Industrial investors ‘stretching’ for Chicago product


Spurred by the prospect of  continued and sustained rent growth, investors are snapping up industrial properties here in Chicago at a record pace .

In the latest such example — a deal brokered by JLL’s John Huguenard and Trevor Ragsdale — Dallas-based Hillwood Development Co. paid nearly $91 million for a 1.4 million-square-foot portfolio of six properties in Joliet, Elgin, Hanover Park, Bolingbrook and Carol Stream.

Hillwood paid roughly $66 per square foot for the properties, representing a significant return for developer Northern Builders.

In a story about the deal published this week by Crain’s Chicago Business, Ridge Property Trust CEO Jim Martell (who was not involved in the deal) said cap rates for industrial deals here will only continue to shrink as market fundamentals improve over time:

“From a logistics perspective, Chicago is still very important. I think from a long-term perspective, there’s rent-growth coming and continuing and [investors will] stretch for Chicago in hopes of seeing that rent growth.”


Quad Cities colocation facility capitalizing on growing trend for data centers


In its new report, “Sizing the Cloud, Forrester Research estimates that the data center colocation industry will grow to more than $43 billion by 2018, yet another proof point that companies are increasingly turning toward third-party providers to manage key components of their IT infrastructure.

As one data center expert recently put it, “the data center of the future is the one you don’t own.”

In Bettendorf, Iowa, the owners of the 60,000-RSF, 6-MW ColoHub data center are reaping the benefits of this trend with the addition of a variety of new tenants since opening one year ago. The latest to sign was Midwest Health Exchange, a leading provider of electronic health exchange records in the U.S. Midwest.

Sean Reynolds and Andy Cvengros with the Data Center Real Estate Solutions team at JLL are leading marketing efforts for ColoHub.

“With the facility’s fiber connectivity and the State of Iowa’s aggressive incentive program, we feel that we are going to see continued demand for space in Iowa and specifically here at Colohub,” Reynolds said.

Chicago’s top law firms turning to JLL for tenant representation


VIDEO: JLL helps AMC recraft the movie-going experience

See the story behind the new AMC theatres. Across more than 138 theatres nationwide, the AMC renovation project is recrafting the movie-going experience … all with help from the JLL Project & Development Services team.

3 questions smart retailers are asking themselves now

1. Are we offering an omni-channel experience?

More and more retailers are striving to build a true omni-channel experience that merges at-home, in-store and mobile commerce into one seamless experience. In other words, if a customer wants to view an item online, purchase it using their phone and pick it up in-store, they can do so in a smooth and effortless way.

Omni-channel is all about continuity of experience and provides the perfect example of merging digital insights with in-store physical experiences. The look and feel of every channel, from mobile to desktop to in-store, should feel the same to the customer.

2. Are we leveraging the right technology?

Smart retailers are saying goodbye to boring, antiquated layouts. They know that if they want to keep people in their stores, they need to make their locations interactive and engaging. This can be done in a number of ways, the most basic of which is by leveraging the right technology. Tablets and smartphones are versatile and can be used in several ways, including taking payments from the customer where convenient rather than making them wait in a checkout line, demonstrating product features, offering more information and encouraging social sharing.

In addition to tablets, smart retailers are implementing interactive experiences with the use of large displays that are meant to fully engross customers to the point where they even forget that they’re inside a store. To the customer, the experience is interactive, engaging, and powerful.

3. Are we collecting actionable data to help personalize the customer experience?

According to a study by Infogroup Targeting Solutions, 54% of marketers have already invested in data solutions to date, and nine out of 10 marketers plan to do so in 2014. Why the focus on data? Because smart retailers know that in order to provide truly personalized experiences, they need to gather as much information about the behavior, history and whereabouts of consumers as possible. Collecting this actionable data through customer loyalty programs, point of sale data and online shopping behavior ultimately enables retailers to implement dynamic browsing, customized displays, personalized recommendations and shopper-specific discounts.

