Last Night's Olympics Bash
The Chicago Real Estate Council proved its mettle last night by showing up in full-force, despite the downpour, to support the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid at Rockit Bar and Grill.
CBIZ MHM LLC's Vivian Stoeger and Dana Probst flank Dykema Gossett PLLC's Joan Berg to discuss how the bid might affect business. Joan tells us her real estate clients are particularly eager for information. The games could bring an estimated $13.7 billion in revenue to Chicago and $22.7 billion to Illinois. Of course clients want their piece of that pie!
Across the bar, Hammerschlag & Co.'s John Hammerschlag and Bryan Schroeder surround Draper and Kramer's Timothy Hartnett and Carlyle Group's Ward Feste. They agree landing the Olympics would be great for civic pride. "We really need to see what the outlook is for our city, but we know Chicago is great," Ward said.
James Kaplan Cos' James Kaplan (wonder how he came up with the company name), National Real Estate Investor's Marianne Rivera, Appraisal Research Counselor's Steven Kelley, and William J. Cody Realty Advisor's William Cody (who probably wanted to name his company James Kaplan Cos, but that was taken). Marianne suggested locals might not want to pay for the Olympics considering Chicago's already highest-in-the-nation sales tax. Steven was undeterred: "It would be a great way to revive everything."
We spotted Transit Realty's Francis DeCoste moving from circle to circle. First, he was with The Parking Spot's Reed Singer, then with CTA's Stina Fish. His accent gave him away as a Bostonian, in town to help JLL and CTA with a real estate recapitalization that could be a critical part of the Olympic bid. Although Stina couldn't confirm what's going on that piece of land just northeast of a certain three-line transfer stop on the North Side, she points real estate pros to ctarealestate.com for more. Francis rubbed salt in our NBA Playoff wound, saying Boston would be a better site for Olympic B-ball.
Speaker Lori Healey, from Chicago 2016, arrived just after 7; unfortunately, her cell phone was on the way back downtown in a cab on the North Side. She says the Olympic Committee has already visited Chicago, and we now wait to hear in October. Here's why the plan is solid: 90 percent of venues are within a 15 minute drive of the proposed Olympic Village in Washington Park; elements of the buildings constructed would be used in other places if it wasn't logical to keep them; and, the city has the infrastructure and airport to support activity. Delivery of the Olympic Village will be a "challenge," but she adds that many of the elements are already in place. And, "Summer Olympics don't lose money."
Epilogue: Lori's cell phone arrived during her speech, assuaging any worries athletes may have had about losing things in Chicago.