Monthly Archives: April 2024

Industry veterans Angela Burnett and Seán Kenny join management services

CHICAGO, IL — Bradford Allen, a national full-service real estate firm, today announced two additions to its growing management services business: Angela Burnett, LEED AP, as director, operations; and Sean P. Kenny as director, engineering. They will work out of the firm’s downtown Chicago headquarters. Both will report to Jennifer Murphy, president of management services, who joined Bradford Allen last fall and is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the firm’s growing office portfolio, which comprises 4.5 million square feet of owned and managed properties in Chicago and nationally.

In her new role, Burnett will work directly with on-site property management teams around the country on operational processes, efficiencies, delivery of high-level tenant experience and execution of capital projects. Kenny will work across the same portfolio, leading on-site property management, engineering and maintenance teams on building procedures, and overseeing operations and maintenance of all plumbing, electrical, mechanical, structural and life safety equipment and systems.

“Angela and Sean bring a wealth of leadership experience to their respective roles, having worked for and with some of the most prominent commercial real estate companies and properties in Chicago,” said Murphy. “Their knowledge of operations and the industry overall will be invaluable as we continue to look at opportunities to expand our portfolio of office assets in Chicago and other top-tier markets. Both have a proven track record of providing the best customer experience to tenants, which is critical in this competitive office landscape, where properties that are run efficiently and effectively stand above the rest.”

Burnett is a veteran commercial real estate professional with 20 years of experience in mixed-use asset management. She most recently served as senior property manager at Chicago’s Willis Tower for 16 years, overseeing an annual operating budget of approximately $115 million, 15 property management team members and nearly 200 security and maintenance personnel in the building.

Kenny has 25 years of experience overseeing building engineering and facilities management. He previously served as chief engineer with CBRE, where he managed the day-to-day duties and scheduling of a team of seven operators and two trainees. Prior to that, he was chief engineer with Chicago-based Sterling Bay. He was recognized with a Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago 2023 Gold Circle Building Engineer of Year Award and BOMA International The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award in 2021.

Burnett holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is currently serving a two-year term as president of the Chicago Real Estate Network.

Kenny graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. His licenses and certifications include a City of Chicago Stationary Engineer License, EPA Section 608 Technician Universal Certification, CEAC Generator Operator’s License, CBRE Life Sciences Engineering Training Certification and OSHA 10 Certification. He is also a member of the IUOE Local 399 and Chief Engineers Association of Chicagoland.

About Bradford Allen
Bradford Allen (BA) is a commercial real estate firm based in the heart of downtown Chicago. Founded in 2003 by principals Jeffrey Bernstein and Laurence Elbaum as an office brokerage, the firm has grown into a vertically integrated commercial real estate company, offering a full array of services and expertise across multiple U.S. markets to entrepreneurial, corporate and not-for-profit clients, including strategy, marketing and transaction execution for occupiers, investors and owners. For more information, visit bradfordallen.com.


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Editors:
For more information, contact Jeremy Barewin, [email protected], (312) 267-4533.

 

Powering Growth: Natural Gas & Illinois Manufacturing with Meena Beyers

Ronan Remandabran discusses the critical role of natural gas with Meena Beyers, VP of Business and Community Development at NICOR Gas. Meena highlights its reliability and cost benefits, especially for powering Illinois’s growing industrial sector, including new energy-intensive industries. She also shares insights from her career progression from urban planning to energy, underscoring the impact of diversity and mentorship. The conversation affirms natural gas’s essential role in economic development and energy sustainability in Illinois.

 

Ten with Ben 025: Meet Jimmy Sarnoff

In the latest episode of Ten with Ben, Ben welcomes Jimmy Sarnoff, Managing Partner at Sarnoff & Baccash, to discuss the intricacies of property taxation in Chicago. They dive into how recent changes by the City’s Assessor have impacted property assessments and taxes, particularly highlighting the triennial reassessment cycle and various tax-saving strategies. Jimmy offers insights on leveraging property tax incentives for commercial and residential developments, and the potential benefits of converting commercial properties to residential to revitalize Chicago’s LaSalle Street. This episode provides crucial advice for navigating the complex landscape of property taxes and making informed real estate investment decisions in Chicago.



