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Real Estate Bisnow
The largest commercial real estate publication in the United States.
   
January 17, 2012 
 
 
SPEC DEVELOPMENT!

 
Chicago industrial is more absorbent than a Bounty paper towel. Cushman & Wakefield national industrial head Jim Dieter tells us absorption is higher than it's been in years—and spec development is starting. He's moderating the national panel at this Thursday's Bisnow Chicago Industrial Summit at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Sign up now to hear from him and 10 other pros!
 
Jim Dieter, January 2012
As in all Tier 1 industrial markets, 500k SF-plus blocks have all but disappeared as corporations used the recession as an excuse to up their efficiency (building quality, supply chain, and proximity to workforce, transportation, and customer base), he says. The short supply means higher lease rates, though they've stayed in check since tenants are still driving hard bargains. "For every one company that pulled a trigger, three are still there on the sideline," he adds. But spec development is starting in some markets, and those shiny new buildings will prompt higher rates.

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CASH IS KING
 
Tom Williams and Greg Van Landingham, January 2012, Oak Brook
Paragon Real Estate's Tom Williams (in his Oak Brook office with colleague Greg Van Landingham) tells us his development company works from a fund, meaning they can move quick on land buys and start building right away. Paragon focuses on smaller deals: $5M to $15M seniors housing developments and $1M to $5M build-to-suits for single tenants like banks, restaurants, and auto shops (the retailers that grease the wheels of daily life). Since Paragon launched two years ago, it's raised $200M from high-net-worth individuals. So far, it's built a childcare center in Crystal Lake and an assisted-living home in Iowa (for all those former GOP candidates who got so used to spending their time there).
Tom Williams, Oak Brook, January 2012
Being liquid, Tom says, also means Paragon can offer clients competitive lease rates and, on the seniors projects, exclusive purchase options in the first five years of operation. In the works now: four seniors facilities and five more retail projects. He says the company is also looking for value-add warehouse acquisitions up to $10M each. By leveraging up, that target will cost the fund just $20M this year. His decorating aesthetic boils down to blown-up pictures of his two- and six-year-old sons. Greg, on the other hand, justified his more minimalist look by the fact that he's out pounding the pavement and thus spends little time desk bound.

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CHICAGOLAND
 
Bill Kay Ford in Midlothian
Last week, we posited that real estate brokers or developers were behind the term Chicagoland. Bisnow reader and Re/Max broker Michael Lunn suggested another likely culprit: car dealers and their TV commercials. And Foresite Realty Partners Leonard Richards says the drive times on the map in last week's issue are just a dream unless they were referring to the 4am hour. To his understanding, Chicagoland refers to the City and six collar counties: Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane, and McHenry—roughly where the Metra trains go. On the other hand, those "Your Chicagoland Ford dealer" commercials made it across the airwaves to Michael over in Indiana. So the mystery continues.

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THE MAGIC #
 
Tim Tebow

In that same issue last week, Bisnow reporter Amanda Metcalf decried Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow's 316 passing yards against her beloved Steelers. Alan Horticultural Enterprises' David Thomas tells us he heard Tebow wasn't allowed to wear the eye black you see above for that game, "but how blessed we are to see he passed for not 314, not 315, but 316 yards and his passing average was 31.6! Can someone say, 'He got his point across anyway'?" Point taken, and our sincerest sympathies to any of you Denver fans out there in Chicagoland after this past Sunday's loss.


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THANK YOU, DR. KING
 
Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964
Like many of you, we took yesterday to acknowledge the service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We admire his courage and continuing impact on American cities. This picture is from 1964, and if 95% of the Bisnow staff had been alive then, we'd certainly have been there to take it. But from what we can glean, it looks like Dr. King's response to someone asking, "How big an impact will transit-oriented development have on city centers in the year 2012?" Whether he's saying, "A lot," or, "Why are you asking me this?" it's an appropriate response.
 
How do you decorate your office? Minimalist, chic, antique store, college dorm, garage sale? Show us how you dress up your workspace. Send pictures to amanda.metcalf@bisnow.com and susan@bisnow.com.
 
 
 
 
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