Archive for the ‘Retail’ Category

Crain’s video highlights the demise of the Armitage Avenue retail corridor.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on April 7, 2010

The Armitage Avenue retail corridor, between Halsted and Racine, has become another casualty due to greedy real estate developers and real estate owners.  With retail rents at an affordable rate, Armitage Avenue was able to attract droves of mom and pop businesses that appealed to, not only Chicagoans, but tourists from around the world.  These boutique shops and low rents made Armitage Avenue one of the most sought after destinations to go shopping and to open up a store respectively. 

But during the residential and retail boom years ago, the owners of the retail spaces were able to jack up rent to a level business owners couldn’t afford.Now that the economy has plummeted, businesses could no longer afford the sky-high rents and now Armitage Avenue is filled with vacant storefronts or banks. 

Take a look at the Crain’s Chicago Business video by clicking HERE!

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New Retail Space at Presidential Towers Taking Shape!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on April 2, 2010

No photos yet, but from driving by on Jefferson and Monroe Streets, you can definitely tell construction is fully under way for the new retail spaces at Presidential Towers.  You can even see a new addition on the roof of the parking area for what could be part of the new Fitness Formula Club (FFC)  gym. 

Has anyone walked/driven by there to see for themselves?

Posted in Construction, Retail, West Loop | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2010 Annual Meeting for the Fulton River District Association Wednesday at 6PM.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 30, 2010

Fulton River District Association

2010 Annual Meeting



Chicago French MarketWhen: March 31, 2010
Where: Chicago French Market
131 North Clinton
6:00 – 7:30 | Tour and Tastings of the New Chicago French Market
7:30 – 8:30 | Speakers and FRDA Updates on Summer Plans
Alderman Brendan Reilly
Alderman Burnett Rep Linda Carroll
US Equities – SR. VP Michael Tobin

I know I’m excited for the tour of the relatively new Chicago French Market…and the samples!

Check out the Fulton River District Association website by clicking HERE!

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The construction of new retail hits a 25 year low.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 28, 2010

Sure this sounds really doom and gloom but when you think of it, this was bound to happen, it just took a bit longer to happen than the housing fallout.  Industrial, commercial, retail, and residential sectors don’t all fall or reach a low at the exact same time but just like the residential market, the retail market will get better soon.  Not sure about you, but I still see stores and restaurants packed full of people spending money so I’m not too worried.

Retail construction hits 25-year low

By: Thomas A. Corfman and Colleen Lobner
 Jan. 25, 2010

(Crain’s) — The construction of new shopping centers in the Chicago area continued to grind down in 2009, falling to its lowest level in a quarter century.

Retail construction dropped plunged 53% in 2009, to 1.7 million square feet, compared to 3.7 million square feet in 2008, according to an annual report by retail real estate brokerage Mid-America Real Estate Corp.Last year’s total was the lowest since 1984, when 1.6 million square feet of retail properties were completed.

Construction has plummeted nearly 80% since 2007, when nearly 8.4 million square feet was completed as many retailers were expanding rapidly to catch up with new residential development. The 2007 total was the highest since 1983.

Since the recession began in late 2007, consumers have cut back their spending, the retail industry has undergone a dramatic retrenching and construction lenders have little appetite to finance new developments of any type.

In 2010, the pace of shopping center development will remain unchanged at 1.7 million square feet, and will likely remain at that historically low level for several years, says Andrew Bulson, a senior vice-president with Oakbrook Terrace-based Mid-America.

In 2011, the pace of development will rise only “marginally,” he says.

“It’s perhaps the new normal for the foreseeable future,” he says.

Retailers still smarting from the recession are slow to expand and when they look to add locations are likely to focus on existing properties where rents will be cheaper. And amid the uncertain recovery of the national economy, investors are skeptical of backing new retailing ventures.

“The pendulum has completely swung in the opposite direction,” says developer Evan Oliff, president of Chicago-based Preferred Development Inc. “It’s about time….”

Read the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

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Target may move in to Sullivan Center on Chicago’s State Street.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 23, 2010

Target Corp. eyes historic Carson’s site on Chicago’s State Street for new store.

By: Eddie Baeb January 18, 2010

Discount giant Target Corp. is in talks for a full-line store that could include groceries at the historic Carson Pirie Scott & Co. building on State Street.

