• Transform magazine
  • April 22, 2024


Local Chicago developer announces details for new shopping and dining experience

Medinah Temple No Courtesy Needed

Blue Star Properties, a local Chicago developer, has announced it will reimagine Medinah Temple into Holocene Chicago, an immersive retail, culinary and cultural pop-up experience.


Holocene space will serve as an experiential platform for premier brands wishing to redefine the typical brick-and-mortar shopping expectation through culinary activations, live performances, art exhibitions, influencer-led events, workshops and more. Each floor of Holocene Chicago will aim to provide an interactive retail experience, uniting culture and innovation under one roof. 

Blue Star worked with 16 on Center, a hospitality collective, to design the entertainment, culinary and hospitality direction.

“It was obvious to us that retail has changed, particularly in Chicago, and we saw this as an opportunity to bring life back to shopping downtown in a different way. In a marketplace where you are always one click away from your chair on a phone to order a product, we just thought there needs to be more to get people to come out and experience the joys of human interaction, hands-on discovery, and the entertainment of shopping again,” says Craig Golden, principal at Blue Star Properties.

By design, a visit to Holocene Chicago might include a coffee talk with a local author and craft coffee from an artisan roaster, a cooking class with a nutrition influencer in the Holocene’s demo kitchen, followed by a tequila tasting with a leading mixologist.  Emerging designers and established brands with an emphasis on sustainability and diversity can present new collections of items like casual apparel and accessories, including jewelry from around the world. 

To bring the venture to life, blue Star worked with Susan Sandler, founder of an alternative retailing company, to bring new and established global brands into the space to create innovative and experiential IRL / digital and hybrid business concepts. 

Drawing inspiration from the Holocene epoch, which brought about the dawn of mankind and a rapid amount of growth for the earth, Holocene Chicago’s design plans will centre around greenery, earth tones and textures, and eye-catching art installations to serve as an engaging backdrop for shopping, culinary experiences and entertainment.