Former Potbelly Real Estate Leader Moves To Cushman & Wakefield

{Source: By  / Crain’s Chicago Business}

Tracey Fitzgerald

Tracey Fitzgerald

The real estate executive who oversaw sandwich chain Potbelly’s rapid national expansion in recent years has been hired by Cushman & Wakefield, where she’ll focus on helping landlords sign new tenants.

Tracey Fitzgerald has joined the Chicago-based commercial real estate brokerage as a senior director. Fitzgerald said she will be on a small team of brokers representing owners of about 7 million square feet of retail property in the area.

She’s switching sides on dealmaking, after representing a fast-growing tenant in Potbelly. Her move comes as many traditional retailers scale back store counts, and as other sectors, such as fast-casual restaurants, gobble up new spaces.

“I’m able to offer landlords the perspective from a national, publicly traded company, as far as having an eye for what’s important to retailers and understanding which brands will continue to need bricks-and-mortar stores,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s only a small group of brokers who focus on the landlord side of the business, so it’s a great niche. I think we can more than double the size of the portfolio.”


{Source: By  / Crain’s Chicago Business}

Tesla Opening Showroom Near Mag Mile

{Source: Crain’s Chicago Business /}

Electric-car maker Tesla is plugging into a new retail space near the Magnificent Mile, about a year after a Michigan Avenue deal fell apart.

Tesla Motors has a deal to open an approximately 5,000-square-foot showroom in the 900 North Michigan Shops, according to people familiar with the deal.

The Gold Coast space on the Rush Street side of the mall is just north of 800 N. Michigan Ave., where the electric-car company late last year was working on a deal for a 10,000-square-foot showroom…READ MORE

900 North Michigan Shops To Get Food Hall

{Source: Crain’s Chicago Business /}

The owner of the 900 North Michigan Shops mall is talking with restaurant groups as it looks to create a food hall, a concept that has taken off in Chicago and other large cities.

JMB Realty, the Chicago-based owner of the six-level shopping mall, is in preliminary stages of planning the food hall, 900 North Michigan Shops spokeswoman Stacy Kolios said. “We think it’s a great fit for us,” Kolios said. “We’re looking for the right partner to make it happen.”…READ MORE

Cushman & Wakefield Picks Wacker Drive Tower For New HQ

{Source: Crain’s Chicago Business /}

Just over a year after announcing Chicago as its new global headquarters, Cushman & Wakefield has chosen a long-term home: the top four floors of a Wacker Drive office tower.

The commercial real estate brokerage signed an 12-year lease for 83,033 square feet in the 31-story tower at 225 W. Wacker Drive, the firm said. After the move sometime around April, that space will be the company’s Chicago office and its headquarters.

The deal will consolidate workers from two other Wacker Drive buildings. Cushman & Wakefield has about 97,000 square feet combined at 200 S. Wacker and 77 W. Wacker, where DTZ was based before it merged with then New York-based Cushman & Wakefield in a $2 billion deal completed in September 2015…READ MORE


PHOTOS: 4th Annual Cushman & Wakefield Chicago Retail Team Client Event

How Retailers Are Appealing To Young People

{Source: /}

LAS VEGAS—Whether using iPads to assist with customization to providing the option to order online with in-store pickup and returns, retailers are finding ways to appeal to millennials, say Cushman & Wakefield directors from across the country in this EXCLUSIVE Q&A on the subject below,  we asked one simple question: How are retailers in your market appealing to young people? The answers might surprise you.

Michael O’Neill, senior director in New York City: By incorporating technology to create a more efficient, simpler, and more modern shopping experience.  Interactive screens coupled with utilization of iPads and other mobile devices is becoming commonplace for shoppers today. Technology is relevant to the in-store experience but arguably more as a means to attract customers and build brand awareness. The majority of the retailers resonating with today’s youth are on the cutting edge of social media trends and have created highly visible digital profiles.

Danny Jacobson, senior director in Chicago: I think retailers are changing everything, not just to appeal to the younger population but to populations of all ages.  Retailers know they need to give their customers more of an experience within their space so the stores are more than just a place to buy their goods.  With the growth of e-commerce, providing the customer with a physical experience within the space is becoming so much more important than ever before.

Matthew Fainchtein, senior director, and Carter Magnin, associate, both in Los Angeles: Brands are appealing to millennials by incorporating technology into the shopping experience. This ranges from using iPads to assist with customization to providing the option to order online with in-store pickup and returns. Many brands are expanding their marketing by aligning themselves with specific lifestyle activities and sponsoring things like musical tours and cultural events. They’re now positioning themselves to sell a lifestyle—not just merchandise.

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Versace Returns To Chicago; Brand Opens New Store In The Windy City

{Source: Fashion Times /}

Italian luxury label Versace just opened a two-story, 4,951-square-foot flagship at 933 North Rush Street in Chicago. Back in 2000, the brand shuttered its only store in the windy city.

“We took a hiatus [from Chicago] because, frankly, we wanted to do some work on the brand. As sometimes happens in luxury, we had overextended and our product was too widely available,” Versace’s chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris told WWD.