A spokeswoman for the firm that owns the building, Joseph Freed & Associates LLC, says talks with Target are at an advanced stage for a lease at the store designed by architect Louis Sullivan more than 110 years ago.

“There are serious conversations going on,” she says, declining to provide specifics.

                       Sullivan Center, Chicago

Real estate sources say Target has been scouting in recent months for big downtown and River North sites, including the Carson’s building at 1 S. State Street. The landmark building has been rechristened Sullivan Center as part of Chicago-based Freed’s efforts to redevelop the property since Carson’s closed its department store about three years ago.

Landing Target, which has built an image as a stylish discounter in apparel and home furnishings, would boost Mayor Richard M. Daley’s bid to bolster downtown’s residential and retail mix. It also would be a major victory for Freed, which has only one tenant at Sullivan Center, a small restaurant, and is battling foreclosure up the street at the newly opened Block 37 mall.

“It would be a huge boon and shot in the arm for State Street,” says Bruce Kaplan, a retail broker at the Chicago office CB Richard Ellis Inc. who’s tracked retail vacancies on State for 20 years. “Target is really the state of the art in department stores and the kind of brick-and-mortar store positioned to succeed in the future.”

The retailer is looking to occupy about 80,000 square feet on no more than two stories, which would make the State Street outlet almost half the size of its new SuperTarget suburban stores. Such space will be a challenge to find in and around the Loop. Indeed, Target has looked periodically for a downtown site for at least a decade. It also has been trying to get into Manhattan for years and is poised to open its first store in East Harlem this year….

Check out the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

Posted in News Articles, Retail, State Street, The Loop | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chicago’s Michigan Avenue close to landing a Nordstrom Rack.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 13, 2010

Good news for Michigan Avenue since their vacancy rates have reached a high not seen since 1992.  With more and more mainstream stores, Best Buy is a big one, Michigan Avenue has lost a lot of its international appeal to a lot of people and a Nordstrom Rack isn’t going to help at all.  The only other Nordstrom Rack that I know of is located on State Street next to the H&M store.  I actually like to go shopping there, mostly because their guys shoes are pretty cheap.

Mag Mile close to landing Nordstrom Rack

By: Eddie Baeb Jan. 06, 2010

(Crain’s) — Department store chain Nordstrom Inc., best known for its wide array of shoes and its high-level customer service, is looking to open one of its off-price outlets along the Magnificent Mile.

The Seattle-based retailer has a letter of intent to lease about 30,000 square feet for a Nordstrom Rack store at the long-vacant CompUSA space just off Michigan Avenue at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Rush Street, a source says.

While the deal is not yet final, it stands to be the biggest retail lease in the Mag Mile region since fall 2007, when Spanish discount fashion giant Zara signed up for its new three-level, 33,838-square-foot store at 700 N. Michigan Avenue.

The Nordstrom Rack deal also would bolster a trend many years in the making that has discount-oriented big-box stores taking up more Mag Mile real estate after already saturating the nation’s suburban retail landscape.

“What can I say? Quite honestly, it’s happened,” Jacqueline Hayes, president of the retail brokerage firm Jacqueline Hayes & Associates Ltd., says of the trend.

Ms. Hayes, who focuses on upscale retail, says she knew Nordstrom Rack had been looking at the space but didn’t know there was a letter of intent.

“It’s off the Avenue, so I’d be more in favor of that than having it face on the Avenue.”

The lease also comes at a time when the Mag Mile’s vacancy rate stands at 7.2%, highest since 1992, according to an annual survey of the region compiled last spring by brokerage firm CB Richard Ellis Inc.

A representative of the building’s owner, Spanish billionaire and Zara founder Amancio Ortega, didn’t return a call seeking comment. Bruce Kaplan, a senior vice-president with the Chicago office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. who is marketing the space for Mr. Ortega’s investment firm, Ponte Gadea S.L., declines to comment.

A spokesman for Nordstrom, which opened a Mag Mile department store in 2000 and a downtown Nordstrom Rack on State Street three years later, says there’s been no announcement or signed lease for a new store in Chicago….

