Yearly Archives: 2015

Our new class of Retail associates

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With ICSC Chicago Deal Making in the rearview mirror, JLL’s starting lineup of Retail associates sat down with us to talk trends, submarkets and their favorite places for retail therapy.

Zac Lewinski

Lewinski Zac

What part of the city do you live in and where do you like to shop?

I live in the western suburbs in Medinah. If I’m home, you’ll find me shopping at Oakbrook Center. When I’m downtown, I like to explore the stores on Michigan Avenue and State Street. If you’re looking to stay on-trend at a new, upstart retailer in Chicago, check out Shinola in Bucktown for watches, bicycles and leather goods.

What’s Chicago’s most up-and-coming retail submarket?

The West Loop. Expect to see larger national tenants testing the waters in the area, which has become a tech office mecca and is beginning to establish itself as a retail presence in Chicago. Everyone is swarming around the neighborhood, but the floodgates will really open once a big name brand takes that first step.

What’s the biggest retail trend nobody is talking about?

The pop-up shop. It’s an innovative way to use empty space and carries a low financial commitment for retailers looking to short-term test the success of particular locations. Canadian retailer Kit and Ace is trying one in the West Loop for one year to evaluate its prospects in the market.

What retailers will we see growing in Chicago in 2016?

Fast casual dining options will continue to dominate as a growth market in Chicago retail, with the biggest need in the West Loop. South African chain Nando’s has been a prime mover in this space with three locations already open around Chicago, and a unique example of an out-of-town retailer entering the city in a young market like the West Loop.

What’s your favorite retailer space in Chicago and why?

The Nike flagship at 669 N. Michigan Ave. Like other successful big brand flagships that “just do it,” the space and customer experience do a great job marketing the brand. The size and scale of flagships may not correlate to comparable in-store sales, but the positive effects on brand identity are immeasurable and difficult to achieve via online channels alone.… Read More

Meet Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire nominees

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We recently enjoyed mixing and mingling with the leaders of Chicago’s innovation economy at Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire nominee photo shoot, sponsored by JLL and hosted at 515 N. State.

150 nominees, including innovators and influencers in tech, education, marketing, food and healthcare, came through to pose and chat with us about what lights their fire. We’ve highlighted seven of their success stories below.

The final 50 on Fire will be revealed at the December 2nd event and our own JLL VP and tech guru Bobby Goodman is on the judging panel. Best of luck to all!

Bill Fienup, President, Catalyze Chicago

CatalyzeWhen are you most on fire?

Every morning when we wake up and come into the office. There’s always some activity or some pressing need, whether it’s helping our members or putting together an event. We’re always doing something exciting.

If you could change one thing about your work space, what would it be?

I wish we had more space to store members’ inventory and product. All of our members are entrepreneurs building a physical product, and they need to put it somewhere. Some cool products companies are working on at Catalyze right now include:

  • Guard Llama: A panic remote fob button that you push when you’re in distress and it sends the police to your location.
  • Outernet: A satellite Internet provider that provides educational content (Khan Academy, Wikipedia, etc.) across 95 percent of the world. It’s like a DVR box to download Internet.
  • Greenlight Planet: Replacing the kerosene lantern with an LED, battery-powered, solar-rechargeable light.

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JLL’s Guide to Open House Chicago 2015

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Thousands upon thousands of architecture buffs and urban explorers will descend upon the city this weekend for the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago, which offers behind-the-scenes access to 200 buildings across the city on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm.

JLL Chicago is proud to have five of its buildings under management participating in this free public festival. Enjoy this handy guide to our buildings and get to know each property’s general manager along the way. Hope to see you there!… Read More

Why Wall Street likes Chicago’s tech assets

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WallStreetIncreased tenant activity around the CBD has kicked absorption into high gear. Since the start of 2014, 2.7 million square feet has been absorbed from the market with 775,000 square feet in the second quarter alone. Specific submarkets and product types are having a greater impact on this growth than others.

“Segments of CBD inventory in demand by tech and creative users experienced the greatest share of absorption in the second quarter, including properties in the River North/River West cluster and Fulton Market micromarket,” says JLL Managing Director Pam Stamataky.… Read More

JLL Chicago office puts elbow grease into beautifying local school for Service Day

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Paint roller – check! Hammer—check! Screwdriver – check! As part of JLL’s second-annual Service Day held on June 24, 250 employees got their hands dirty spending an afternoon beautifying 100-year-old Brighton Park Elementary School, located in southwest Chicago.

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250 volunteers from JLL’s Chicago office came out to fix up Brighton Park Elementary School.

While planning for JLL’s service day, the school’s staff asked JLL volunteers to create a bright and engaging learning environment for their students. Armed with that goal in mind, the group painted classrooms, hallways and stairwells, built planter boxes and bookshelves and created artistic murals and tile mosaics, among other projects. In addition to giving the school a much-needed facelift, JLL employees raised more than $1,300 to help the school build a dance studio for students.… Read More

A day in the life: JLL’s Chicago Markets summer interns tour AMC Theatres

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Author: Jeanette Bucio-Merlos, Summer Intern with Midwest Marketing

Earlier this week JLL’s Chicago Markets summer interns got a behind the screens look at one of JLL’s Multi-site programs, the AMC movie theater at 600 N. Michigan, led by our Project and Development Services (PDS) team.

