Dear civil rights supporters,
We are proud to announce the opening of CAIR-Chicago’s brand new activism center in the heart of downtown Chicago (watch virtual tour below). Stay tuned for a follow up email with details on our upcoming ribbon cutting ceremony.
In late November, we received notice that the building which housed our old office had been sold to a developer who would convert it to student and young professional housing in order to accommodate the rapid college expansion in the South Loop.
We completed our homework in advance and scouted new locations over the past year. After much relentless negotiation, we landed what we believe is the best bargain in the loop. We also negotiated build-out and moving reimbursements from both the new and old landlords and saved on our expenses with a do-it-yourself approach for much of the tasks. The result is while the office looks great, it comes at zero extra cost to our community. We are proud of this as we always try to achieve the balance between being cutting-edge yet frugal.
The new office is literally in the heart of Chicago, located at 17 N. State, on the corner of State and Madison, Chicago’s (0,0) coordinates, the corner where all Chicago addresses start.
We took the office as a single large space of 6,000 square feet. Over the past two months our team worked very hard to build it out – along with our contractors – into the office you see today. We acted as architects, interior designers, handymen and furniture assemblers in order to cut costs.
Finishing everything from A to Z in less than two months was an ambitious goal, yet with the grace of God, we were able to meet it. From building out the drywalls and glass partitions, installing a sprinkler system, rebuilding the electric and plumbing infrastructure, redoing the ceilings, and installing hardwood floors down to the lighting fixtures, furniture layout, and then adding plants, clocks, and wall art, our team banded together and saw it through even while maintaining work as usual.
In dealing with clients, the media, public officials, and interfaith partners, our physical space is seen as a representation of the Chicago Muslim community. Our goal was to build a center that you could be proud of, one that deserved to represent our esteemed community in the most professionally functional and aesthetically pleasing fashion.
Since we launched the new CAIR-Chicago in 2004, we have consistently aspired to grow, improve and impress. This is our 8th office expansion in nine years. The rapid progress has been merited by a continued growth in client cases, and increase in the number of interns and staff, and the expansion of recently with the office-based events with the creation of the gallery now named “Azima Center.” It is nothing less than what you should expect from your representative organizations.
Please watch the video below for a virtual tour of the new office space. We hope you can join us for the ribbon cutting ceremony to be announced soon.
We also hope you will support our vision and our services on May 4, the date of this year’s 9th Annual Banquet.
The CAIR-Chicago Team