VIDEO: Office vacancy falling, rents on the rise in Chicago and its suburbs

Watch the video above to find out more about how the improving economy is spurring Chicago’s CBD and suburban office markets toward a more robust recovery.

Then, click here to download our complete Q2 2014 Chicago Office Market research reports.

VIDEO: Key trends impacting the tech industry

The fight for talent. The race toward growth. The need for funding. The speed of innovation.

These trends are the top influencers in today’s tech industry and also have a major impact on a tech company’s real estate strategy.

Watch the video above for current statistics and industry insights and to find out how your real estate strategy is critical in driving growth, boosting profitability and mitigating risk.

Braintree’s story … and how JLL helped

The online and mobile payment software company Braintree is making big waves in Chicago.

Watch the video above to learn more about the company’s history and how, with JLL’s help, it will more than double the size of its Chicago headquarters in a forthcoming move to the Merchandise Mart.

And speaking of the Mart … click here to see JLL’s Phil Geiger and others explain to Crain’s Chicago Business why the River North landmark is the new hot spot for Chicago tech companies.


LIVE BLOG: Chicago’s top CFOs talk real estate with JLL


JLL CFO Christie Kelly (at left above) is moderating a panel discussion on the role of real estate in today’s corporate world before a gathering of some 50 C-level executives from across Chicago. The event, which is being hosted by JLL, is taking place at the Eataly Chicago food emporium in River North.

Panelists include American Medical Association CFO Denise Hagerty; Coyote Logistics CFO Jonathan Sisler; Robert Bosch Tool Corp. CFO Katina Xouria; and William Blair & Co. CFO Jon Zindel.

A minute-by-minute recap of the group’s conversation is below:

5:10 p.m. — Hagerty: “For us, our real estate decision-making is all about brand and culture. The brand had gotten very tired for us. So [our move to the former IBM building] worked out very well. For our employees to walk into a place that’s bright, airy and sunlit has made a huge difference for us.”

5:15 p.m. — Xouria: “Real estate is very expensive, but it’s not about cost for us. It’s about how you get the most out of your spend to energize your workforce.”

5:17 p.m. — Sisler: “As an organization, we’ve found that when you put an employee in a space that they love, they sell better.”

5:20 p.m. — Zindel on William Blair’s planned move to the new 150 N. Riverside office development: “Our decision was very,very organically built from the bottom up based on how our entire team is working and what kind of space best fits our needs.”

5:21 p.m. — Xouria on the impact of technology on the workplace: “We’re trying to get to a totally wireless building. There’s challenges to that, but that’s our goal.”

5:23 p.m. — Xouria on telecommuting: “We have not yet gone to the extreme of taking desks away from people who work occasionally from home, but eventually we’ll get to the point where there are no assigned desks.”

5:25 p.m. — Hagerty: “We have a lot of collaboration space that’s not being used and we suspect it may be because our younger workers are solving their problems via instant messenger and text.”

5:27 p.m. — Sisler: “We move people to new desks every 6 months. We want them to get comfortable with different groups, different people.”

5:29 p.m. — Zindel: “[As we prepare to move,] We’re trying to get people away from the 1980s fixation on having an office and focusing on what they will have in terms of technology, improved functionality, etc.”

5:31 p.m. — Sisler on Millennials: “Our feeling is that if you give them training and give them the right direction and a sense of why they’re there, they’re very hardworking and they do very well for us. We look for people who are competitive and who have done well in a team environment.”

5:33 p.m. — Sisler on his company’s fast growth: “The biggest challenge in that is having the right management (we promote people very young) and balancing our growth with profitability.”

5:36 p.m. — Hagerty on what the AMA looks for in a partner/vendor: “So much of what we face is reputational risk, so it is crucial to us to have partners with high integrity.”

5:40 p.m. — Zindel on his firm’s move to 150 N. Riverside: “it was important for us to feel like our space was a building within a building.”

