Author Archives: Marissa Oberlander

Getting to know Meredith O’Connor

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Thanks to her innate talent, drive and uncompromising work ethic, Meredith O’Connor is without equal in the city. Her secret superpower? She’s a connector. By building relationships with likeminded and equally motivated individuals, no matter their career or industry specialization, she’s built a business to be reckoned with and lifelong friends along the way.

A key player in helping corporations uncover often overlooked business and economic incentives, Meredith’s work continues to change skylines and bolster economies across the country. Let’s take a look at how it all began.

Meredith O'Connor

Meredith and her family of seven

Career beginnings

Government was the perfect start for Meredith, doing great things for the city she grew up in and loves. After she got her MBA, she was promoted from sergeant at arms in the City Council into the Planning Department. Under the inspiring leadership of Mayor Daley and in partnership with a team passionate about economic development, she jump-started her career working on exciting projects from the ’96 Democratic National Convention to the 2016 Olympic bid.… Read More

Categories: Jones Lang LaSalle.

Chicago 2025: In the shared economy, do you know who your customer is?

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Spoiler alert. In the shared economy, everyone’s customer is the end user. The knowledge worker, the talent, the Millennials, whatever you want to call it. At Chicago 2025, JLL Chicago’s marquee event held earlier this month, we heard from some of the industry’s top thought leaders on how they’re navigating the shared economy’s major changes to the way we operate.

shared economy

Panelists John Gavin, Andrea Zopp and Chris Kelly

The No. 1 thing tenants talk about is talent, said World Business Chicago president and CEO Andrea Zopp, which is positive news for Chicago. We’re drawing college graduates at a higher rate than our comparable cities because people are looking for quality of life, affordability and a wide variety of housing options to evolve in an urban environment. And what talent wants is driving both major business decisions and major municipal ones, like Chicago’s investment in Divvy, our bike share program. All employers want is the ability to compete, and Chicago’s diverse economy, connectivity, access to transit, and quality of neighborhoods are all formidable tools for their arsenal. Expect forward-thinking initiatives like the planned express train to O’Hare to go a long way in attracting and retaining our major corporate occupiers.… Read More

Can the market stump JLL Chicago’s industrial experts?

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podcast anniversary

Welcome to Episode 14 of Real Time, JLL Chicago’s industrial podcast. In our one-year anniversary episode, the team fields questions from our valued listeners. The industrial market tried to stump our experts, but were they successful? Listen for a surprise special guest and our hosts’ answers to questions including:

  • What is the definition of infill?
  • What are you seeing in I-55 as far as demand versus current supply?
  • Is commercial property beginning to respond to changes in interest rates and values?
  • If you could put $100 million to work, which submarket would you pick and why?
  • What’s driving the uptick in leasing of 350,000 to 500,000-square-foot properties?

Thank you to all of our guests and listeners for a fantastic first season. It’s been a pleasure sharing our insight on one of the most exciting and active industrial markets in the country. We continue to learn so much from collaborating with all of you. Season Two is going to clear new heights!

Hosted by: Industrial market research experts George Cutro and Chad Buch

Listen to this podcast with the player above or click here.

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Q1 2018 Office Insight: A tale of two markets

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office insight

Q1 2018 stats for the Downtown Chicago office market

Two roads are diverging in Chicago, as evidenced by first quarter’s mind-boggling 35.2 percent spread between Class A and Class B asking rents downtown. While the triennial property tax assessment pushed landlords of choice properties to raise rents to record highs, they’re controlling the sticker shock with substantial concession packages.

Tenant improvement allowances are up by an average of 33 percent in the CBD over the past five years, something “that’s really moving the needle for tenant decision,” JLL Managing Director of Research Christian Beaudoin recently told Crain’s Chicago Business.

Construction costs rose 3 percent last year, there’s more than 7 million square feet of product under construction and landlords are competing aggressively to land tenants. These factors are fueling tenant demand for TI dollars, which will be applied toward building out creative, highly amenitized spaces in configurations ranging from traditional to progressive (like GGP at River North Point).

