Crain’s Chicago Business released its inaugural edition of The Most Influential Commercial Real Estate Brokers in Chicago, and our own Bill Himmelstein has been included in this list!
The new list represents an impressive cross-section of the Chicago-area commercial real estate sales community, many of whom have practiced with distinction for decades. Click here to read about how Bill grew Tenant Advisory Group to one of the best in the city.
The South Loop, River West and West Loop each have taken their turn as being Chicago’s “it” neighborhood. Now it’s time to turn our eyes towards the Clybourn Corridor, the thin strip of land on the western edge of Lincoln Park between Clybourn Ave. and the Chicago River. This area already serves as a main shopping destination for Northsiders, and the recent addition of Newcity is part of a continuing trend in this area. There are many developments currently in progress with many more slated to come online for the near- and long-term future.
The Clybourn Corridor is currently exploding with new developments planned and in progress. Despite the rising vacancy rates from the influx of new buildings, retail rent has remained steady and even reached higher levels in recent years. This stretch of well-located land is continuing to attract businesses, both large and small, and they are not shying away from the increasing rents. With retail, professional and residential buildings on the dockets, the Clybourn Corridor has the attention of the city.
Room to Grow
In the last five years, over two million square feet of commercial real estate space has come online with over 1,000 new residential units. Even with the high amount of proposals, there is plenty of room for development and redevelopment in the Clybourn Corridor. Most famously, the Finkl & Sons steel plant is one of the headlining redevelopment projects. Sterling Bay has recently unveiled their vision for the redeveloped Finkl & Sons steel plant which includes a mixture of office, retail and residential buildings to be built on over 30 acres of riverfront property.
A Fresh Start
One driving factor behind the surging demand to reshape the Clybourn Corridor is its ability to act as a blank canvas. Large developers are purchasing old properties with dated buildings and redeveloping these sprawling sites into efficient retail, office and residential buildings. Its extreme demand is also fueled by the dense nearby population and affluent neighborhoods near the Clybourn Corridor, which attracts shoppers and businesses. Additionally, Metra plans to update their Clybourn train station to match the rapid updates the area is receiving. The proposals to revamp the community expects to draw a large, new employment base and add thousands of residents, all creating a positive influence on Chicago’s economy.
Chicago’s real estate industry continues to grow as a plethora of new buildings come online each year. The city’s lively entertainment scene, attractive amenities and its role as a booming international business hub make it a highly sought after location for corporations, and the employees who work for them. It will be exciting to watch the plans for the Clybourn Corridor unfold into a redeveloped, bustling stretch of Chicago.
We are excited to debut our newest affiliate architect, George DePalma of the DePalma Group. This partnership opens up new opportunities for our clients to take advantage of elite space planning, architectural services and interior designers. Tenant Advisory Group is able to provide a variety of new services to help your business thrive.
About DePalma Group
Since 1977, our professional team of Corporate and Retail Strategists, Architects, Interior Designers, Space Planners, Graphic Designers and Visual Merchandisers have worked together as the DePalma Group, providing comprehensive, integrated service and innovative solutions for business and public spaces. The DePalma Group is dedicated to providing highly personal service from a proactive and focused multi-disciplined staff.
We are proud to announce our newest partnership with Dan Porcaro of PSM Partners. This exclusive partnership enables us to offer you premium phone and data brokerages services, as well as cloud services. Through this new affiliation, TAG will be able to provide even more services and solutions to help grow your business. Click here to learn more about Dan Porcaro.
About PSM Partners
Porcaro Stolarek Mete Partners, LLC (PSM) is a business and technology consultancy located in downtown Chicago. They focus their business strategy efforts on strategy development and strategy execution for firms under 500 million in revenue. Their technology consulting offerings center around getting small and mid-sized businesses to the cloud, managed services and IT strategy consulting. PSM also has a carrier services group that brokers voice and data services for their clients.
Site Selection magazine has listed Chicago as the best city for corporate investment for the fourth consecutive year. This comes as little surprise with the long list of large corporations that have been moving their headquarters into downtown Chicago. So, what makes this city such an attractive investment for businesses?
