Tag Archives: Chicago

Ten with Ben 023: Work Family

In this special episode of Ten with Ben Ben is joined by Justin Kessler, Nathan Meisner, and Lauryn Sussman for a compelling conversation on their unique team dynamics and experiences in real estate. The episode focuses on the team’s strong bond as they navigate various aspects of the industry together. Justin shares insights from a notable microbrewery deal, while Nathan reflects on adapting strategies during the pandemic and Lauren speaks to her development within the team’s nurturing environment. Together, they offer an optimistic but cautious outlook of the market headed into 2024. The episode wraps up with a friendly and insightful discussion, illustrating the team’s camaraderie and collective expertise.

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Ten with Ben 022: Opportunities in the Market

Ten with Ben is back to showcase the “power of the ask.” Today’s market is all about seizing opportunities through creative negotiation. Current conditions present unique opportunities for tenants to renegotiate leases and for landlords to showcase their financial stability as a major strength. Ben offers actionable insight to both tenants and landlords on how to navigate the market effectively, from securing favorable lease terms to arranging unexpected perks.

This week, Ben gets candid about the lessons he’s learned over twenty years in real estate—and how the best advice always transcends the business. As a proud American Jew, Ben also reminds us to check in on Jewish friends and colleagues as fallout from the war in Israel continues to be felt around the world. Be present for one another—we are in this together.

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Ten with Ben 021: Wrapping Up Q3 2023

In this week’s episode, Ben reflects on his two-decade-long journey as a tenant rep broker, shares current market conditions, and identifies recent challenges the industry is facing. From the bustling Fulton Market district to new activity throughout the Loop, get an expert view on what’s shaping Chicago’s office landscape. Post-pandemic, the deals may be smaller, but leases are being signed. Ben also touches on the perseverance of brokers, the importance of location to tenants, and just what makes Chicago such a dynamic and resilient city.

In the wake of the unprecedented terrorist attack that ignited war in Israel, we recognize this is a time of immeasurable grief and hardship for many around the world. Ben begins this week’s podcast expressing his feelings with an open discussion about his connection to Israel.

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First Quarter 2016 Chicago Downtown Office Market Report

The downtown Chicago office market started 2016 off with a flurry of strong activity. Large deal transactions included CNA’s announcement of its relocation to 151 North Franklin for 227,0000 square feet and Cars.com’s transaction to move into 158,000 square feet at 300 S Riverside.

The vacancy rate dropped to 12.0% thanks to over 230,000 square feet of positive absorption. The East Loop contributed the most to this number, with Clark Hill and McDermott, Will & Emery both moving into Prudential Plaza for a total of over 120,000 square feet.

Rental rates remained steady with the direct gross average asking rate ending the quarter at $36.40. A four percent growth year-over-year.

Click here to read full report


Mid-Year 2015 Chicago Suburban Office Market Report

Suburban Office Market Continues to Strengthen; Vacancy and Availability Rates Decrease

The Suburban office market continued to improve going into the 3Q of 2015. The vacancy rate decreased from 18.9% to 17.8% and the availability rate decreased from 24.4% to 22.3% year over year, respectively. While YTD net absorption is essentially flat at negative 27,182 SF thru the mid-year, it is significantly better than the negative 518,096 thru mid-year 2014. Overall these statistics indicate that the suburban market is becoming healthier and more dynamic.

Read Full Market Report Here


Second Quarter 2015 Chicago Downtown Office Market Report

Downtown Market Approaches Equilibrium as the Vacancy Rate Continues to Decrease and Asking Rates Increase

Chicago’s downtown office market is continuing to become tighter. The overall vacancy rate has decreased from 13.4% to 12.6%, year over year. This is the lowest it has been since the end of 2008 and now brings the market almost to equilibrium. Simultaneously Chicago’s unemployment rate continued to improve in the second quarter. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Chicago’s unemployment rate decrease from 7.7% in May 2014 to 6.7%, May 2015.

