Monthly Archives: November 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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