“We consolidated — we closed some doors, we developed a new strategic growth plan, we focused on accessories and a few other things. And now we have just completed five straight years of double-digit growth. It’s time to return to Chicago, to show the evolution and growth of the brand to this great city and clientele. We feel that North Rush Street reflects the present luxury customer balancing both the cosmopolitan and local spirit,” Ferraris said.

There are currently 21 Versace stores in the U.S., including Chicago.

Dior also plans to open a women’s boutique next door to Versace’s new store on Chicago’s Rush Street sometime this year, WWD reported.

Last week, Versace also reported strong 2015 results. Its revenues for 2015 have grown by 17.5 percent to $709.5 million. The brand plans to open more stores and also expand its e-commerce.

“Versace had an outstanding year in 2015, showing resilience in the face of a tough environment for the global luxury industry,” Ferraris said in a statement, according to Luxury Daily. “Under the creative leadership of Ms. Donatella Versace, we have a unique point of view in fashion, a high quality product and growing engagement with the new generations. In the past 12 months Ms. Versace and her formidable creative team have continued to strengthen Versace’s fashion language, and to infuse the brand with relevance to today’s luxury consumers.”

{Source: Fashion Times /}

Just Salad Opens Trendy NY Chain’s First Midwest Location


{source: Eater /}

It’ll serve more than just salad.

Is salad the next trendy food concept? If so, Just Salad hopes its getting in on the ground floor in Chicago, as its opening its first domestic location outside the New York City area tomorrow on the ground floor of 20 E. Jackson St in the Loop. The expanding fast-casual salad chain operates 19 locations in New York City plus spots in New Jersey, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.

The basis of the food concept revolves around an array of healthy salad options that can also be made into wraps: 15 salads live on the main menu in addition to a seasonal menu, soups, and a smoothie bar. The chain champions its use of local in-season produce, affordability and nutritional transparency, as the vast majority of dishes are under 500 calories before adding dressings. The Chicago-specific seasonal menu, which you can read below, includes the “Windy City Kicker” (romaine, hot Italian pork sausage, giardiniera, parmesan, green peppers, celery, red onion).

{source: Eater /}

What Donatella Has to Say About the Future of Versace

{Source: Michigan Avenue Magazine /}

The mainstay of modern Italian fashion toasts an American future with a new Chicago boutique.

When Chicago’s first Versace boutique opened on Oak Street in 1986, it was the Milanese luxury brand’s largest location in the world. Thirty years later, Versace makes a Midwest comeback with a dazzling, just-opened 5,000-square-foot space at Rush and Walton.

“I’m obsessed with the future,” says contemporary fashion queen Donatella Versace, who oversees the entirety of the brand’s incarnations in her role as artistic director, from ready-to-wear to advertising campaigns to Versace-branded hotels. “I’m not interested in what has been, but what is about to happen. To me, the past is boring.”

Versace’s Spring/Summer 2016 women’s ready-to-wear collection is—characteristically—anything but. Military-style jackets are cinched at the waist and worn as micro-minis, bold prints of leopard and zebra are pieced together like patchwork, and elements of delicate raw edges and lace add a soft finish to more-structured pieces. And while Versace is known for its barely-there styles, there are plenty of options for transitional Chicago weather, including chic suiting in an array of patterns and colors and playful sportswear separates. Slick interpretations of the classic Palazzo bag, in shades of black, olive, and crimson, as well as platform shoes, add the perfect finishing touches.

Supporting the collection is a new Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign shot by fashion photographer Steven Klein and conceived by Versace, who says she was inspired by the concepts of empowerment and individuality. Featuring models Gigi Hadid, Raquel Zimmerman, and Natasha Poly in the foreground, with martial-arts expert Lukasz Grabowski gazing from the distance, the campaign was shot on the stark white salt flats of California’s Death Valley.

“This is the Versace woman today, an individual who is proud of her own character,” says Versace of the striking images. As for the Versace woman of tomorrow? Without a doubt, the 60-year-old designer— who took over the house’s creative duties from her late brother Gianni, the company’s founder, in 1997—already has a clear idea of where she’s headed.

“Versace is more than just a brand to me. It is family, and its DNA and traditions are in my blood,” she says. “What interests me is taking those traditions and pushing them forward into the future.” 935 N. Rush St., 312-445-9750

{Source: Michigan Avenue Magazine /}

Hannah’s Bretzel To Add Three Locations After Surviving Gluten-Free Trend

{Source: Chicago Tribune /}

Who’s Hannah? And what’s a bretzel?

If you can’t answer these questions, you likely haven’t been to Hannah’s Bretzel, a self-described “uber” sandwich, salad and soup shop with a pronounced organic and green bent. Florian Pfahler opened his first Hannah’s Bretzel shop in May 2005 at 180 W. Washington St.

Since then, it’s grown to five locations. But it’s been two years since Pfahler opened a restaurant. He plans to add three more Chicago locations within a year.

So what about that name? Hailing from Stuttgart, Germany, Pfahler spent a dozen years in other jobs, including six at Leo Burnett, Pfahler decided to open a sandwich shop named after his older daughter, Hannah, and the “bretzel” or pretzel bread he enjoyed in Germany.

{Source: Chicago Tribune /}