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Emily Brown and JLL’s Chicago Markets summer interns testing out the new movie theater seats.

Emily Brown, PDS Project Manager at JLL, started off the tour by briefly explaining the three parts of PDS: multi-site (like the AMC movie theater project), tenant improvement (hotels, for example) and development. A typical workweek for her includes traveling to visit sites, fielding conference calls and navigating pay-apps and change orders.… Read More

Oh beautiful, for spacious offices: Expanding leases speak to market strength

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Here’s some exciting office market news before your July 4th long weekend. Both the Chicago CBD and suburbs finished Q2 with a flurry of deals. In fact, since Q3 2014, more than 60 percent of 20,000-plus square-foot leases in both submarkets have been expansions.
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Robots to the Rescue: JLL Hits Techweek

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Last week JLL stopped by Techweek Chicago for a lesson on drones. Already in use for security, logistics and scientific purposes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming all the rage in commercial real estate for building tours, property management and submarket overviews.


At Robots to the Rescue: The Evolution of Unmanned Vehicles, hosted by BuiltWorlds, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and Techweek Chicago, experts demonstrated DJI’s Inspire 1 drone, above.… Read More

The Chicago Athletic Association’s Transformation

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Shrouded in mystery since its completion in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition, the Chicago Athletic Association (CAA), 12 S. Michigan Ave., was an exclusive private club until it closed in 2007. It sat dormant until 2012, when new ownership began an artful and iconic renovation process, restoring the celebrated structure to its original grandeur and reopening as a four-star, lifestyle boutique hotel.CAAStaircaseRead More

JLL supports the Chicago Blackhawks: Part 2

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The JLL Chicago team is still in shock, reliving the final seconds of our iconic Stanley Cup win last week.

Check out this footage from JLL’s Steve Stratton, who was there to capture history.… Read More

Consolidated Distribution Corp. breaks ground at Ridgeport Logistics Center

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JLL recently joined Ridge Development, the industrial development arm of Transwestern Development, and Elion Partners for the groundbreaking on two buildings in Ridgeport Logistics Center for the new headquarters of Consolidated Distribution Corp. (CDC).

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JLL supports the Chicago Blackhawks

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JLL Chicago employees are all fired up for tomorrow’s big Blackhawks game. Check out our Hawks pride below and let’s bring Lord Stanley back home!

Here’s JLL’s Jack Keenan with Chris Chelios and the Cup a few years back.JLL’s Margie Kurkowski Baran talking strategy with Jonathan Toews.JLL’s Deanna Becker and her boyfriend Jordan rocking their Hawks gear… Read More

JLL Chicago celebrates National Donut Day

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JLL Chicago went big for National Donut Day, a holiday we’re proud to say originated in the Windy City.

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JLL Chicago organized a donut tasting from nine shops: good old Dunkin’ Donuts, Do-Rite Donuts, West Town Bakery & Diner, Spunky Dunkers, Oak Park Bakery, Sensational Bites, Glazed & Infused, Dinkel’s Bakery and Kirsten’s Danish Bakery.

Believe it or not, the day of donut decadence dates back to 1938, when it was kicked off by the Chicago branch of the Salvation Army.… Read More

Tech users clamoring for Class B space

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222 South Riverside Plaza

While Silicon Valley’s offices may be shiny, new and futuristic, tech firms in other parts of the country like Chicago are opting for older, more affordable and highly customizable Class B space.

“We’re seeing the most significant demand in the market from the tech sector right now,” JLL Senior Vice President of Agency Leasing Nikki Kern told CNBC. “We definitely are seeing a big push for Class B space from tech users.”

What’s the attraction?… Read More

North Cook County highlights industrial development ramp-up

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Industrial developers have been busy since the snow melted, with 8.3 million square feet of new product under construction. Look no further than North Cook County, said JLL Senior Vice President Steve Trapp, who spoke to a packed house recently at Bisnow‘s 5th Annual Industrial Summit in Rosemont.

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Venture One Real Estate’s Mark Goode and JLL’s Steve Trapp

Take Cabot Properties and Seefried Industrial Properties’ 217,064 square-foot 5600-5750 W. Jarvis Avenue in Niles, the fourth redevelopment in the area in the past 12 months, which is already 60 percent pre-leased.… Read More

PHOTO TOUR: UI LABS grand opening

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JLL joined Chicago’s technology, business and civic leaders last week at the grand opening of UI LABS, a first-of-its-kind research and development facility in Chicago advancing high-tech commercial innovation.

The collaborative, which brings together universities, industry and government organizations, is focused on innovation that drives economic impact, like its first venture, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). View our photo gallery belowRead More