Home to Headquarters
Since Google moved to Chicago, a number of other large companies have thrown their hat in the ring, such as McDonald’s, Wilson Sporting Goods, Cars.com and Motorola Solutions. While the stream of corporate giants relocating to Chicago appears to have slowed, other large businesses (Kraft-Heinz, ConAgra and GE) have announced their plans to relocate to downtown Chicago as well. This trend has extended beyond the corporate giants, as World Business Chicago reports that the entire Chicago metro area saw 350 corporate expansions and relocations in 2016.
Within Chicago’s city limits is one of the country’s largest concentration of universities. Which unsurprisingly leads to 36 percent of people in Chicago earning a four year college degree, compared to the 30 percent national average. Corporations are moving to be closer to where their employees want to live, which allows them to create a greater range of amenities to provide a higher quality of life for their workforce. Compared to California, New York and Boston, Chicago has a low cost of living while maintaining a high caliber quality of life (clean parks, museums, elite restaurant scene, iconic sports teams, etc.).
Good For Business
Chicago leads all major U.S. cities in direct foreign investments, which is a critical element of creating a successful global economy. With the 350 corporate expansions and relocations in 2016, came nearly $2.8 billion in new investments and roughly 14,000 jobs. Chicago is a leader when it comes to business growth, and that doesn’t exclude small businesses. The city of Chicago ranks among the best in the world for tech startups to plant their roots, as Chicago has a reasonable cost of living and cost of operating a company. After three consecutive years as the leader of corporate relocations, more top talent is following. This has helped lift Chicago to become a renowned technology hub, as well as a location for companies and their employees to flourish.
The last four years have been significant for the city of Chicago, as it grows into its role as the nation’s best location to invest. With access to highly educated talent, an elite business community and a leading startup scene, Chicago appears poised for ongoing, long-term success.
Organizing the layout of your new office space is about more than just configuring desks — this complex art is actually an important contributor to your overall company culture and happiness! You’ll need to consider important factors like gathering areas, noise level and relaxation stations. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind while planning a new office space.
Remember the Employees
Employees will spend a significant amount of time in the new office, so it’s important to consider their wants and needs to increase workplace satisfaction. A well-designed office should adapt to the needs of the workers, and match the culture of your company. For example, a collaborative business will want an open space and less private offices, as that will promote communication. Space planning can also set aside an area where employees can personalize their work environment to create a sense of ownership and encourage productivity.
Plan for the Future
A company is never done growing, so leaving room for expansion when space planning can save money down the road. Consider how fast growth will happen and how many employees the company may need to accommodate down the road. Don’t forget about storage as well. How much will your company need? Every business has different storage and filing needs, but it is always a critical aspect of a successful office layout.
Attract Top Talent
Proper space planning can create an inviting place to work, allowing you to attract top talent. Everything you can do to increase the quality of life for your employees will be reflected in the productivity of your office. Americans spend almost as much time at the office as they do at home, so building an office space that makes your employees happy is vital to the success of a company. It is definitely worth the extra budget to create an inviting and comfortable work environment.
Companies with several departments may want more than one type of layout within the office, as each department may thrive in different layouts. (Accounting may want cubicles, marketing may want an open floor plan and executives may want private offices). Working with an established broker will give you access to other professionals, such as an architect, who can help design your office layout.
There are a lot of moving parts when moving an entire office to a new location. Planning ahead makes for the smoothest moving process, so here is a brief checklist to assist with the transition:
- Receive quotes from several movers and line up a company well in advance
- Line up the phone and data broker to set up the phone and data lines so they are ready by the time you move
- Contact your IT support and let them know about the move at least six months in advance, but no later than 90 days
- Recycle or donate unwanted electronics and furniture
- Consider meeting with a furniture vendor to decide on reusing existing furniture, purchasing new or purchasing refurbished furniture
- Gather any necessary paperwork for potential tax write-offs
- Obtain a copy of the building rules and regulations
- Identify the best point of contact from the building for all moving-related, space buildout and daily space operations questions
- Understand the acceptable moving procedures in terms of hours, parking, unloading and elevator access
- Establish a packing schedule to determine what can be packed in advance or last minute to reduce disruption to productivity
- Setup mail forwarding from your old address
- Order stationery, business cards and envelopes with the new address printed on them
- Change your mailing address on your business registration with the city, website, social media, Google, credit cards, bank accounts and other professional organizations
- Notify your network of clients and vendors that your company has a new space and address to proactively avoid any interruptions in productivity
While there are many other considerations involved in moving a business, this checklist should help get you get started. Tenant Advisory Group is experienced in assisting companies to move into new offices, can connect you with ancillary professionals and will quarterback the entire process to ensure it is as smooth as possible.