While financial services and law firms are shedding excess second generation Class A space, those vacancies continue to be offset by suburban relocations (including McGraw-Hill and AdTalem Education), particularly to the West Loop. Leasing activity has already reached more than 45 percent of last year’s total volume, a roaring start to the year bolstered by the urban migration trend.… Read More

Chicago 2025: The world will never move this slowly again

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Hundreds of industry leaders joined JLL Chicago to discuss Chicago 2025 and the shared economy. Transforming industries and challenging traditional business models, shared economy giants from Uber to WeWork have also become daily staples for all of us.

Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly, co-founder and president of Convene, a New York-based “workplace-as-a-service” platform and provider that expanded into Willis Tower last summer, kicked off the big event with a keynote. We’re on the cusp of a new paradigm, which will redefine the form and utility of office buildings. Seeing as office building design hasn’t changed since the turn of the century, the shared economy lifestyle is posing unique challenges for developers and owners alike.

The world will never move this slowly again. Knowing that two of the world’s largest economic forces, the shared economy and technology, have yet to make their mark on real estate’s dominant design, Chris shared some key predictions in building the office towers of the future:… Read More

Chicago industrial sees recommitments and really big portfolio sales in Q1

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industrial

Welcome to Episode 13.5 of Real Time, JLL Chicago’s industrial podcast. In this episode, the team previews the Chicago market’s first quarter industrial statistics, breaking down everything from vacancy and absorption to investment sales and construction deliveries. The highlights:

  • Existing occupiers like Home Depot, Clorox, RJW and Uline are expanding around the market
  • Blackstone and High Street grow their holdings through portfolio acquisitions.
  • Mid-range leasing velocity is robust, with 21 new leases between 100,000 and 500,000 square feet in the first quarter
  • Take notice of the two business park developments near O’Hare, a trend more typical of suburban greenfield markets

Keep your eyes peeled for a detailed submarket report in the coming weeks!

Hosted by: Industrial market research experts George Cutro and Chad Buch

Listen to this four-minute podcast with the player above or click here.

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How to boost rent by $7 p.s.f. and improve your golf swing

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Just six months after acquiring the 1970s-style Class B property at 222 South Riverside Plaza in 2014, ownership kicked off a transformational renovation with the close involvement of JLL’s agency leasing, project management and property management teams. The project has already experienced tremendous success and is poised to add value to ownership’s investment long after its 2017 completion.

Click below for our Project Profile on 222 South Riverside Plaza. The West Loop tower’s $50 million renovation was featured in the Chicago Tribune and continues to make a major impact on tenant renewals and rental rates.

222 South Riverside Plaza

In a strategic re-use of formerly obsolete space, the team chose the back of the lobby for the new tenant lounge, as the former ground-level retail was not a desirable location for a tenant. The multi-disciplinary JLL team played an integral role in shaping plans and facilitating efficient, clear communication around the specs and schedule of construction.… Read More

You won’t believe what happens next for healthcare

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2017 was a year of mega-mergers in healthcare as providers and payers alike seek economies of scale, often by joining forces, on the journey toward value-based care. This patient-centric model of quality over quantity creates more risk, and responsibility, causing health systems of all sizes and geographies to reevaluate their delivery of care model, build efficiencies and hopefully gain a leg up on the competition.

With downward cost pressures and such a huge emphasis on results, the healthcare of tomorrow is going to look a whole lot different from today’s hospitals and doctors’ offices. In fact, the tech-forward, community-first evolution has already started.

Telehealth: A Skype date with doc

Imagine you’re in a rural community miles from the nearest hospital, or you’re just across the street from one but are challenged by limited mobility. Telehealth leverages technology so patients can seek treatment without ever leaving the house, significantly reducing costs for the health system while shielding vulnerable patients from healthcare-associated infections.

At the $54-million Mercy Virtual Care Center in St. Louis, a nearly 200-year-old health system is pioneering the idea of a “hospital without beds.” With regular virtual visits and remote health data monitoring technology, Mercy can observe even the most critical patients with an even closer eye, learning individual baselines and gaining the ability to distinguish true emergencies from issues that could be solved by changing medications. It’s already reducing readmission rates, improving outcomes and changing the way we think about house calls.… Read More

Value-Based Healthcare: How did we get here?

