Real Estate

Reverb Shrinks HQ, Joins Salt Shed in Music Hub Move

Reverb to relocate HQ to Salt Shed, downsizing amidst high office vacancy, enhancing ties with Chicago's music scene.

By Doug Elli

4/9, 15:43 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • Reverb is relocating its HQ to the Salt Shed, downsizing to 25,000 sq ft but enhancing its connection with Chicago's music scene.
  • The move reflects a trend of commercial diversification along the North Branch, potentially attracting more businesses.
  • Reverb's new office will overlook the Salt Shed’s outdoor stage, adding an appealing amenity and affirming developer bets on the area.

Reverb's Strategic Relocation to Salt Shed

An online music-equipment seller, Reverb, is making a significant move by relocating its headquarters to the Salt Shed music venue along the North Branch of the Chicago River. This relocation not only marks a new chapter for Reverb but also adds another layer of commercial use to the former Morton Salt warehouse, which was redeveloped in 2022 by local builders R2 and Blue Star Properties. The decision to lease about 25,000 square feet in the iconic low-rise brick building at 1357 North Elston Avenue reflects a strategic alignment with the venue's musical heritage, especially as it prepares to host concerts for its second consecutive full summer.

A Downsizing Move Amidst Rising Office Vacancy

Interestingly, this move represents a downsizing for Reverb, which currently occupies a slightly larger space in Roscoe Village's Lincoln Avenue. Scheduled for next year, this relocation is poised to have a minimal impact on Chicago’s office vacancy rate, which has reached record highs in recent times. Despite this, Reverb's decision to establish its new headquarters at the Salt Shed, coupled with a marketing partnership aimed at strengthening its ties with Chicago's music community, signals a confident stride towards integrating more deeply with the local cultural fabric.

Revitalizing the North Branch with Commercial Diversification

Reverb's move to the Salt Shed is emblematic of a broader trend of commercial diversification along the North Branch, an area that has seen significant revitalization efforts from developers like R2 and Blue Star Properties. Despite challenges such as limited public transportation access, the successful relocation of Reverb's headquarters could serve as a beacon, attracting other businesses to this burgeoning locale. The lease, which promises Reverb's office a panoramic view of the Salt Shed’s outdoor performance stage, adds an appealing amenity that underscores the potential for an office market boom in the area.

Reverb's Ascension in the Online Music Gear Marketplace

Founded in 2013 by former fintech entrepreneur David Kalt, Reverb has quickly risen to prominence in the online music gear marketplace. Its acquisition by e-commerce giant Etsy for $275 million in 2019 further cemented its industry standing. With nearly 2 million music gear items available at any given time and over 200,000 shops, including those of renowned musical acts like Green Day, Muse, and Modest Mouse, Reverb's marketplace is a testament to its significant impact on the music equipment industry.