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5 Surging Retail Corridors

    5 Surging Retail Corridors

    Whether they’ve announced themselves seemingly overnight or been established for decades and are taking a new route, these shopping districts are currently tip of the tongue for retail brokers.

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    North Michigan Avenue

    Everyone’s investing in the Mag Mile, which has kept its high-fashion appeal while embracing ever-expanding tech retailers. In addition to Macerich’s recent $42M investment in a Shops of North Bridge-adjacent Wabash site that could more than double the size of the 860k SF retail complex: Nordstrom’s planning a $15M reno; T-Mobile will open in AllSaints space at 700 N Michigan (following AT&T and Verizon); and Acadia Realty Trust paid $144M for 88% of 840 N Michigan Ave (home to H&M and Verizon).

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    Rush Street

    To go a block off Oak Street was once unheard of for luxe retailers, but it became hard to ignore the street’s appeal after Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs moved in at the Waldorf. Then you have Brioni and BHLDN across the street and Paul Kahan’s trendy Nico Osteria in the Thompson Chicago. Investors are also paying top dollar in the area. (It all started with the sale of Rush’s Lululemon for $7,065/SF two years back, still the most expensive deal on the street.)

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    Clybourn Corridor

    This Lincoln Park hot spot’s most high-profile anchor, 1M SF New City, is a JV including Structured Development, Bucksbaum Retail Properties and JPMorgan Asset Management. It’s capitalized on consumer interest in entertainment retail tenants, signing everyone from ArcLight Cinemas to Kings Bowl. The key is finding first-to-market tenants, Structured principal Mike Drew says. A bit farther south at Division and Halsted, GK Development prez Garo Kholamian told us he hopes to break ground in spring 2015 on The Bridges, 200k SF of retail and medical office.

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    Southport Corridor

    With neighborhood retail-hungry investors like L3 Capital, it’s hard to keep up with all the teardowns along this Anthropologie and Lululemon-anchored Lakeview stretch. Starbucks doubled down this year, opening its first Chicago Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar just down the block from its Southport location. New retailers like Evereve and The Red Balloon appeal to the mom and stroller set, while food options continue to evolve with the closing of old favorites like Coobah and brand new options for banh mi, fro-yo and pasta.

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    Damen Avenue

    Marc by Marc Jacobs put Bucktown on the map for luxury retail, just ask Baum Realty Group principal Janika Brenner, the deal architect (and a Bisnow Chicago 2014 Power Woman). She convinced the landlord to spend $1M lowering the floor of his non-retail building, creating the first anchor of today’s fashion mecca. (Activewear brand Stio is one of the most recent of her 20-plus Bucktown deals.) Coastal luxury brands typically think Oak Street or Michigan Avenue, but Bucktown is an up-and-coming alternative with edge.