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healthcare timeline

If you think today’s healthcare system feels like an unsolvable Rubik’s Cube, you’re not alone. But it didn’t develop in a vacuum, and it’s important to understand historical context. Explore a timeline of our journey toward value-based healthcare below, where you can roll over the red buttons for details on major legislative, social and cultural milestones.… Read More

American Academy of Pediatrics’ new headquarters of the future

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Since the American Academy of Pediatrics’ headquarters opened more than 30 years ago, the organization has experienced unprecedented growth. Membership has grown by more than 250 percent to 66,000 members, and total staff has increased from 125 to 455 people. AAP tapped JLL in early 2014 to craft a strategic real estate plan for its new “headquarters of the future.”

Click below for our Project Profile on AAP,  an organization committed to the optimal physical, mental and social health and wellbeing for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

American Academy of Pediatrics

We explored expansion and restacking AAP’s existing Elk Grove Village building, purchase of a new building and a ground-up build-to-suit. After touring downtown and suburban sites, it became clear that a build-to-suit was the best choice for AAP’s unique needs. Hamilton Lakes Business Park in Itasca offered proximity to AAP’s valued employee base and future expandability.

As owner’s rep, we facilitated the acquisition of the land site, due diligence and entitlements, as well as the hiring of all project partners. The team worked through the approval process with the Village of Itasca regarding site layouts and engineering, traffic impact and local intersection improvements to help traffic flow.… Read More

Inside Chicago’s $80 billion manufacturing industry

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manufacturing

Welcome to Episode 13 of Real Time, JLL Chicago’s industrial podcast. In the second half of this two-part episode, the team chats with mHUB CEO Haven Allen about Chicago’s local manufacturing ecosystem. With 14,000 establishments already employing more than 400,000 people, there’s opportunity everywhere. We explore how mHUB and its partners are:

  • Building a community of manufacturing innovation talent
  • Providing those people with opportunities to grow their ideas with local resources
  • Creating the conditions for product innovators to survive and thrive in this industrial revolution
  • Sparking industry collaboration that accelerates the introduction of sustainable new product businesses

Hosted by: Industrial market research experts George Cutro and Chad Buch


Listen to this podcast with the player above or click here.

Listen to Part 1 here.

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Top 10: Fighting healthcare-associated infections with facilities management

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healthcare compliance

Our healthcare solutions team recently hosted a webinar uncovering the unexpected impact of facilities management and healthcare compliance on patient safety and clinical outcomes.

“On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection,” said JLL Director of Healthcare Technical Operations George Mills. “By taking a proactive approach to compliance, health systems can reduce overall risk in hospital environments.”

George joined JLL last year after serving as Director of the Department of Engineering at The Joint Commission. By exploring the intersection of clinical needs and the physical environment, he’s demonstrating the need for health systems to turn a critical eye to their operational efficiency and outcomes.

Our top 10 webinar takeaways:… Read More

Your Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Playbook

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If you’re a health system and think patient referrals have nothing to do with your real estate, think again. Arm’s length isn’t just for anatomy lessons; it’s necessary to ensure real estate transactions don’t corrupt professional, medical judgement, resulting in fines and criminal charges.

Stark Law

Click the image to download our complete Stark/AKS Playbook

Two intertwined federal laws concern patient referrals influenced by improper financial incentives (ex. below fair market value rents) and are a critical consideration in the management of a health system’s real estate:

Stark Law

For services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or other state healthcare plans, Stark prevents physician self-referral and patient referral to entities with which the physician has a financial interest or relationship.

Anti-Kickback Statute

Prohibits kickbacks, bribes, rewards and other economic incentives that induce physicians to refer patients for services or recommend purchase of medical supplies that are reimbursable under government-funded healthcare programs.… Read More

4 multifamily takeaways from NMHC

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If record attendance at the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Annual Meeting was any indication, the multifamily asset class is more desired than it has been in decades and fundamentals are strong. Rates and supply concerns aside, there are some simple truths to the industry. Our growing population, from Millennials to Boomers, has a growing preference toward renting, whether that’s due to student debt or being burned during the last downturn.

Here are some key takeaways formulated on the hustle between the Waldorf and Hilton towers:

Blurred lines: Core-plus is the new value-add

multifamily

After two flaming-hot years, value-add has become so overheated that investors are looking at core-plus deals, where a newer vintage with less work means a measurable pop in yield. Equity capital chasing these deals are allocating larger percentages of their funds for acquiring multifamily.

