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JLL’s Retail Metamorphosis

Chicago Retail

Like our favorite celebrity chameleons (Madonna, Prince, David Bowie), JLL’s reinventing its retail side, Midwest retail market lead Larry Kilduff (another panelist at our event) tells us. Its local focus will be moving from malls to the leasing and management of open-air and urban retail. Significant apartment construction in the city is a telltale sign that urban retail’s next to soar, he says, and it's great news for Michigan Avenue. This year’s interesting question mark: the 28 orphan Dominick’s locations still on the market. Those with too much grocery competition nearby could turn into movie theater concepts, athletic clubs, or multi-tenant retail, Larry predicts.


City development is thin save for the New City project at Clybourn and Halsted, Larry says, but high street retail is very active thanks to investor demand (look at the Hancock reno, above, and Water Tower place). Regus Express has been an interesting new tenant on the scene, offering client-ready meeting space from retail storefront locations, he says. The suburbs will stay slow until the distressed shopping centers recapitalize and trade, and there’s still a lot of vacancy out there, he notes. When Larry’s not at work (where his team signed 2M SF of retail listings in the past six months), you’ll find him channeling his inner Olympian and cross-country skiing around his home in Cedarburg, Wis.