Retail Flight To Urban Core
JLL VP and retail tenant rep Adam Cody is seeing a retail flight to dense core markets, like the New City project at North and Clybourn, as these desirable higher-income areas mean increased rents and decreased vacancy. (The JLL retail brokerage team, above: Peter Caruso, Adam, Anne Imming, Claire Bitautas, and Jason Trombley.) Those expanding aggressively include New York-based mattress company Sleepys, along with quick-casual dining concepts like Chipotle and Five Guys, Adam, who's heading home to Dubuque for the holidays, he says. (It's making Chicago a great city for a quick lunch and a nap.) While development has resurfaced, it remains to be seen how all the Dominicks locations will be backfilled and what that means for overall vacancy.
Atypical uses like medical or churches exploring the move to outdated retail spaces has gotten a lot of press, but Adam thinks the highest and best use for those properties is still retail. Sales tax sharing goes directly back to most municipalities in the state, and retail users and developers can usually pay the most for commercial properties, he adds. Adam recently repped Discount Tire in its purchase of the former Grant's Electronics in Schaumburg, and he worked with AMC Theatres on a new attached anchor location at Westfield's Hawthorn Mall (above) in Vernon Hills.