Why are these typically conservative owners taking a harder look at older product (even eight-foot ceilings?!) in secondary and tertiary markets? The ongoing need for workforce housing. A huge mass of renters will never be able to pay luxury, Class-A rents, and you can’t build affordable housing with today’s soaring construction costs.… Read More

mHUB CEO Haven Allen talks manufacturing innovation

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mHUB

Welcome to Episode 12 of Real Time, JLL Chicago’s industrial podcast. In the first half of this two-part episode, the team learns more about mHUB, Chicago’s first innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing. As mHUB approaches its one-year anniversary celebration in March, CEO Haven Allen reflects on:

  • Creating mHUB to cement Chicago’s status as an advanced manufacturing hub
  • Finding mHUB’s home in River West
  • Attracting and developing talent for Industry 4.0
  • Early success stories, like Fixer

Hosted by: Industrial market research experts George Cutro and Chad Buch


Listen to this podcast with the player above or click here.

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Recorded at: Coda Room Audio
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Why tech employers are freaking out about the Chicago market

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tech employment

While unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks is a universal truth at any Olive Garden, an unlimited supply of engineers is not a guarantee in a hot tech market like Silicon Valley. That’s why the most agile and bottom-line-minded tech firms have turned to Chicago to find their next tech talent, whether their need is a half dozen or several hundred of the best and brightest.

“We want to tap into the Chicago market. We’re excited about the tech talent there—the new grads, people returning home because it’s such a livable city,” Foursquare senior vice president of engineering Matt Kamen recently told Crain’s Chicago Business.

While Foursquare is starting to hire just a half-dozen engineers locally, enterprise demand for its location data underscores a high-growth and more diversified future for the New York-based business. Foursquare looked at other up-and-coming markets, from Toronto to Austin, but we can guess one big reason Chicago won—tempered wage growth.… Read More

Q4 comes in clutch for Chicago industrial

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industrial

Welcome to Episode 11.5 of Real Time, JLL Chicago’s industrial podcast. In this episode, the team previews the Chicago market’s fourth quarter industrial statistics, breaking down everything from vacancy and absorption to investment sales and construction deliveries. The highlights:

  • Q4 saw 9 million square feet of absorption, accounting for ALMOST HALF of 2017’s 18.9 million square feet of absorption
  • In a marquee year for development, we saw 26 million square feet in construction deliveries, including four million-square-footers!
  • Vacancy inched back down to 7.25 percent
  • Investors’ insatiable appetite for industrial assets continues to grow, leading to 47 million square feet of investment sales in 2017

Keep your eyes peeled for a detailed submarket report in the coming weeks!

Hosted by: Industrial market research experts George Cutro and Chad Buch

Listen to this six-minute podcast with the player above or click here.

Q4 2017 industrial insight and stats.

Our 2017 Year-End Industrial Market Notes here.

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Pardon the Interruption: ESPN meets Industrial

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Pardon the Interruption

Welcome to Episode 11 of Real Time, JLL Chicago’s industrial podcast. For all you ESPN fans out there, this special end-of-year episode is going to be just like Pardon the Interruption. Hot topics, high stakes time limits and one loud buzzer when our pros have to drop the mic. Check out our rapid-fire topics:

  • The cost of infill development
  • The Foxconn effect
  • National investors are here and they’re hungry
  • Transit and logistics New Year’s Resolutions

Hosted by: Special guest and captain of the JLL Chicago Industrial team, John Picchiotti

Featuring: Industrial market research experts George Cutro,Chad Buch and Paul Marsh


Listen to this podcast with the player above or click here.

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Thinking outside of the ‘green’ box

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sustainabilityAuthor: Keara Fanning

When it comes to sustainability, companies and landlords need to start thinking outside of the ‘green’ box in order to attract new occupiers in a tightening market. After all, sustainability isn’t just about the environment anymore. It’s also about health and wellness, which is why more and more building owners are looking to add amenities such as fitness centers, bike racks and showers within their facilities, as well as to integrate health and wellness measures into the design of their buildings. However, landlords need to be thoughtful about how they tackle the demand for building amenities, as the added electricity alone can greatly increase the budget, with electrical making up nearly a third of total renovation cost.

There are many pros to adding wellness focused amenities within your building, whether included in ground up construction or through renovation:… Read More