5:42 p.m. — Xouria: “When I started as a CFO, my biggest concern was the financial statement. Now I’m focused on sales and marketing and growing our market share. I’m focused on attracting and retaining talent and real estate. We, as CFOs, pull it all together to make sure the company makes the right decisions on all these fronts.”

5:47 p.m. — Xouria: “We’re freeing up a lot of office space and turning it into collaboration space.”

5:51 p.m. — Xouria on committing to Illinois: “The reason we’re still (headquartered) in Mt.Prospect is because the value the people that we have. We think that having the right people is more important than tax incentives or anything else.”

5:53 p.m. — Sisler: “The talent pool here in Chicago far outweighs any other drawbacks.”

Law firm rental rates: Landlords could be gaining the upper hand soon

Law office space rental rates

Moving into your first office space: What you should know


(The following post originally appeared on the Catapult Chicago Blog)

By Corey Siegrist
Vice President, Tenant Representation
JLL Chicago

Ready to move into your own office space but unsure of how to get started? It’s more than just a space search. We often find that tenants new to the office sector fail to realize the associated costs and requirements necessary to make the jump.

Prioritize Needs Versus Wants

You should set expectations – caviar taste on a beer budget won’t work, unfortunately.

Here are some key questions that new office users should consider:

  • Where are your employees commuting from?
  • How much space do you need? (Typically we recommend 150 sf per person in a benching environment and 250 sf per person in a private office / workstation environment)
  • Would the chosen space enable growth?
  • What is the minimum lease term? How flexible will the landlord be?
  • Building capabilities? Chilled water, condenser water, fiber, redundancy, power capacity, etc.?
  • Do you want to be in a 24/7 neighborhood?
  • What amenities are offered (bike room, dogs allowed, etc.)?

Be Aware of Hidden Costs

Below are additional expenses that tenants should be aware of when budgeting.

  • Security deposit – typically landlords require 2-6 months rent depending on the company’s financial stability.
  • Furniture – unless you’re lucky enough to find a fully furnished sublease or spec suite that fits your needs, you need to decorate! Typically furnishings cost $10-$15 per sf to purchase (rental is also an option and can be less expensive).
  • Wiring – conservatively, this could cost up to $3 per sf and is usually the responsibility of the tenant.
  • Attorney fees – a lease is a legal document and tenants should obtain the advice of a lawyer that specializes in real estate leases. This can range from $1,500 – $3,000 and is a flat fee.

The bottom line: more goes into choosing office space than the location and dollar per square foot!

JLL’s team provides expertise in successfully moving high-growth companies into their first offices. Contact Corey at

Chicago’s corporate facilities have global reach


  • The Chicago metro area is home to more than 1,500 foreign companies, 55 of which are manufacturing firms.
  • Chicago’s skilled workforce and world-class transportation infrastructure — as well as the state’s efforts to reform its pension system — have made the market more attractive to business leaders around the country and around the globe.
  • Site Selection magazine has noted this with its recent inclusion of Chicago and Illinois on its list of “top markets for new and expanded corporate facilities.” Chicago is on top of the list and Illinois is third among the 50 states.

Law firm growth trends and real estate strategy


Jones Lang LaSalle is now JLL


As you’ve probably seen on social media by now, Jones Lang LaSalle has officially shortened its name to JLL.

The shorter name and new logo (see the top left hand corner of this page) are:

  • Easily recognized and visible in the 75 countries around the world where we do business
  • Memorable and easily pronounced in languages worldwide
  • More suitable for digital applications and mobile channels

Here in our global headquarters city of Chicago, we celebrated the change last night by illuminating our new name on the side of our HQ building, Aon Center (see photo above).

The news is also attracting the attention of the media (including the Chicago Tribune and as well as business leaders like Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO of World Business Chicago, the city’s economic development arm, who said the following:

“JLL has a long history in Chicago and deep roots in our community. We’re proud to have this innovative and forward-looking global firm call Chicago home, and we congratulate JLL on beginning this new chapter.”

Click here to learn more about our shift to JLL.

