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This Association Solved The Middle East Crisis

Chicago Industrial

No other market has broker cooperation like Chicago, AIRE president Chris Gary tells us. And that’s not just on deals, as evidenced by one of his favorite funny association memories.


The 40-year-old Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers was formerly known as AIREB, Chris (VP at NAI Hiffman, snapped last fall with the kids at Niagra Falls) tells us, until the group’s former president Larry Much, Chris’s colleague, proposed a name change in case Jewish members took offense. Darwin’s George Cibula stood and suggested that the group be called Just Everyday Working Stiffs (JEWS), and after a few seconds the room of 200 people erupted in laughter, Chris recalls. He joined the organization seven years ago (initially helping with its golf outing, the 2013 event below), and says that collegial and friendly environment extends into industrial dealmaking.


The group was formed before the advent of electronic media (hard to imagine life without CoStar) to help industrial brokers share deals and properties, Chris tells us. It’s grown to an organization of about 450 members, including brokers, developers, and vendors. Member benefits: networking and learning with other brokers and industrial’s largely institutional landlords at AIRE events, along with access to AIRE’s email system. It’s an invaluable electronic bulletin board where people share requirements and other deal info that’s assisted in too many closings to count, Chris says. Apart from AIRE’s next big luncheon on May 27 featuring Bruce Rauner, he’s focused on increasing members’ networking opportunities and bolstering relationships with industrial developers.


At the office, Chris is rapidly running out of industrial product to represent, both in leasing and investment sales. He’s seeing developers starting to build spec, but not at the pace of this market’s stellar absorption. Growing tenants include food, packaging, and e-commerce, he tells us. Chris recently repped RREEF in a 195k SF lease to Peco at 2924 E 126th St (above). Suffering from a case of severe cabin fever (aren’t we all after the winter), he can’t wait to get out on the golf course.