Fast Facts

Our Specifics: The Merchandise Mart
Managed by Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI)
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312.527.4141
Our History :
  • Built by national retailer Marshall Field & Co. to house a single wholesale center for the entire nation, construction began on The Merchandise Mart in 1928 and doors opened on May 5, 1930.
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to England, purchased the Mart in 1945 for $12.5 million. The Kennedy family ran the building for 50 years.
  • In the 1940s and 1950s, the Mart management was United States’ largest producer of trade shows.
  • Vornado Realty Trust, a leading real estate investment trust, acquired The Merchandise Mart and MMPI in 1998.
  • MMPI has 17 properties in eight cities, comprising 10 million square feet, and is run by President Christopher Kennedy, grandson of Joseph P. Kennedy.
Our Building:

The Merchandise Mart is the world’s largest commercial building and second only to the Pentagon in size. The Mart boasts some staggering statistics including:


  • Twenty nine million bricks
  • 60,000 tons of steel
  • 4,000 windows
  • 380 miles of wiring
  • 40 miles of plumbing
  • Five miles of corridors
  • Contains 4.2 million square feet of space
  • 20,000 visitors daily
  • Three million visitors annually
  • Two full city blocks
  • Our own unique zip code
The Mart houses both office and retail tenants, while 50 percent of the building is devoted to wholesale showrooms.
The building is one of two commercial complexes in Chicago with a public elevated train station on its property.
Our Business: Industries served by The Mart include: LuxeHome, The Merchandise Mart Design Center, Apparel, Casual Furnishings, Contract Furnishings and Gift.

Sixteen trade shows are produced at the Merchandise Mart each year, including NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, which draws more than 50,000 attendees each June. Trade shows produced at the Mart include:

  • Beckman’s Handcrafted Gift Show®
  • Chicago Men’s Wear Collective™
  • International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market™
  • NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair
  • The Chicago Market: Living and Giving™
  • The National Bridal Market Chicago™
  • Women’s & Children’s Chicago Apparel Market™

The Merchandise Mart hosts several popular consumer shows and events each year, including Art Chicago, – one of America’s longest running and most respected international contemporary art expositions. The following consumer shows and events are produced at the Merchandise Mart each year:


  • Art Chicago
  • The Artist Project
  • The Merchandise Mart International Fall Antiques Fair
  • The Merchandise Mart International Spring Antiques Fair
  • One of a Kind Show and Sale® Chicago
  • Dream Home™
  • Dining by Design
  • Treasure Hunt