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Welcome Back to the Headlines, Block 37

 Welcome Back to the Headlines, Block 37
Block 37 Retail
California-based CIM has bought Block 37's five stories of retail space for a reported $84M out of REO and plans to make a go of leasing it up. The company told us that it's "in discussion with a variety of retailers, restaurants, and entertainment businesses" to help fill the space. Some observers are more optimistic than others about filling the yawning retail void (70% vacant). Chicago retail guru CBRE SVP Leslie Mader tells us that "with the right management, large chunks of retail in strong urban locations are a good investment. The key is in the management's vision." Millennium Properties president Daniel Hyman says that Chicago is not NY, and upper-level space has really never leased very well unless it’s in a major vertical mall. The issue for the Block 37 retail: a strong draw is needed on the upper levels. "While architecturally interesting, visibility from the lower floors is poor, as is access, unless you come off Dearborn, which is not the real front door of the property," he says.
Related Topics: Daniel Hyman