Prefer the audio? Listen to the MP3 or stream from your favorite podcast provider.

 

Q1 Chicago Office Report: CBD Rents Hold Steady as Vacancy Rate Continues to Rise

CHICAGO — Bradford Allen, a national full-service real estate firm, today released its Q1/24 Downtown Chicago Office Market Report showing that CBD average gross asking rents held steady at $43 per square foot. At the same time, the office vacancy rate continued to rise, surpassing 21%, and demand was soft, with negative absorption of 1.4 million square feet.

Leasing volume remained below historic levels, with only 1.3 million square feet leased in the first quarter versus 2.1 million square feet in first-quarter 2023 and 4.9 million square feet in first-quarter 2019, before the pandemic. Continuing a post-pandemic trend, many tenants are seeking prebuilt, move-in ready suites. Last quarter, 38% of leases signed in the CBD were for move-in-ready space. For all of 2023, approximately 33% of leases signed were for move-in-ready suites, compared with 15% in 2019, according to Bradford Allen research.

“The distress in Chicago’s CBD office market is likely to continue as owners, lenders and tenants navigate turbulent market conditions,” said Neil Bouhan, senior managing director, research and communications, for Bradford Allen. “Our data indicates more than half of all square footage leased prior to the pandemic has not yet expired, suggesting that many companies have yet to address their actual space needs in the CBD. This is likely to result in continued downsizing. But even in this environment, owners in the financial position to reinvest in their buildings and negotiate flexible lease terms with tenants have been able to keep their assets well occupied, outperforming the overall market.”

The benefit of financial strength in this market is exemplified by Ivanhoe Capital’s $75 million repositioning of 10 and 120 S. Riverside Plaza, a two-building, 1.4 million-square-foot office complex on the Chicago River in the West Loop. After renovations, Ivanhoe leased 156,000 square feet of office space in the property last year and an additional three leases totaling 75,000 square feet so far this year, with Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society taking the largest lease at 37,000 square feet.

Other highlights of the Bradford Allen report include:

  • Bradford Allen researchers estimate there are 23 buildings in the CBD with distressed loans, almost half in the Central Loop. If interest rates remain high, the financial pressure on leveraged owners will mount as $2.8 billion of debt is set to expire by the end of 2025.
  • Investment sales remained at historic lows, with only $98 million trading last quarter, in line with first-quarter 2023 but still far below the average $750 million in sales in the first quarters of 2015 through 2019. Of the $98 million that has traded so far this year, $60 million was for the sale of 150 N. Michigan Ave., which was purchased by Chicago real estate firm R2.
  • The amount of sublease space on the market declined last quarter to 7 million square feet but remains at historically elevated levels. Most is large space; for example, a tenant seeking less than 10,000 square feet can only access about 9% of current sublease inventory. Meanwhile, 80% of leases signed in 2023 were for less than 10,000 square feet.


About Bradford Allen:
Bradford Allen (BA) is a commercial real estate firm based in the heart of downtown Chicago. Founded in 2003 by principals Jeffrey Bernstein and Laurence Elbaum as an office brokerage, the firm has grown into a vertically integrated commercial real estate company, offering a full array of services and expertise across multiple U.S. markets to entrepreneurial, corporate and not-for-profit clients, including strategy, marketing and transaction execution for occupiers, investors and owners. For more information, visit bradfordallen.com.

For immediate inquiries, contact Jeremy Barewin, [email protected], (312) 267-4533.

 

Q1/24 Downtown Chicago Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in Chicago’s downtown office market:

  • Absorption remained negative with -1.4 million square feet absorbed through Q1/24.
  • The direct vacancy rate surpassed 21% in the CBD.
  • Demand is increasing for move-in ready office suites which accounted for more than 38% of deals in Q1/24.
  • The average gross asking rate in Chicago’s CBD remained at $43 per square foot.