old interior design firm—a new office and showroom that would bring her team under one roof and reflect their design sensibilities and expert capabilities. Her unexpected inspiration? The industrial chic office set from The Intern, a 2015 comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.

Enter JLL.

“I know that property,” said Christine Bower. The 10,500-square-foot building wasn’t in River North, where Donna originally wanted to be, and there was no Starbucks in sight (a necessity for Donna and her team). We encouraged Donna and her husband Dominick Mondi, President of Mesirow Financial, to take a look. They took a tour and fell in love. It wasn’t the center of Fulton Market, but it checked every other box.

Crain’s 2017 Coolest Office

Knowing the Mondis’ interest in acquiring an income-producing, value-add property, we quickly facilitated the sale for $1.8 million (fortuitously closing the day of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series win). Built in the 1890s, the West Town light-industrial building was a former furniture factory. Donna invested $350,000 to convert the first floor into her company’s new home. The second floor will soon become available for the first time in 20 years, allowing for additional income generation. The space is perfect for a creative tenant craving high ceilings, hardwood floors, original skylights and huge windows.

Donna Mondi is a true pioneer in this up-and-coming neighborhood, which is already appreciating. Thanks to Dayton Street Partners’ new development nearby at 1500 W. Carroll, new leases are closing at a record $34-per-square-foot gross, only strengthening her investment. And the coffee issue? Solved with the addition of Limitless Coffee & Tea, founded by Matt Matros of Protein Bar and newly opened across the street.

"We [as designers] are living in a virtual world that doesn’t exist until we make it."

– Donna Mondi in Crain’s Chicago Business

Christine Bower | Vice President | Tenant Representation | +1 312 228 3771

©2017 Jones Lang LaSalle IP, Inc. All rights reserved. All information contained herein is from sources deemed reliable; however, no representation or warranty is made to the accuracy thereof.

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