David O’Connor will invest approximately $2 million in the purchase, remodeling and equipping of a West Loop building he purchased that will triple the amount of space his O’Connor Casting occupies down the street from Harpo Studios.
Construction will begin in late fall in the vacant, two-story, 8,000-sq. ft. building at 1219 W. Madison, with occupancy in early spring.
O’Connor Casting will occupy all of the building space except, for a 700-sq. ft. boutique at street level. The expanded space will significantly increase the company’s ability to accommodate more clients with a greater number of daily auditions.
While his present office can comfortably handle two auditions a day, “thirty percent of the time we average three to four auditions and turn down about 20 projects a year because of lack of space,” he said.
“Casting is a very communal thing in my office. I love being close with everyone in an office environment as we bounce ideas off each other constantly. But when you can’t hear yourself think you find it a bit taxing on productivity.” O’Connor said.
Architects Jeremiah Johnson and Joe Buehler from Chicago Building Design are designing the company’s 6,000-sq. ft. of usable space in the building that has been vacant for the past six years.
The first floor will have two large audition rooms, each 500-sq. ft., a meeting area, a large waiting room and reception area. Planned for the second floor are two 350-sq. ft. session rooms, more waiting space a full kitchen/meeting area and two offices, one private and one communal.
All four audition/session rooms will be equipped with video cameras and teleconferencing facilities. New lighting and audio systems will be installed, along with a faster and more redundant computer system.