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Chicago Commercial Real Estate – In the News

Tom’s Recommended Reading for the Week

After the 4 day break this week, the Blackhawks continue their road to the Stanley Cup finals. Check out our top Chicago commercial real estate articles before the game tonight!

  1. Toyota’s Jilting of California a jolt to Illinois – Sometimes they just leave. Without warning, they announce it’s over before you can beg and plead and promise. They tell you they’ve found a better fit, a partner that does things for them you haven’t or can’t. So they’re moving on and taking part of you with them. That’s what Toyota did this week to California. Anyone who worries about business in Illinois should take heed. Divorce is rampant these days. The Japanese carmaker, which gained a foothold in America through its relationship with Southern California, abruptly announced it will shift around 3,000 marketing and finance jobs from Torrance, Calif., to Plano, Texas, where it’s establishing a new North American headquarters outside Dallas… Chicago Tribune
  2. Sun-Times to shrink space at River North HQ – After cutting jobs, the owner of the Chicago Sun-Times is cutting office space at its riverfront headquarters. Wrapports LLC, which owns the Sun-Times Media Group newspapers, is negotiating a lease for about 45,000 square feet in the River North Point office building at Orleans Street and the Chicago River, according to people familiar with its plans. That’s a 54 percent reduction from the 98,000 square feet it currently leases in the 23-story building, formerly known as the Apparel Center, where the Sun-Times moved in 2004. San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC, which owns River North Point, in January confirmed that the Sun-Times’ parent exercised an option to end its lease in the fourth quarter of this year. At the time, Shorenstein left open the possibility that Wrapports could downsize and stay put… Crain’s Chicago
  3. Five Office Designs to Increase Productivity – Designers and architects have pondered how to design an office to encourage productivity for more than 100 years. In the early 20th century, offices resembled factories. Starting in the 1960s layouts changed to foster teamwork. And by the beginning of the 21st century, office design sought to inspire creativity. “Under each fad, there were ideas ahead of their time,” says Stephen Apking, an interior-design partner at the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. Many ideas from the 20th century have been improved and incorporated into 21st century design, Mr. Apking adds… Wall Street Journal
  4. Place Making That Works: Physical Location, Technology, and Knowledge Sharing – Employers continue to be concerned with how to utilize corporate culture and physical workspace to attract the skills and talents needed for their organization’s future. While compensation and benefits are crucial elements that affect recruitment and retention, there are also three key aspects of an organization that cannot be overlooked in this process: physical location, technology and knowledge sharing. To attract the talent a company desires, employers must offer the correct mix of an attractive location, supply modern technological tools and provide employees with opportunities to develop meaningful connections with co-workers. Increasingly, organizations are examining how to best make use of this mix in their workspaces, using the physical workplace as an integral tool to help recruit and retain the best talent and create spaces that will appeal to the multiple generations in today’s workforce… WorkDesign Magazine 
  5. Buck preps residential makeover for H20 Plus building – Developer John Buck plans to give the West Loop headquarters of skincare products maker H2O Plus a major facelift that could include as many as 500 residential units. Chicago-based John Buck Co. has agreed to pay a little more than $20 million for the two-story building at 845 W. Madison St., with plans to redevelop the property in a couple years, according to people familiar with the transaction. H2O Plus CEO Rick Ruffolo confirmed via email that the Chicago-based company, which makes shower gels, lotions, shampoos and face creams, has been “in regular communication” with company founder Cindy Melk, who owns the property, and Buck regarding the pending sale of the 90,000-square-foot building. H2O Plus plans to find a new home… Crain’s Chicago