Playboy’s Chicago Offices Are Sublet to Children’s Memorial Hospital

By Steve Cohn

Playboy Enterprises Inc., which on April 30 will relocate its corporate headquarters from Chicago to Beverly Hills, is subletting its 96,000 square feet of office space at 680 North Lake Shore Drive (pictured) to Children’s Memorial Hospital. The announcement means that PEI will be a landlord until 2022, when its lease expires. (Rent is scheduled to rise from about $720,000 annually to $1.6 million in Sept. 2013.) (part of Crain’s Chicago Business) reported (March 28) that 680 North Lake Shore is less than one-half mile from Children’s Memorial’s facility, and that the office space will be used for research. The building’s popularity with the medical community has made it much more in demand than properties in the city’s famed "Loop" that once included the original Playboy Building (now the Palmolive Building) at 919 North Michigan Ave. That was corporate headquarters from 1966 through 1989, and it symbolized the bond between 1953 founder Hugh Hefner and his home town.

That is long gone, with Hefner having relocated in the early-1970s to his Holmby Hills, Calif., mansion, and his company (now led by Scott Flanders) is now following him almost in toto. The exception is Playboy‘s American Media Inc.-managed advertising and sales staff remaining based in New York.