The Big Ten Conference

Client Situation

The Big Ten Conference, the oldest Division I collegiate conference in the United States, needed to address the growth of their operations and evolving brand identity. After operating for 20 years in their Park Ridge headquarters, in 2010 they selected Savills Studley Chicago to help them embark on a strategic planning process. Their top priority was to enhance the experience of everyone already interacting with the conference – from coaches, players and university executives to refs, alumni and fans.

We investigated all possible real estate scenarios, including expanding their current building, leasing office space in nearby suburban Chicago submarkets and/or acquiring another existing standalone building. After thoroughly vetting each scenario, we determined that developing a customized headquarters facility was the best way for the Big Ten to meet all of their objectives.

Consideration Analysis

Building a new state-of-the-art headquarters was a significant undertaking, from site selection and land acquisition through construction. It took extensive planning and negotiation by the Savills Studley team to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously while working around material and logistical complexities, time restraints and financial limitations.

The team’s interaction with the Village of Rosemont played an important role in the Big Ten’s decision to build their new headquarters at MB Financial Park. Our client secured prime corner property in the park, plus the right to display a highly visible 2,000 square-foot exterior sign along the very busy I-294 expressway. Another outcome of the negotiation was that Rosemont brought Fogo de Chao steakhouse to the first floor of the headquarters, making the property even more attractive to visitors and residents.

Along with managing collaboration among an unusually high number of stakeholders, Savills Studley had to shepherd a “fast track” construction process to avoid the worst of the Chicago winter. Fast tracking meant that the various teams had to problem solve seven days a week to complete the facility in just over a year, including finishing the Big Ten Experience museum’s interior space. Given the complexity of the project and the number of constituents involved, proactively facilitating the highest level of collaboration was the lynchpin of success.


The end result for the client was a new 50,000 square-foot, $20 million headquarters – twice the size of their previous location. This unique, built-to-suit development is a poster-child for the power of collaboration. Not only did Savills Studley facilitate stakeholder cooperation through a challenging construction project, but the team communicated regularly with the Village of Rosemont, ultimately ensuring that the Big Ten development would also benefit the local community.

Photo Courtesy of The Daily Herald

It was most important to our client to enhance the experience of those interacting with the conference. The new location achieves this while greatly improving accessibility for visitors, employees and the nearly 5 million alumni of the conference. The ultra-modern building is ideally located for access to O’Hare, as well as hotels and restaurants. The complex easily accommodates current full-time employees with ample room for growth as the conference continues to expand. This, along with the museum showcasing the history and highlights of the conference, will serve to increase traffic to both the restaurant and surrounding Rosemont businesses.

Summary Information

  • Property: 5440 Park Place, Rosemont, IL
  • Transaction Size: 44,500 SF
  • Transaction Type: Build-to-Suit, Headquarter Relocation
  • Service Line: Office

Meet the Team

Dale, Rich

Dale, Rich

Corporate Managing Director, Project Management Services

Sevim, Robert

Sevim, Robert

Executive Vice President, Chicago Co-Head