Category Archives: Office Leasing

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

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

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

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

Where to snag Class A space at a $20 PSF discount

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Class A

On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’re here with an office space discount you have to see to believe. In the last five years, the gap between top-tier downtown and suburban space has dramatically widened, creating interesting opportunities for occupiers looking for luxury.

Since 2012, Class A rents have increased just 7.4 percent in the suburbs, compared with more than 27 percent downtown. For even the smallest tenants, this represents six-figure savings that could be reallocated to other business priorities, from talent retention to technology upgrades.… Read More

This is what happens when office space imitates art

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Donna Mondi had a vision for her 16-year-old interior design firm—a new office and showroom that would bring her team under one roof and reflect their design sensibilities and expert capabilities. Her unexpected inspiration? The industrial chic office set from The Intern, a 2015 comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.

Enter JLL. “I know that property,” said Christine Bower, Vice President on JLL’s Tenant Representation team.

Click below for our Project Profile on Donna Mondi Interior Design, creator of spaces that are edgy yet sophisticated, modern yet classic, sexy, dynamic and most of all— unpredictable.

Donna Mondi

It wasn’t in River North, where Donna originally wanted to be, and there was no Starbucks in sight (a necessity for Donna and her team). We encouraged Donna and her husband Dominick Mondi, President of Mesirow Financial, to take a look. They took a tour and fell in love. It wasn’t the center of Fulton Market, but it checked every other box.

Knowing the Mondis’ interest in acquiring an income-producing, value-add property, we quickly facilitated the sale for $1.8 million (fortuitously closing the day of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series win). Built in the 1890s, the West Town light- industrial building was a former furniture factory. Donna invested $350,000 to convert the first floor into her company’s new home. The second floor will soon become available for the first time in 20 years, allowing for additional income generation. The space is perfect for a creative tenant craving high ceilings, hardwood floors, original skylights and huge windows.

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Retail therapy draws tenants to suburban Class A product

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Shopping on your lunch hour never gets old. Especially in the suburbs, where the live/work/play perks of urban density are in short supply. Suburban malls offer the opportunity to run errands during lunch, while also conveniently supporting a wide array of business amenities such as restaurants and event space for everyday meetings and larger corporate gatherings.

Across suburban Chicago, Class A office properties within a mile of a major mall are outperforming their competition in three out of four major suburban submarkets. While the area around Woodfield Mall appears to be flagging, JLL Research attributes that to Zurich’s relocation and expects occupancy to soon mirror the strength of its peers.

suburban ChicagoRead More

This office will make you drop everything and move to the suburbs

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The suburban office market is changing in response to two notable trends. While many corporate users have vacated their longtime campuses for the allure of the live/work/play life downtown, others are recommitting to the suburbs and collaborating with creative landlords.

Click below for our Project Profile on Innovation Park, Lake County, where industry meets inspiration.

Innovation Park

When office park innovator BECO Management acquired the former Motorola Mobility campus in Libertyville in 2014, it fused both trends, creating an urban environment within a suburban landscape. After buying at a low basis and kicking off a large-scale redevelopment, the D.C.-based investor recently chose JLL to market Innovation Park, Lake County.

BECO built it, and we’re making sure they come. As dozens of brokers tour the property each month, the most common reaction is “I had no idea.” With services from meals to daycare and fitness to laundry, employees never have to leave. The productivity implications are profound. Nowhere else can your day include an on-site massage, team bonding in the game room and soaking up sun on the bike path. We’re telling a singular story, and two major tenants have already signed on: Valent Biosciences (98,000 s.f.) and Brightstar (65,000 s.f.).

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Commuting in the suburbs: A SWOT analysis

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In a market as large as suburban Chicago, getting to work can be around the corner or a major undertaking. Our Research team recently completed a suburban SWOT analysis, determining the top three modes of transportation used to get to the office in each submarket. Roll over each submarket below for the details.

Strength: Public transit

Public transportation, from the L to the Metra, has been a boon to several… Read More

Culture commandments from Google, Paylocity, ABT and Andigo

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“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” –Peter Drucker

As the nature of work continues to change dramatically, the technology available to us, services we offer our employees and the spaces we create are evolving as well. A focus on experiences is driving the future of workplace culture, which was the topic of conversation last week at the Schaumburg Business Association’s Commercial Real Estate Summit – The Future of Work.

Our own Senior Vice President Mark Kolar and National Workplace Consulting lead Ed Nolan hosted a panel of workplace experts from both established and rapidly growing buzzworthy brands: Google HR Business Manager Jacky Schiestel; Paylocity VP of Human Resources Jay Schedler; ABT Electronics Co-President Mike Abt; and Andigo COO Jean Theis. Enjoy their culture commandments as inspiration to make bold changes in your own workplace.

culture

JLL’s Adam Pines and Mark Kolar; ABT’s Mike Abt; Andigo’s Jean Theis; Paylocity’s Jay Schedler; JLL’s Ed Nolan; SBA’s Kaili Harding; and Google’s Jacky Schiestel

Just say yes

ABT doesn’t have an employee manual, but for more than 80 years and three generations, the founding family has been instilling a culture of “yes.” Employees quickly learn to take on any reasonable request from a customer, which infuses the store with positive energy and optimism.… Read More

NAFTA’s unexpected impact on Illinois

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Representatives from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. recently entered into the fourth round of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement. While interests are wide-ranging and competing, the major focus has been on “rules of origin,” which look at the location breakdown of where products are manufactured to determine trade statistics, procurement and preferential treatment.

