Patrick O'Connor

Part
01
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Part
01

Patrick O'Connor: Background

Patrick O'Connor has over 20 years of experience in development and construction. O'Connor has "fine-tuned the fundamental balance between art and science that is essential to successful real estate development through more than a hundred successful projects for some of the country's most ambitious clients." Detailed below is more information on his personal and professional background, award-winning projects, other notable projects, and contact information.

Personal Background

Professional Background

  • Patrick O'Connor worked for Sterling Bay Companies for more than 20 years. He joined the company in 1995 as a project manager, a position he held until 2007. In 2009, he became the director of construction and then became a principal in 2011. He held both positions until he left the company in 2016 to join the then newly launched Farpoint Development.
  • In 2016, Scott Goodman, Sterling Bay's co-founder, launched a new firm, Farpoint Development. Three of the earliest employees of Sterling Bay joined him as principals; one of them was Patrick O'Connor. The other two are Eric Helfhand, Sterling Bay's former chief financial officer and director of accounting, and Regina Stilp, who oversaw the building designs.
  • Currently, O'Connor is still a principal at Farpoint Development. He is also a principal at Griffon Associates, LLC. According to his LinkedIn profile, Griffon Associates is "the extension of his 20-plus years experience building and directing the Development/Construction team at Sterling Bay, one of Chicago's most innovative commercial real estate developers." However, the website link he provided for Griffon Associates, LLC. does not work.
  • On LinkedIn, he has 14 endorsements on construction management, 12 on real estate development, seven on contract negotiation, and three on LEED industry knowledge. His endorsements are mostly from executives, consultants, and shareholders.

Award-Winning Projects

Other Notable Projects

The following are some of the notable projects of Patrick O'Connor, including their rentable square feet (RSF) as well as major tenants of the developments:
  • Fulton West | 300,000 RSF | Major tenants: Skender Construction, Sterling Bay
  • 1k Fulton | 535,000 RSF | Major tenants: Google, SRAM, Swift & Sons
  • 400 S. Jefferson | 231,000 RSF | Major tenant: Hillshire Brands
  • 111 N. Canal | 860,000 RSF | Major tenant: Gogo, UBER, Twitter
  • Burr Ridge Medical Center | 104,000 RSF | Major tenant: Loyola University Health Systems
  • 300 W. Adams | 252,000 RSF | Major tenants: Vibes, Emmi Solutions, If By Phone
  • 325 N. Wells | 151,000 RSF | Major tenants: Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Kimball Office
  • 626 W. Jackson | 105,000 RSF | Major tenants: CARA Chicago, IDEO
  • 564 W. Randolph | 94,000 RSF | Major tenants: Starbucks, Prophet, Embeya

Past Engagements

Other Relevant Findings

  • In 2017, Patrick O'Connor was supposedly the lead developer of the Northlight Theater development project in Evanston, Illinois. This mixed-use development project proposal raised some concerns about the possibility of displacing old businesses in the area. The following year, the development plan was scrapped "after numerous town hall and community meetings."
  • In 2018, Mayor Rham Emmanuel announced a partnership with Farpoint Development and Jam Productions on a $75-million restoration plan of Chicago's historic Uptown Theater. In this partnership, Patrick O'Connor said, "Uptown United’s longstanding work to support economic development and infrastructure improvements in the community has been instrumental in making the Uptown Theater project a reality." (Uptown United is Uptown Chicago's Economic Development Agency.) However, we could not find any press releases or news articles in the public domain that could prove that Patrick O'Connor is directly involved in this restoration project.

Contact Information

Research Strategy

To provide information about the background of Patrick O'Connor of Farpoint Development, we started our research by looking into his LinkedIn profile provided by the client. However, this profile has very limited information on it. We tried looking for another LinkedIn profile with the same name in the hope that he has a different account that is more active and has more information on it. We found another profile with the same name. To ensure that both profiles are of the same person, we matched some information, such as the address (Greater Chicago Area), work experience (principal at Sterling Bay Companies), and degree and university name (Bachelor of Arts at the University of Notre Dame). We collated the screenshots of the two profiles in a Google document for easy reference. We also looked into his profile on Farpoint Development's website and found that several projects on his portfolio matched the projects listed on the LinkedIn profile we found, a guarantee that we have the right LinkedIn profile. Thus, we made these two sources (his active LinkedIn profile and FarPoint Development profile) as a starting point to find other relevant information about him from credible third-party sources.

However, even after exhaustive research in the public domain, we could not find any of his upcoming events or engagements, recent projects, and news articles or interviews that might show some conversation points. Most of the articles we found were from 2017 and 2018, which were all about the scrapped Northlight Project in Evanston, Illinois, a project that O'Connor was supposed to lead.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Patrick O'Connor's Projects

After a thorough search, specific details related to Patrick O'Connor's processes in selecting architects could not be located and only four projects that he has personally been involved with could be identified. However, O'Connor is a founder and one of four Principals at Farpoint Development, a firm launched in 2016. The architects of five recent Farpoint Development projects and the associated industries are thus also provided below.

