Will This Be Chicago’s Next Top Neighborhood?

Will This Be Chicago’s Next Top Neighborhood_ _ Tenant Advisory Group

The Clybourn Corridor has been the focus of many discussions lately, as well as a primary target for major developers like R2 Developments and Sterling Bay. The stretch of land was once an industrial hotbed, but now it is experiencing a renaissance as the area transforms from industrial parks to retail, office and residential buildings. As the Clybourn Corridor continues to develop, it leads to an interesting question: does it have what it takes to become a top Chicago neighborhood?

Pro: Cheap Land

Cheaper land now translates to lower rents in the long run. This is extremely attractive for developers and businesses seeking relief in rent prices without being too far removed from bustling downtown Chicago. Clybourn offers a great location without the inflation.

Pro: Local Talent

The Clybourn Corridor is conveniently located near the popular neighborhoods where young, tech-savvy talent want to live. C.H. Robinson, a third party logistics and supply chain management provider, is hoping to take advantage of this central location by building its new headquarters in the Clybourn Corridor. By taking livability into account, as well as building a brand new headquarters with modern amenities, C.H. Robinson has positioned itself to win over Millennial and Gen Z talent.

Pro: Well-Connected Landlords

Many businesses in Lincoln Park, Old Town and River North find themselves stuck with inexperienced landlords from small- and medium-sized leasing companies who don’t have many benefits to offer their tenants. As large leasing groups like R2 and Sterling Bay moving into the area, these local businesses know they’ll benefit greatly from the high-quality service and negotiation possibilities these expert landlords consider standard in their business dealings.

Pro: Tons of Hype

The Clybourn Corridor is already making a name for itself with the redevelopment of the Finkl & Son’s steel plant, the C.H. Robinson headquarters, the rapid purchasing of land and many other projects on the horizon. Additionally, the transformation of the corridor is being fueled by the City of Chicago changing the area’s zoning restrictions to allow residential buildings, as well as the amenities offered in nearby neighborhoods and along the corridor itself.

The Clybourn Corridor has all the markings of a popular neighborhood: big-name developers, an influx of businesses, popular shopping centers, restaurants and the abundance of entertainment attractions, such as New City. While the potential exists, the area is still in the early stages of development. The Clybourn Corridor is a place businesses should watch closely as it continues to mature.

February Small Business Networking With TAG

Executives networking event with TAG

February brought more than just snow this year. Tenant Advisory Group presented phenomenal networking opportunities for local business owners. Entrepreneurs across numerous industries gathered to expand their networks and find collaborative partnerships to grow their companies.

Both the monthly breakfast and luncheon saw valuable advice shared based on the discussion question: What’s the best way you’ve recently found new growth opportunities? Here are a few of the many responses:

Joanna Sobran, CEO of MXOtech: We used to do inbound marketing, but it stopped working. We hired a sales team, along with a coach, to buildout a sales playbook and processes to help hire a sales team.

Jonathan Rothstein, Senior Vice President, MB Financial Bank: I love finding ways to make my client’s lives easier, and one way I do that is through keeping the clients best interest at heart. We employ a marketing program called CORE; it breaks down the numbers to building a business and wants to be part of a client’s joint chief of staff.

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners: There are ten different ways to sell, but you need to track them all. The best one is networking, as partners are great at spurring growth.

Thank you to all who attended!

If you’re interested in attending future TAG events, please email Bill Himmelstein at Bill@TagCommercialBroker.com.

TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List

Steve Brown, President, Stratego

Andrea Fox, CEO, Cloud Dental Marketing

Dan Gloede, CEO, Hatch Loyalty

John Gotschall, CEO, Coach Financial

Rick Gray, Chief Executive Officer, TalentRISE

Richard Grossi, CEO,Kensium Solutions

Jerry Holisky, Managing Partner, AGDG

Rhonda V. Jensen, President, Jensen Litigation Solutions

Scott Kitun, CEO, Technori

Craig Lowder, President, MainSpring Sales Group LLC

Anna Maria Viti-Welch, President, Guy Vitti Insurance

Larry Marin, VP, Near North National Title

Chris Miller, Managing Partner, Kelley Kronenberg

Scott Nicholson, CEO, KindredOnore,LLC

Garrick Nielsen, Partner, Oxford Bank

Grigory Pekarsky, Managing Broker/Partner, Vesta Preferred Realty

Graham Peck, Founder, The Alpha Group

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners

Mark Rittmanic, CEO, ForteOne

Keith Verisario, President, Wine Sergi Insurance Group


TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List

Stuart Baum, President, Large Pond

Doug Bax, Managing Partner, Williams Bax & Saltman

Laurel Bellows, Managing Partner, Bellows Law Group

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz, CEO, JJR Marketing

Melanie DeCaprio, President, New Sky Strategies

David Diamond, Managing Partner, Kutchins Robbins & Diamond

Bernard Dier, President, Midwest Business Consulting

Morrie Elstein, VP, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Erin Inman, President, Primera Engineering

Mindi Knebel, CEO, Kaizen Health

Margaret Pagel, VP, Sales & Marketing

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners

Kim Robinson, President, Frontline

Ed Rossini, President, Palmer Printing

Jonathan Rothstein, SVP, MB Financial Bank

Jay Rudman, CEO, TopStepTrader

Joanna Sobran, CEO, MXOtech

Tim Webb, CIO & MP, RCM Wealth Advisors

How to Spot a Desirable Landlord

Tall glass infrastructure

The landlord is an integral part of the commercial real estate leasing experience, which is why this person or entity needs to factor into any final decisions. A lot can be revealed about a landlord by the way they handle the negotiation process, as this is a window into how they treat existing tenants. For example, someone who tries to use bait-and-switch tactics isn’t going to change once you become a legally-bound renter! An easy way to tell a good landlord from a bad one is to identify if they value quality tenants over maximized profits.

Communication is Key

Good landlords are transparent and responsive, especially when they want you as a tenant. Ideally, a future landlord will stay in communication regardless of the situation, providing explanations for any lapses in response. Remember, there are most likely other deals in process that may prevent you from winning the space. However, a worthwhile leasing professional will work with a prospective renter to find a different available space.

Well-Capitalized is Ideal

When a landlord has a large amount of money to negotiate with, they are referred to as “well-capitalized.” There are a variety of reasons why a landlord is flush with capital, such as a recently refinanced building, or having a REIT or sovereign wealth fund as owners. Regardless of the source of funding, this means they are able to offer larger concessions in the form of free rent or tenant improvement allowances. In addition to incentive packages, well-capitalized landlords are able to invest more money back into improving the building. Independently-owned operators typically don’t have access to the large amount of funds needed to pay for a tenant’s buildout or even fix ongoing problems properly or in a timely manner.

Professionals are Best

Tenant Representatives are generally well liked by successful landlords as they work with all parties involved to ensure terms are met, stipulations are understood and proper channels are followed. The quality of business a tenant representative brings to the table – high-quality ancillary professionals – often encourages landlords to make more concessions on a deal with either a current or new tenant.

However, short-sighted landlords can become concerned about paying a broker to renew a tenant or acquire new business. These owners don’t take into account the long-term benefits, rather than the short-term costs. It demonstrates a potential unwillingness to pay to keep the building in good shape, repair the elevator or HVAC or clean the windows and building. If a landlord pinches pennies now, they will surely react poorly down the road when something doesn’t go their way.

The lowest price option is not always the best choice, as it commonly comes with a lack of amenities, service, upkeep and concessions. While lower rent is attractive, there is much more value derived from concession packages. Additionally, if a business uses its own money for a buildout then they won’t have that capital available to invest in the business, making it a very costly way to use available funds.

Landlords gain a lot of value when they sign new tenants or retain existing ones, especially if the building is up for sale, and good landlords know a broker can help them do exactly that to increase the value of their building.