This week marks 125 years of service for the L, Chicago’s iconic elevated railway that began running in 1892. To mark the occasion, we chatted with Lauren Smith, Senior Analyst on JLL’s Public Institutions team, about her team’s retail leasing work with the Chicago Transit Authority and the best places to pick up a snack along the transit system.
JLL’s Public Institutions team has worked with the CTA since 2008, providing a wide range of real estate services, including managing the CTA’s retail leasing program. Recently, the CTA has seen a welcome uptick in interest from hyperlocal retailers that are making significant investments into their CTA spaces and adding variety to the retail program.
“The retail environment of the CTA is nothing like traditional neighborhood retail. Much of the customer base consist of commuters quickly passing through,” Smith says. “A lot of people are looking to grab a quick cup of coffee or a bite to eat on the way, though we are seeing more sit-down restaurants and cafés come into the program.”
Since the transit retail environment is so unique, with spaces ranging from smaller subway kiosks to larger street-level storefronts and some stations see more than 3 million annual riders (7 million at the Lake Red Line station), rents for CTA retail spaces have a wide range and typically diverge from the surrounding retail market.
Some of the latest delicious additions to CTA’s retail spaces:… Read More