Chicago Commercial Real Estate – In the News

Tom’s Recommended Reading for the Week

Check out the top news in Chicago commercial real estate before heading into the weekend!

  1. Co-Working Centers Continue to Carve Out Bigger Niche – Although it remains a highly fragmented industry, companies catering to the demand for co-working or shared office spaces are continuing to expand and add more services to appeal to today’s workers on the go. There continues to be healthy growth in all sectors of the “workspace on demand” niche, ranging from business centers and executive suites to incubators and even hotels that are now offering drop-in space on a permanent or temporary basis, notes Mark Gilbreath, founder and CEO of LiquidSpace in San Francisco… NREI
  2. Building Owners Brace for Common Approach to Measuring Office Space  One of the biggest complaints of office tenants is that building owners throughout the world use different systems for measuring how many square feet or square meters tenants are leasing, deviating as much as 24% from one another. Now an international coalition of real-estate organizations formed last year is hoping to change that. The International Property Measurement Standards Coalition in June plans to announce a single measurement system for the global office market. “The current situation on measuring standards is totally unacceptable,” said Ken Creighton, chair of the coalition’s board of trustees. But whether or not building owners adopt or ignore the standards remains to be seen… Wall Street Journal 
  3. Health Care Systems Seek Ways to Monetize MOBs  Hospitals and other health care providers, already dealing with changes brought by the new Affordable Care Act (ACA), are selling their assets to third party owners to reap the benefits of escalating property prices. Recent studies on medical office buildings (MOBs) by Colliers International, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and JLL indicate that an abrupt slowdown in new development in 2013, along with the expected increase in demand for MOB properties, has created intense interest from investors… NREI
  4. Sam Zell takes charge of REIT, moves HQ to Chicago  Seven years after selling Equity Office Properties Trust, Sam Zell is the newly minted chairman of another Chicago-based office REIT. CommonWealth REIT shareholders today voted in a new board including the Chicago billionaire, marking the completion of a 15-month effort by Corvex Management LP and Related Cos. to overthrow management and install new trustees. The new board then installed Mr. Zell as chairman of the real estate investment trust and his deputy David Helfand as its president, CEO and acting chief financial officer and treasurer… Crain’s Chicago
  5. Here’s what it looks like when Willis Tower’s Ledge cracks  The Ledge tourist attraction at the Willis Tower has been closed after a report of cracking glass at the 103rd-floor attraction.The Ledge has been closed for a “routine inspection,” but the building’s Skydeck tourist venue on the 103rd floor remains open, said a Willis Tower spokesman. Earlier this morning, the spokesman said the Ledge remained open.The spokesman said a visitor is believed to have cracked the protective coating on one of the glass boxes, likely with a sharp object, at the Ledge while the venue was open last night… Crain’s Chicago