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April 1, 2020

Chicago's Biggest CRE Companies Have Women On Their Boards. But Is It Enough?

How can small-business owners better weather this storm and survive? Experts weigh in April 2

Achieving gender diversity has become one of the most talked about goals of the commercial real estate industry. There is no doubt many firms in the traditionally male-dominated industry made a great deal of progress in the past decade, recruiting women for C-suite positions and bringing more women into the workforce as a whole. It’s no longer unusual to see women take the helm as presidents and CEOs of even the largest companies, or start their careers as frontline brokers.

Commercial real estate firms have also recruited women to serve on their boards of directors, and women now occupy up to 40% of those seats at some of the Chicago region’s largest real estate companies.

But not all firms have taken steps to reach that level of diversity.  

Chicago's Biggest CRE Companies Have Women On Their Boards. But Is It Enough?

The eight largest publicly traded real estate companies with headquarters in the Chicago region, as measured by 2018 revenue, all have women on their boards. But among that list, Retail Properties of America, First Industrial Realty Trust and

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'There's No Bailout For Landlords': What To Expect As Anxious April Begins

The rent is due today.

For the tenants and property owners tied to trillions of dollars of commercial real estate properties in the U.S., what happens on April 1 is no joke this year.

Retailers have been closed or their businesses are deeply battered. Companies across sectors have been forced to carry out layoffs or furlough staff, while others have been directly impacted by a virus that has afflicted more than 170,000 Americans to date. 

Millions of Americans are already jobless, worried about paying the rent today. And the virus is weeks away from its peak, health experts warn.

Coronavirus is the common, existential threat to tenants, property managers and owners alike at this moment — and all parties are asking the same question today: What happens now?

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COVID-19 Is (Probably) Pushing Down The Value Of Commercial Property

COVID-19 Is (Probably) Pushing Down The Value Of Commercial Property

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 40,000 people around the world, is impacting the commercial real estate market in ways both large and small. Though it is hard to get a firm picture amid the uncertainty, property valuations are likely taking a hit. Shares of real estate investment trusts have…

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My New Normal: Pinnacle Structural Engineers President Adam Cryer

This series aims to capture a moment in time, talking to men and women in commercial real estate about how their lives and businesses are being transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pinnacle Structural Engineers President and co-founder Adam Cryer used to have a short commute to the office. That commute has shortened even further, now that he is working from home.

Cryer founded Pinnacle Structural Engineers in March 2005 with his business partner, Donald Greive, while still enrolled as a postgraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. Since then, he has served as engineer of record on over 400 projects, including healthcare facilities, churches, schools, financial institutions, retail centers and office buildings.

Cryer is adapting to the new normal of working from home, though he still occasionally stops by the otherwise-empty office.

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The Coronavirus Is Going To Change How We Think About Design

 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, disrupting daily life and causing major economic damage, design leaders are pivoting to focus on how building design can combat infectious diseases and improve public health outcomes.

The coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, has led to more than 40,000 deaths globally in the last three months. Over 3,000 deaths have occurred in the U.S. as of Tuesday afternoon.

There are still many unknowns surrounding COVID-19, including a viable vaccine and whether it will reoccur seasonally. With this in mind, building design could start to change quickly, as the industry seeks to make workplaces and public spaces safer.

“I think we're on the cusp of actually seeing it impact current work underway,” Gensler Managing Principal Kevin Heinly said.

“There are real design measures our clients could institute in our buildings to help safeguard against the worsening of that spike in the future.”

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