Benefits and protections for managed buildings during large public events

Downtown Chicago at night

The holiday season in Chicago officially kicks off each year with the spectacular Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. The centerpiece of the festival is the largest nighttime parade in the U.S., during which 1 million lights on 200+ trees illuminate as the parade (led by Mickey and Minnie Mouse) proceeds down North Michigan Ave. (“The Magnificent Mile”) to the Chicago River.

GNP Realty’s headquarters (located in the GNP-managed REALTOR® Building at 430 N. Michigan Ave.) sits at a strategic spot on the parade route. This location gives our tenants and us front-row seats for the fabulous floats, giant balloons, marching bands, musical performances, Santa Claus, fireworks and more.

As the long-time property manager of the REALTOR® Building, we host a holiday gathering for the building tenants and their guests—inviting them to stop by and enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies and watch the parade from one of the building’s 14 floors. Our tenants are like family to us. We’re all about family, so seeing our tenants with their families at this festive event is a treat.

As a bonus, tenants with exterior branding (Ulta, Charles Schwab and REALTORS®) enjoy a national spotlight and free advertising. The parade will be broadcast locally on November 20, 2022, and nationally (and in Canada) on ABC networks throughout the season, where the Michigan Ave. brands will be prominently on display.

While GNP always looks for opportunities to leverage large public events near GNP-managed properties to benefit our tenants, we also must consider the actions necessary to protect the property and tenants.

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Ground security. While the REALTOR® Building has 24-hour concierge/security, we add six or more security personnel to protect the grounds and be prepared in a public emergency.

Building access. We carefully monitor access to all building entrances to track who is in the building. Our goal is to strike a good balance between strict adherence to our electronic access system and being welcoming to tenant guests. Also, communicating with tenants about what to expect the day of an event is critical, including street closures, parking access and changes to building security procedures.

Coordination with event organizers. In the case of the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, our property engineers work with the city’s Magnificent Mile Association and event sponsor Disney to coordinate turning on our Christmas lights at the exact moment Mickey points his wand at the building.

Clean-up. Finally, we undertake extra efforts to clean the public areas in front of and adjacent to our properties, even if the city is responsible for post-event clean-up. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival draws an estimated 1 million spectators—which means a lot of left-behind trash and overflowing garbage bins. We take pride in ensuring the properties we manage always are clean and appear well-cared for—inside and out.

Learn more about the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and enjoy the kick-off to the holiday season in Chicago!