Browse Tag: Chicago

Adaptive Reuse: From Newspaper Printing Plant To Data Center

picture of QTS Chicago data center
QTS Chicago Data Center.

Gail Kalinoski’s piece in Commercial Property Executive focuses on a big adaptive reuse story in Chicago. At 317,000 SF, the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper built for the future, but not the future of newsprint.  Its printing presses fell largely silent and its need for logistics fell away as demand for daily news printed on paper was obliterated by the world wide web.

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McDonald’s HQ Set To Return To Downtown Chicago — On The Site of Oprah’s Studio

Harpo Studios, headquarters of talk show host ...

Crains Chicago Business reports that McDonald’s corporate HQ is bugging out from its sprawling suburban Oakbrook, IL campus back to a locale it once called home — downtown Chicago.  The reasons seem to stem from the classic reverse-migration of white collar workforces from suburban enclaves to metropolitan districts. Beyond that, the fast-foot behemoth’s business woes might play a role in the decision as well.

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The Next America: Connecting All Neighborhoods to Opportunity

thenextamerica
Panelists discuss urban revitalization in Chicago on Wednesday.

Urban centers and national demographic trends are meeting to produce significant opportunities and challenges for commercial development. A panel convened this week in Chicago to face these head-on in a session that illustrated practical commercial development outcomes across Chicago, and showed how the future of cities – and real estate profit –  is tied to inclusion.

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Is Chicago’s Infrastructure Trust A Bust?

Chicago Skyway Tollbooths

When the now-embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced, shortly after his 2011 election, his plan to create an infrastructure trust, the idea sounded pretty good — at first. When the details came out  — that the trust would be a private, opaque financing platform separate enough from government to not be beholden to public inquiry or FOIA requests — many privatization-weary Chicagoans braced for the worst. And why not? It turns out that so many Wall Street style “innovations” in real estate and infrastructure finance (the Chicago-style TIF comes to mind) do less to address civic need than they do to provide unaccountable disbursements to developers of already-desirable city land.

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The New Industrial Midwest: Chicago’s South Side Data Centers

Chicago Skyline
Chicago Skyline (Photo credit: Frank Kehren)

Giant commercial properties built in the early 20th century to handle the business of an entire country — to bake its bread or to print its mail-order catalogs — don’t often age well.  They meet their end close to a century later with a swing of the wrecking ball.  Some, spared that fate, languish in blight, abandoned testaments to market forces long having evolved.

The industrial midwest has plenty of of these empty shells shadowing communities that once depended upon them for economic vitality.  But in Chicago, the local stretch of the rust belt that girds North America is  being reshaped by new market forces and the fiber optic cable they travel upon. The next industrial midwest is rising in the old one’s walls: data center retrofits.

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Chicago’s Central Business District: Capital Attraction Against Other Markets

IMAG0649Localism is inevitable sometimes in real estate. But when the topic is huge metro areas, at least some macro trends tend to hold up across different metro areas.  The flow of investment capital to Chicago’s downtown office market may not tell much about similar flows to CBDs in Dallas or to New York, but the ways in which capital is matched with office demand are worth study no matter what market you’re in.

This week’s Chicago State Of Office conference (follow the link for a description of the conference panel)  took a good look at the Chicago central business district’s sell and buy sides for office square footage.

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Mart And Science: Merchandise Mart’s 21st Century Transformation Underway

English: Merchandise Mart, Chicago, Illinois. ...
Merchandise Mart, Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Time to indulge in a little blatant localism.  Just a short trip along the river from NAR’s downtown Chicago headquarters downtown is the Merchandise Mart, that massive 1930 monument to merchandising and architecture of the early 20th century.  Its four million square feet see 20,000 visitors and tenants passing through its art deco doors every day, most in the retail and wholesale business. But a recent 15-year, 600,000 sq. ft. deal involving a technology giant creates a lot of upheaval, changing the mix significantly while it projects the Mart well into the 21st century.

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