Architects and Insights for Three Projects Headed by Patrick O'Connor

  • 1K Fulton: O'Connor worked with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture to develop 1K Fulton.
  • The 1K Fulton development specifically catered to the high-tech industry with an open floor plan and on-site amenities. It now houses Google's Mid-West Headquarters.
  • 400 S. Jefferson: Gina Berndt of Perkins+Will was the architect of this project.
  • O'Connor worked directly with Tyson Foods to develop 400 S. Jefferson. It includes a glass-curtain wall facade and amenities such as passenger elevators and an indoor parking garage.
  • Burr Ridge Medical Center for Loyola: Proteus Group and Troyer Group are listed as the architects of the Burr Ridge Medical Center.
  • The Burr Ridge Medical Center was designed to be a modern, state-of-the-art facility and is the largest free-standing medical office building in the Chicago area.
  • The Uptown Theatre: The Uptown Theatre is a major ongoing project being undertaken by Farpoint with O'Connor commenting on its development. The redesign is being conducted by architects at Lamar Johnson Collaborative. The Uptown Theatre is a community arts facility.

Architects and Associated Industries for Five Projects of Farpoint Development

  • The Michael Reese site, or the Burnham Lakefront: This massive in-development project is being designed by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. It includes high rises and public spaces, including commercial and residential development.
  • 1308 N. Elston: This building was designed by Holabird & Root Risinger Architects to be a modern office space. This is an exposed brick and beam building with ceiling heights between 12-14 feet. Abundant light and openness is the theme.
  • 111 N. Canal: This building was designed by the Proteus Group to be a high class tech-hub, including a fitness center and game room.
  • 6300 River Road: This in-development project was designed by Arthur Swanson. It is a modern office building with unusual amenities including virtual golfing and a zen garden.
  • 8522 South Lafayette: Designed by architect Sullivan Goulette Wilson, this in-development project is billed as an industrial building. More details are not currently available.

Research Strategy

The research team began by confirming relevant background information for Patrick O'Connor, finding that he was among the earliest employees of Sterling Bay and later served as director of construction and development for them. In 2016, he left Sterling Bay and joined Scott Goodman and two others to found Farpoint Development.

The research team searched Farpoint Development's Team page to find O'Connor's provided biography and a list of three projects he has worked on: 1k Fulton, 400 S. Jefferson and Burr Ridge Medical Center for Loyola. Insights on the process used to pick the architects for these specific projects were not found beyond the broad statement that he looks for a balance between art and science.

A search for information related to the architects of the three listed projects, such as 1K Fulton, was successfully conducted. Once identified, additional information on how the architects were selected was searched for using online industry sources such as Chicago Architect Magazine but could not be found.

The research team then conducted a broader search of online news publications in the Chicago area such as TheRealDeal Chicago to find references to Patrick O'Connor, projects he has specifically worked on, and how he chose the architects involved. One project with O'Connor's comments, the Uptown Theatre, was identified, but details on how the architect was selected could not be found.

The research team conducted a search of O'Connor's alma mater, Notre Dame, to see if there were any existing references to project or design preference. The search returned with "No results found."

With only four projects directly associated with O'Connor identified, the research team referenced the project list at Farpoint Developers to identify additional projects, with the reasoning that O'Connor is one of four Principals in the company and was most likely involved to some extent in their development. Additionally, of the four completed projects listed by Farpoint, three are directly associated with O'Connor. While the goal was to list six additional projects to meet the client's request of ten, only five projects had architects listed as the others are not yet confirmed.