As negotiations continue, the State of Illinois, its economy and its real estate could be affected in good, bad and surprising ways:

The singularity is near

NAFTA

While some argue that the U.S. has lost 350,000 manufacturing jobs since 1994 due to trade with Mexico, others note this decline started well before NAFTA began. Tracking employment against manufacturing output is the most telling, as we’re seeing a sharp increase in productivity, despite fewer jobs. The answer: Robots and automation are making U.S. manufacturing more efficient. It’s not “Westworld,” but maybe it’s not far off..

Illinois is increasingly exposed

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Headquarters quiz: Five clicks to your new crib

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Since 2008, downtown Chicago has attracted 88 suburban and 13 out-of-market companies, of which 32 have been headquarters relocations. If your company is thinking of making the move or you’re just curious about new neighborhoods, take this headquarters quiz and land on the best submarket for your team!

 

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Solar eclipse markets outperform national averages

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Chicago may not fall in the path of totality on Monday, but we’re still excited to witness this historic solar eclipse. In anticipation, we reviewed office vacancy rates and rent growth in “eclipse markets” and were impressed to see most markets outshining national averages.

solar eclipse

Dig into our latest Chicago market office stats here.

Why move your headquarters? Top CEOs speak out

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While corporate real estate strategies are definitely one-size-fits-one, headquarters relocations seem spurred by surprisingly similar reasons. We wouldn’t call this kind of groupthink a bad thing, rather a natural reaction to a global demographic shift. You can’t ignore more than one million people moving into cities every week.

We analyzed the corporate press releas es associated with Chicago’s 32 headquarters relocations since 2008, paying close attention to quotes from each CEO. These leaders have waxed philosophic, strategic, straight up practical and everything in between in their commentary, offering a glimpse into larger pushes for organizational change and innovation.

Our word cloud above sizes words based on how frequently they’ve been used by CEOs. Roll your mouse over each word to see a sample quote and we’ll dig into the top reasons for moving below.… Read More

The MTV Generation grows up: Generation X as CEO

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“A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself.” –Ferris Bueller

Generation X grew up unsupervised, independent and decidedly anti-establishment. This small, often overlooked cohort entered the corporate world with little fanfare but a wildly different attitude, shirking preconceived notions of work and traditional business dogmas.

Bringing an entrepreneurial mindset to Corporate America has been a major Gen X contribution, bolstered by fluency in technology, prioritization of work/life balance and a fierce pursuit of individuality. Now entering the leadership roles of the C-suite, this generation is the innovative force behind today’s workplace trends—especially their companies’ defining headquarters moves.… Read More

Cracking the code: Find your tech talent in Chicago

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Looking to snag a computer programmer on sale? Chicago should be your startup’s tried and true market of choice, given its status as the rare, affordable, large urban market.

“Competition for tech talent, as well as good plug-and-play tech spaces, is fierce,” said Jesse Van Dyke, Managing Director and co-lead of JLL Chicago’s Technology Practice Group.

tech talent

Concentration of employees working in the computer field

The market’s tech ecosystem can be the best indicator of potential job growth and industry stability. Consider planting your tech flag in Chicago, a great location at a great price:… Read More

Top 10: Stop hating Mondays, your happiness at work matters

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Human Experience

Yesterday our Suburban Tenant Representation team hosted a webinar exploring the Future of Work and how Human Experience plays a critical role in shaping a productive culture. In other words, it pays for your company to invest in your satisfaction.

“Understanding real estate’s financial and operational performance is now table stakes,” said JLL Managing Director Ed Nolan. “How people feel about work plays a key role in promoting engagement, empowerment and fulfillment at the office.”

In the midst of tenants’ intense focus on reducing gross rent and utilities costs there lies a missed opportunity to harness human capital.

“Even minor improvements in employee productivity and retention can spur double-digit savings in costs per square foot and strategically drive real estate decisions,” said JLL Managing Director Ben Erskine.

Our top 10 webinar takeaways, based on 18 months of JLL research:… Read More

The Illinois Budget Challenge: Your questions, answered

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Yesterday in Springfield, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to override a veto by Governor Bruce Rauner and to pass a budget that includes spending reductions and state income tax increases. This measure gives the State of Illinois its first formal budget in three years.

The good news

Passage of this budget provides some level of certainty for the companies and individuals that have been delaying decisions based on the state’s spending and taxation proposals. It also provides rating agencies with a better understanding of the state’s plan for meeting its financial obligations.

The tax news

Effective July 1, 2017, individual income taxes will rise from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. Corporate income tax rates will increase from 5.25 percent to 7 percent. These increases represent a 33 percent jump in personal and corporate income taxes for Illinois residents and companies.

What will happen to the commercial real estate market in this new environment?

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Chicago Property Tax Update: What you need to know

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On June 13, 2017 the 2016 property tax rates, calculated by the Cook County Clerk’s office, were released. This is the final step in the tax process before bills are mailed. The average City of Chicago residential taxpayer should expect to see a roughly 10 percent increase in their property tax bill and commercial property owners (or their tenants) should expect an increase of approximately 9.3 percent in their property taxes.

property tax

1. Average composite tax rates are shown. Actual tax rates may vary. 2. Tax bills based on an average commercial property with a market value of $270,000. Actual tax bills will vary. Source: Cook County Clerk David Orr. Memo dated June 13, 2017.

Tenant implications

While this tax increase was not unexpected, commercial property owners and tenants should be prepared for the implications on their expenses this billing cycle.… Read More