Check out the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

Posted in Michigan Avenue, News Articles, Retail | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

North/Clybourn Apple Store to be much like the Scottsdale, Arizona Apple Store.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on November 7, 2009

So word on the street is that the new Apple Store, located at North Avenue and Halsted Street, will look exactly like Apple’s Scottsdale, Arizona store.  After I heard this, I immediately Google’d to find the image and sure enough, it looks like it’s true.  You can already tell from the steel frame of Chicago’s Apple Store that, when finished, they will be the same.  Take a look.


If you’ve walked or driven by the new Apple Store, you’ll definitely notice a resemblence.  Too bad I don’t have a picture from here.


Posted in Buildings, Construction, Lincoln Park, Retail | Leave a Comment »

Block 37 stores to open by Thanksgiving. Good news for Chicago’s State Street!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on November 5, 2009

Block 37 signs 13 new tenants, plans to open by Thanksgiving

By Sandra M. Jones

Tribune staff reporter

3:41 p.m. CST, November 3, 2009

Joseph Freed and Associates LLC said it signed leases for 13 new tenants at Block 37, the embattled retail development that has been threatened with foreclosure.

The announcement of the new leases comes as developer Freed fights a move by lead lender Bank of America to put the retail and transit project at 108 N. State Street. into receivership less than a month before the mall’s first shops were set to open.

The new tenants — which include Sephora, Michelle Tan and Comic Vault — are a mix of chains and local shops aimed at satisfying the city’s redevelopment agreement to put unique retail in the famous city block.

Freed, which is contesting the foreclosure lawsuit, said it plans to open the mall by Thanksgiving and complete the project by the end of 2010, “assuming the bank cooperates on necessary funding.”

The banks filed a foreclosure suit last month, claiming that Freed essentially ran out of money to complete construction. .

Among the new tenants:

Sephora, the beauty chain owned by Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, will open a 6,000 square foot store on the first floor of the four-story indoor mall with access onto State Street.

L’Occitane en Provence, a body care products chain, will occupy 750 square feet on the first floor.

Michelle Tan, a local women’s clothing designer, agreed to lease 650 square feet on the second level….

Check out the full Chicago Tribune article by clicking HERE!  This is great news for the retailers getting ready for the Christmas shopping season and there’s even more information on the new stores going into Block 37 in the article!

Posted in Buildings, Construction, News Articles, Retail, The Loop | Leave a Comment »

Block 37 filling up the retail space for its upcoming opening!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on October 13, 2009

Block 37 close to deal with dinner-theater troupe

REAL ESTATE | Dinner-theater troupe close to signing lease, but space configurations remain

October 13, 2009

Block 37’s developers are close to leasing prime top-floor space along State Street to a dinner-theater troupe with elements of vaudeville and circus acts.

Teatro ZinZanni, based in Seattle, would take over around 40,000 square feet, sources close to the project said.  It would be on the fourth floor of the retail base being built on the block between the Daley Center and Macy’s.

The sources said an agreement could be signed by next week.  But ceiling heights and space configurations might be issues.  The troupe’s shows are under a vast tent said to be central to the performance.

Block 37, due to open this fall, is a project of Joseph Freed & Associates LLC.  Freed executives did not return calls and the firm’s spokeswoman, Jayne Thompson, would not discuss Teatro ZinZanni…

To read the full Sun Times article, CLICK HERE!

Posted in News Articles, Retail, The Loop | Leave a Comment »

Huge retail transformation for Presidential Towers in the West Loop!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on August 20, 2009

Retail leases launch Presidential Towers redevelopment

By Eddie Baeb, Aug. 12, 2009

(Crain’s) — A health club and a trendy breakfast restaurant have signed leases to become the first new retail tenants at Presidential Towers in the West Loop, paving the way for a major redevelopment to take place beginning later this year.

Chicago-based Fitness Formula Ltd. has leased 52,043 square feet that will be spread over two levels along Clinton Street, where a glass-enclosed, three-story atrium will be built to replace a loading dock there now.

The restaurant Yolk has leased 4,200 square feet just south of the new gym that will also front Clinton between Madison and Monroe streets.

A big thanks to for the article.  I am 110% for this project and only wish it could start construction earlier than they’re saying.  Right now, the Presidential Towers retail and parking podium is a huge, blank, brick wall and is basically an indoor mall but now, this will make it so the storefronts are facing the outside…the more modern version of a mall. 

Check out the full article by clicking HERE!


Posted in Buildings, Renovation/Restoration, Rental Building, Retail, West Loop | 1 Comment »