Bill Himmelstein sat down with Andy Mack of The Juna Sales Network to discuss Bill’s approach to networking, sales and curating success in his business.
After finding the right office for your business, you’ll enter into the transaction process. This next step will consist of several important items: such as the lease negotiation, review and planning the buildout. Many of the opportunities that lie within the this phase rely on the success of your lease negotiation. If it’s handled properly, it can provide a number of long-term, tangible benefits for your company. Having a knowledgeable broker on your side throughout the transaction will simplify the entire process and provide long-term benefits for your company.
Perhaps the most innately complex piece of the moving process is negotiating a fair lease, and executing a successful negotiation can provide direct benefits to your business for years to come. At the beginning stages, your broker will gather multiple proposals to gain an understanding of market comparables to increase your negotiation leverage. The key to doing so is understanding the market as well as the varying terms and clauses laid throughout the lease. Experience is critical to being able to expertly navigate the twists and turns of a lease. Beyond market knowledge of fair rent values, having a deep understanding of the language a lease is written in will help you negotiate for rent abatement, tenant improvement allowances, escalations, securitizations, rights to expand or renew, and termination rights.
The negotiation process will include several rounds of back and forth offers which will continue until acceptable business terms are agreed upon. Tenured brokers will be able to evaluate the financial impact of each proposal to submit a reasonable counter offer to advance negotiations toward your goals.
After business terms are agreed to, it is heavily recommended to have an attorney read through the lease. Should you not have an attorney on-hand that specializes in real estate, a broker will be able to refer a qualified real estate attorney to assist in the process. The broker will work alongside the attorney to evaluate the language within the lease to ensure it accurately reflects the agreed upon terms, as well as search for any terms or clauses that may be unfavorable to the tenant.
Check the language for mention of the common area maintenance fee to ensure it is based on the total rentable area rather than just the rented area. Another consideration might be to ensure the building cannot rent to your direct competition. Small changes such as these can have a profound impact on the longevity and quality of your new location.
Working with a Tenant Advisory Group representative will add many benefits. They will quarterback the process to ensure it is completed efficiently and to your specifications. Clients that work with the Tenant Advisory Group brokers will gain access to a deep pool of knowledge on current market values and apt negotiation skills.
Beginning the search process for your next office space can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not considering all of the necessary factors. Look beyond the rental costs and explore other ways to get the most value out of your new location. Access to amenities, ease of transportation and how an office translates to company culture should all be on your list of needs.
The layout of an office plays a leading role in reinforcing the culture that you wish to cultivate within your company. Does it inhibit or nurture employee communications? For example, if you strive to build a collaborative environment, then consider an open space with communal gathering areas. If focus and concentration is the goal, go with traditional cubicles and private offices. Even if a potential office doesn’t have a pre-established layout, consider how you can reconstruct the space to fit your needs.
Once you know what the inside of your office should look like, it’s time to expand to external factors. Is the new space easy to get to? Accessible transportation options are crucial in retaining your current staff and attracting new employees. Take your cue from McDonald’s recent move from suburban Oak Brook to the buzzing West Loop neighborhood. Employees want to be able to get to work quickly and have top amenities right at their fingertips. Paying more in rent for in-building features like a gym or cafeteria are well worth the cost. If that’s not an option, close proximity to popular restaurants is another added benefit.
While you’ll notice the benefits of a low rent on your financial ledgers, it’s important to remember that the office space is more than a place for work. Retaining and maintaining a happy roster of employees can bring tremendous value and inspire long-term growth within your company. Not only will your current employees appreciate the gesture, but you’ll be more likely to recruit top talent.
With an endless sea of potential dream offices, it will take a serious dedication to close on the space you want. There are many moving pieces involved in relocating your office, which is why it’s recommended that you seek the advice of a professional to ensure everything is completed with the little to no headaches.