Read Full Market Report Here


Chicago Commercial Real Estate – In the News

Tom’s Recommended Reading for the Week

  1. A Chicago Masterpiece Rediscovered – Even though downtown Chicago has a worldwide reputation for great architecture, many of its treasures suffer from neglect and disinvestment. But an increasing number of businesses believe that occupying historically-significant space can bring a type of prestige that modern office buildings… Globe St.
  2. As Office Space Shrinks, So Does Privacy for Workers – Dafna Sarnoff worked her way up to vice president at American Express and what she remembers as “a desirable office.” Later she was hired by a financial services company — bigger salary, bigger office. Then, in 2012, she was recruited by Yodle, a smaller, newer company that sells online marketing tools for small businesses…. New York Times
  3. Cushman & Wakefield Going Up for Sale – The Italian family that controls Cushman & Wakefield Inc., one of the world’s largest real-estate services firms, is putting the company up for sale as rising property prices push up the value of rivals, according to people familiar with the matter… Wall Street Journal
  4. More New Jobs Are in City Centers, While Employment Growth Shrinks in the Suburbs – For decades, most Americans working in metropolitan areas have gone to work outside city centers – in suburban office parks, stores or plants, not downtown skyscrapers. But as people increasingly choose to live in cities instead of outside them, employers are following…. New York Times
  5. The Smart Way to Create a Transparent Workplace – Transparency. The concept is as simple as it is alluring. By making sure employees conduct their work in plain view—visible in open offices, monitored with sensing technology and tracked through digital activity—companies hope to increase accountability, collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation… Wall Street Journal

Chicago Commercial Real Estate – In the News

Tom’s Recommended Reading for the Week

I’m sorry about jinxing the weather everyone. I clearly forgot where I lived. Check out the top news stories in Chicago Commercial Real Estate before heading into the weekend!

  1. KCura gobbles up more office space on LaSalle Street – Fast-growing legal software maker kCura Corp. is taking a big chunk of extra office space at its home on South LaSalle Street to accommodate all the workers it’s been hiring.The Chicago-based company is adding nearly 50,000 square feet at 231 S. LaSalle St., bringing its total space to 133,609 square feet. It’s the fourth time in as many years that kCura has expanded. In 2009, it had just 8,000 square feet, according to CBRE Group Inc., which represented the company. KCura has experienced explosive growth recently. The company hired 150 people last year and expects to add a similar number this year… Crain’s Chicago
  2. Hotels are in, office is out for proposed West Loop high-rise – Jupiter Realty Co. has changed course again on its proposed West Loop high-rise, opting to fill it with hotel rooms instead of apartments or office space. The Chicago-based developer wants to build a 23-story tower at 108 N. Jefferson St. with two hotels, a 210-room Hampton Inn and a 128-room Homewood Suites, sharing the building, according to an e-mail Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) sent constituents last week. That plan marks a big shift for Jupiter, which first proposed a 45-story tower with apartments and offices when it acquired the sitefor $7.5 million in 2007… Crain’s Chicago
  3. Open-Plan Office Space: Is It All It’s Cracked Up to Be? – According to popular accounts, the corporate workplace is changing, seemingly reducing demand for office space. The square footage per employee is shrinking due to the increased prevalence of the open-plan office format. As a result, tenants now require less space than they previously needed. The open-plan office format has been increasing in popularity since the recession, as many tenants viewed it as a way to reduce their real estate costs. Moreover, in theory, this format increases employee productivity through easier collaboration… NREI
  4. Paltry Office Pantries Give Way to Sleek Social Spaces -For 12 years, employees of Anbau, a luxury real estate investment and development firm, worked in a walk-up on Fifth Avenue with no kitchen pantry to heat lunches or make coffee. So it was fitting somehow that the kitchen would become the focal point of the company’s new offices, on East 26th Street, overlooking Madison Square Park. A boomerang-shaped bar made out of Indonesian mango wood doubles as the reception area, making it the first place visitors see. With limestone countertops and stainless steel appliances, the area is more reminiscent of a residential kitchen than it is of an office pantry. In the months since the company relocated, Anbau has hosted cocktail parties in the same place where employees eat lunch and hold staff meetings… NY Times
  5. Suburban Office Vacancy Rate Rises – The suburban Chicago office market has long suffered from a high vacancy rate, and in the first quarter, that number climbed to 21.2%, up from 20.3% at the end of 2013, largely due to the decisions of several corporations to move downtown and the decisions of others to shrink their footprints, according to Colliers, which recently published its overview of the first quarter. “While there continues to be improvement in certain pockets of the market, tenants in the suburbs are still acting conservatively,” the researchers note. Too few are ready to make the long-term commitments needed to create a healthy market, and many suburban landlords are still offering aggressive incentive packages… Globe St.

