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This California Investor Loves Chicago Winters

Chicago Retail

Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But Woodland Hills-based NewMark Merrill prez and CEO Sandy Sigal does love Chicago's dynamic and resilient retail, which somehow keeps ticking at a healthy clip (perhaps to spite feisty Mother Nature).


NewMark recently signed a 42k SF lease with Hobby Lobby at its 378k SF Stratford Crossing shopping center in Bloomingdale. The company has owned the center for eight years, and the focus has always been finding the right tenant mix for the area, says Sandy (snapped with his son on Kilimanjaro). And it’s a never-ending process. (As Da Vinci said, true art is never finished, only abandoned.) Circuit City closed up shop, Sports Authority had too many locations nearby, and Ruby Tuesday seemed far from its core dining base. But NewMark analyzed what was working locally, where the gaps were, and completely reshaped the center with hot tenants like Buffalo Wild Wings, Planet Fitness, and Party City. (We know our rare workouts deserve a celebration.)


Here’s the Hobby Lobby opening, above. NewMark (with 75 shopping centers in three states) is on the hunt for additional acquisition or development opportunities in the ‘burbs (anything within a couple hours of the Loop), and prefers underserved markets, Sandy says. There can be challenges with safety and infrastructure, but it’s a practice for the patient with rewards down the road. (Like NewMark’s Winston Plaza in Melrose Park, which has benefited from the village’s rising tides.) Outside of the office, Sandy’s equally intrepid. He recently climbed Kilimanjaro, went river rafting, and celebrated his 50th watching Guns N’ Roses and Andrew Dice Clay with three elementary school friends.