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Why Inland Hearts Retail

Why Inland Hearts Retail
When it comes to retail, Inland vice chair Joe Cosenza says he’s investing lots and leasing lots (and signing lots of autographs, at least he should be). Hear more from Joe at Bisnow’s 2nd Annual Retail Summit, Feb. 14 at The Metropolitan Club. Register here!
Inland Vice Chair Joe Cosenza
Inland’s 13M SF of Chicagoland shopping centers are 93% occupied. With so much retail property, he says Inland acts as a one-stop-shop for big companies seeking to expand or establish a presence here. Inland can accomodate them in most major submarkets and offer massive amounts of space. For instance, Joe says they recently leased space to six Ross Dress for Less stores, nearly 200k SF in “one swoop.” As for the office super stores contracting, fine with Joe. He’s leasing up their unneeded space at higher rents.
$25.8M Bradley Commons in Bradley, Ill.
Joe’s son Mark closed on Inland’s most recent area acquisition in November: the 175k SF, $25.8M Bradley Commons in Bradley, Ill. Joe says it’s just the kind of property Inland likes. It has a Walmart for groceries, a Dollar General store, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Petco, and others. The stores draw customers back every week. (It's a time-honored CRE rule: people always need towels, cleats, and fish.) For this, and every investment these days, Joe says underwriting is tough. Inland bought Bradley Commons at a price that gives them a good return even if Inland can’t lease the vacant 12k SF. 
Inland's Pam Johansen, Joe Cosenza, his son Mark and Janet Cornell
Pam Johansen, Joe, his son Mark, and Janet Cornell reviewing some retail transactions; they're finding rents flat, but Inland is giving fewer tenant concessions. Joe likes Chicago's national retail standing; it’s doing better than 65% of US markets. But, he tells us that Texas leads the pack of states, with cities like New York and DC always “golden.” In the retail realm, Joe says he loves dollar stores, which are here to stay. As for the most enticing asset type (cap rates being equal), Joe says he’d take “apartments in a heartbeat.” Real rents are rising and occupancy is marching up, month after month.