Bradford Allen Brokers Nonprofit in Relocation, Expansion

CHICAGO –   Thresholds, a social service agency providing healthcare, housing, and hope for individuals struggling with mental illnesses, has inked a 8,800 square foot lease at 120 South LaSalle. The Chicago-based nonprofit will continue to operate at 4101 N. Ravenswood Ave and its locations across the city, and will use the new Central Loop location for their executive, finance, and development offices.

Bradford Allen Senior Managing Director Craig Nadborne and Managing Director Sameena Mustafa Basit represented Thresholds in the transaction. Kim Robare of Lincoln Property Group represented the landlord, Teachers Retirement System of Illinois.

“This transaction enabled Thresholds to move into a central location that will accommodate their near and long-term growth,” shared Basit. “120 South LaSalle was able to offer highly adaptable existing conditions and favorable lease terms.”

“We’ve noticed a trend among our nonprofit clients wanting to relocate their executive staff to downtown office buildings,” Nadborne added. “In addition to centralizing business operations, a CBD location offers greater visibility and easier access to donors and board members.”

“Thresholds is thrilled to move some of our team to a downtown location,” says Mark Ishaug, Thresholds CEO. “We look forward to being closer to many of our partners, donors, and board members, as well as providing better access for all of our program staff located throughout the City of Chicago, Blue Island, Kankakee, and McHenry County. Bradford Allen understands the needs of large nonprofit agencies, and it was a pleasure to work with them.”

About Bradford Allen 
Bradford Allen Realty Services, a Chicago-based, national commercial real estate company provides a full array of brokerage services and expertise to entrepreneurial and corporate business entities as well as not-for-profit organizations.  The firm provides real estate strategy, advice, marketing, and transaction execution for occupiers, investors and owners of real estate. For more information please visit our website at www.bradfordallen.com.


Chicago Commercial Real Estate – In the News

Tom’s Recommended Reading for the Week

This frigid week did not cool off the week’s news. Enjoy!

  1. Downtown biohub, Matter, will be at Merchandise Mart – The new downtown hub for health-technology startups has a name and an address. Called Matter, the facility will be in the Merchandise Mart next to 1871, the digital-technology hub upon which it’s modeled.The 25,000-square-foot facility will be funded by $4 million from the state of Illinois…  Crain’s Chicago
  2. Chicago Spire developer gets funding, wants to resume project – The Irish developer behind the Chicago Spire said it has found an investor to pay its creditors, allowing it to emerge from bankruptcy and possibly restart work on the long-stalled residential project.Chicago Tribune
  3. Two more law firms coming to Chicago- Two litigation-oriented law firms are opening Chicago offices they say could eventually total as many as 50-some lawyers.Akerman LLP, based in Miami with about 600 lawyers and lobbyists, hired seven lawyers from Chicago-based Ulmer & Berne LLP, while Goldberg Segalla LLP, a 180-lawyer firm based in Buffalo, N.Y., took six lawyers from Chicago-based Wiedner & McAuliffe Ltd… Crain’s Chicago
  4. The $180,000 way to create a tech startup – Seventy-nine percent of Illinois university tech startups still alive since 2010 came up through Chicago-area universities, according to a report out Monday.Northwestern University and the University of Chicago accounted for two-thirds of the total 354 startup companies created statewide, with the University of Chicago counting 103 total and 84 still-operating new companies, and Northwestern creating 116 with 92 still alive… Voices
  5. The logic of logistics: Key considerations for companies looking to expand, renovate or relocate – Despite some recent hiccups, a slowly-but-steadily improving economy seems to have reached the point in which many businesses are no longer just trying to keep their heads above water. In many cases, they are looking to move to a bigger pool. Across the Midwest, improving economic circumstances have led to a noticeable uptick in not only commercial moves, but also expansions and renovations of existing spaces… RE Journals