The 'Burbs Aren't Snoozing on the Job
Hamilton Partners is selling 49 acres of Kraft's former Glenview/ Morton Grove office to Illinois Tool Works, so we thought partner Michael Rolfs, a 28-year vet of the suburban office scene, would be perfect for Bisnow's June 25 event Death of the Suburbs? Not so Fast. (Snapped with Aaron Rodgers. Yes, Mike's a Cheesehead.) Downtown office activity has received a lot more press, but we can't forget the suburbs. "It's not like everyone's falling asleep and not doing anything out here," he laughs. (Sigh, we'll return our blanket.) Hamilton's retail team intended on making Kraft's office (below) a retail center until ITW came along. By staying in the 'burbs, ITW keeps proximity to seasoned talent and decision makers living in areas like Lake Forest and Winnetka, he says.
Suburban flight to quality has all the "Main and Main" buildings leased up, as Mike calls them, causing a ripple effect, especially in the NW market (Catamaran, Capital One). Companies up north also attract employees opting for more affordable housing across the Wis consin border (just look at 294 in the morning and the Wisco plates in Walgreens' and Baxter's parking lots). It will be a while before rental rates ratchet back up, spurring new development, and we can thank sluggish job growth and the state's financial situation. Building's that'll fare well these days will have better than average parking ratios and sustainable features, Mike tells us.