Four reasons why 2014 will be ‘The Year of the Distribution Center’


And you thought 2013 was good for industrial?

This year, e-commerce is fueling anall-out boom market.

CLICK HERE to read about the four trends driving demand, development and delivery of distribution centers across North America.

Chicago Office Employment Update


The U.S. economy added another 113,000 jobs in January, representing a second consecutive month of below-average payroll growth. Unemployment fell by 10 basis points, reaching a recovery low of just 6.6 percent.

Although gains have not consistently met or exceeded the 200,000-job monthly threshold for sustained expansion, growth has been broadening in both industry and geography. Finally, revisions demonstrated that the recovery of late has been more consistent than previously thought, with upward revisions in November and December totaling 34,000 jobs.

Chicago’s unemployment increased for the first time in six months in December, up 10 basis points to 8.1 percent for the month but for the year. Chicago has added 554,500 positions since December 2012.

Check out our full Office Employment Update for a more detailed view of the implications of the recent employment trends on commercial real estate.

VIDEO: 2014 Commercial real estate lending forecast

Last month, our JLL Chicago Investor Services team welcomed more than 50 clients and guests for our 2014 Downtown Chicago Investor Forecast Breakfast at the Peninsula Hotel.

Among the speakers was JLL Managing Director David Hendrickson, who offered his predictions for the year ahead relative to the commercial real estate lending markets. Click on the video above (1 minutes, 15 seconds), to watch Dave give his forecast.

Looking for more? Email him at  for access to the materials that accompanied his presentation.

VIDEO: 2014 Suburban Chicago Office Investment Sales Forecast

Recently, our JLL Chicago Investor Services team welcomed more than 20 clients and guests for our 2014 Suburban Chicago Investor Forecast Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Among the speakers were Managing Directors Jim Postweiler and Bruce Westwood-Booth, who offered their predictions for the year ahead relative to the office investment sales market. Watch the video above (2 minutes, 17 seconds) to hear their outlook for 2014.

Looking for more? Email Bruce at or for access to the materials that accompany this presentation.

VIDEO: 2014 Chicago CBD Investment Sales Forecast

Last month, our JLL Chicago Investor Services team welcomed more than 50 clients and guests for our 2014 Downtown Chicago Investor Forecast Breakfast at the Peninsula Hotel.

Among the speakers was International Director Bruce Miller, who offered his predictions for the year ahead relative to the office investment sales market. Watch the video above (3 minutes, 46 seconds) to hear his outlook for 2014.

Looking for more? Email Bruce at for access to the materials that accompany this presentation.

Sizzle or Fizzle? North-suburban office market ends 2013 with mixed signals


By Dan McCarthy and Henry Lee
Jones Lang LaSalle

As was detailed in this recent article by Crain’s Chicago Business, the North submarket had a mixed fourth quarter with some positive and negative gains.

On the positive side, the largest lease transaction of the year was signed when our client Zebra Technologies agreed to a 230,000-SF lease at 3 Overlook Point in Lincolnshire. The company will be consolidating its offices from two other buildings in the submarket.

On the flip side, the start of Capital One vacating its 500,000-square-foot building in Mettawa had a negative effect. While the credit card giant will not be abandoning the suburbs all together, the vacancy will leave another large gap in a submarket that is already plagued by an abundance of large vacancies. With half of the building beginning to empty out this quarter, the other half will be vacated in the second quarter of 2014. Although this impacted total vacancy, direct vacancy decreased in both counties falling 40 basis points to 13.1 percent in Cook County and dropping a full percentage point to 18.7 percent in Lake County.

Looking ahead, we predict that the north-suburban market will continue to tighten in 2014, but that the improvement will be gradual, with tenants retaining their upper hand over landlords for the duration of the year.

Click here to dowload JLL’s complete Q42013 Suburban Office Market Insight report.

Dan McCarthy and Henry Lee advise a variety of large-space users in the North submarket, most recently representing Zebra Technologies in its lease in Lincolnshire.