The overall mission of Farpoint was then searched on its website to provide guidance on its preferences for architects. Innovation was the common theme of the mission statement.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "As a founding member of Farpoint Development, Patrick O’Connor brings 20-plus years of experience in development and construction. He has personally directed the development execution for some of Chicago’s most creative, challenging and award-winning developments including 1k Fulton, 400 S. Jefferson and Burr Ridge Medical Center for Loyola. Through more than a hundred successful projects for some of the country’s most ambitious clients, Patrick has fine-tuned the fundamental balance between art and science that is essential to successful real estate development. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and lives in Evanston with his wife and two children. poconnor@farpointdev.com 312 971 0579"
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Joining Goodman as principals at the new firm are three of Sterling Bay's earliest employees: Patrick O'Connor, who was director of construction and development; Regina Stilp, who oversaw the design of buildings, and Eric Helfand, the former chief financial officer and director of accounting."
Quotes
  • "As a founding member of Farpoint Development, Patrick O’Connor brings 20-plus years of experience in development and construction. He has personally directed the development execution for some of Chicago’s most creative, challenging and award-winning developments including 1k Fulton, 400 S. Jefferson and Burr Ridge Medical Center for Loyola. Through more than a hundred successful projects for some of the country’s most ambitious clients, Patrick has fine-tuned the fundamental balance between art and science that is essential to successful real estate development."
Quotes
  • "Working with developer Sterling Bay Properties, HPA is the architect of record for the adaptive reuse of a 1920's cold storage building into a 535,000 SF development with Class A features - including expansive open-plan floors, outdoor terraces, skyline views and on-site amenities - that position it for high-tech, entrepreneurial tenants. "
Quotes
  • "The Real Deal, often referred to as “the bible” for the real estate industry, reaches millions of real estate professionals nationally. Continuously rated as online’s #1 wealthiest audience and top 20 most educated users by Quantcast, TheRealDeal.com is the go-to source for national real estate news coverage."
Quotes
  • "This former cold-storage warehouse, now known as 1KFulton, was recently transformed into a LEED-certified creative loft office and neighborhood retail building. 1KFulton is now home to Google Inc.’s Midwest headquarters, as well as SRAM, Sandbox Industries, The Mill and Boka Restaurant Group's Swift & Sons restaurant."
Quotes
  • "Through interviews with Tom Pope, HPA's partner in charge of the architectural design, and Andy Gloor and Patrick O'Connor from developer Sterling Bay, Schuler assesses the adaptive reuse of the concrete loft building and its effect on the transformation of the Fulton Market district. "
Quotes
  • "Sterling Bay began a complete renovation of the building, including: replacing the façade with a new glass curtain wall, installing new passenger elevators, updating all major building systems, and creating indoor parking for over 60 cars." The city's Department of Community Development Report lists Gina Berndt of Perkins+Will as architect of the $30 million project, which should look pretty much like this when finished next year . . . "
Quotes
  • "Before acquiring this four-story concrete loft building, Sterling Bay secured a long-term triple-net lease with Tyson Foods (formerly Hillshire Brands). Sterling Bay completed a full renovation including a new glass curtain-wall façade, new passenger elevators, major building-system updates and an indoor parking garage."
Quotes
  • "Extensive planning, entitlement and pre-construction work lead to the successful completion of this innovative, ground-up medical office building on behalf of Loyola University Health System in 2011. Featuring an urgent-care center, primary care providers, a broad spectrum of medical specialists and extensive imaging resources, this state-of-the art facility sets the standard for Class-A medical office facilities in the Chicago suburban market."
Quotes
  • "The lead architects of the restoration will be the young firm of Lamar Johnson Collaborative, whose prior work with Goodman includes the restoration of 600 W. Chicago Ave. The architecture firm, founded by Lamar and Lisa Johnson, is now part-owned by Clayco Inc., an integrated design-build firm."
Quotes
  • "This ambitious redevelopment project is the result of many stakeholders coming together. In addition, infrastructure improvements and new development projects in the area helped make the renovations viable. Patrick O’Connor, Principal at Farpoint Development says, “Uptown United’s longstanding work to support economic development and infrastructure improvements in the community has been instrumental in making the Uptown Theatre project a reality.”"
Quotes
  • "The sudden frenzy surrounding Amazon’s HQ2 search led the developer to super-size its vision for the Michael Reese site—rebranded the Burnham Lakefront—to between 8 million to 14 million square feet. Designed by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the renderings showed new high-rise towers, public plazas, and landscaped bridges reaching across the rail tracks and Lake Shore Drive."
Quotes
  • "1308 North Elston delivers incredible light, unobstructed views, and a breath of fresh air into the near North Office Market. "
Quotes
  • "This redevelopment exemplifies the unique skill set needed to transform a tired B-minus building into an award-winning, Class-A tech hub. As a result of careful design, planning and construction scheduling, the newly reborn 111. N. Canal preserves many of the original Daniel Burnham features while incorporating the best of modern design and technology."
Quotes
  • "This seven-story Class A loft office building will redefine what the modern office looks like in the O'Hare market. With it's Mid-Century modern design, 6300 River Road offers users exceptional access, an unrivaled amenity package, and a location in the center of entertainment - perfect for those who seek anything but ordinary."
Quotes
  • "Work in a place that's anything but ordinary. Spaces with modern features and a cool 1960s vibe. A golf simulator. A zen garden. "
Quotes
  • "Asset Class: Industrial"
Quotes
  • "At Farpoint, we capitalize on hard-fought value through innovative real estate development. Our firm is the product of 30-plus years experience creating some of Chicago’s most iconic and game-changing commercial office projects."
  • "We are defined by our: Vision — to see opportunities that others do not. Experience — to create value against long odds. Integrity — to do the right thing when expediency might encourage otherwise. Creativity — to know that “cutting-edge” is already over. Relationships — to build teams of stakeholders that accomplish what groups of individuals cannot."