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RECAP: IAR Commercial Real Estate Panel | September 5, 2014 | Commercial Main N State

As the new Chairman of Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe) Commercial Committee I attended the 2014 annual Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) convention in Chicago. The main reason I was there was to attend the Commercial Panel. From my understanding that IAR hosting a commercial real estate panel is not a very common occurrence. 


The panel was made up of very active and very respectable commercial real estate (CRE) practitioners; Todd Cabanban of Cabanban, Rubin & Mayberry, LLC, Chris Irwin of Jamison Commercial Real Estate, JoAnn McGuinness of Inland Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. and Scott Weinstein of Kovitz ShifrinNesbit Law Firm - moderated by Wayne Caplan of Sperry Van Ness Chicago Commercial.


I thought this was a great event and enjoyed listening to the insight of the professionals on the panel. Many topics were covered and I will provide the highlights below. The disappointing part of the entire panel session was there was only around 20-25 people in attendance. As I am only 2 years in of being a REALTOR® and now the Chair for MORe's Commercial Committee I am learning there is a strong need to push Commercial REALTORS® to be more active with IAR, National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and their local associations. The other aspect is the associations themselves and organizations need to do more to help their REALTOR® commercial real estate brokers. But that is a whole other conversation!



  • Discount retailers staying strong
  • Rents fell in suburbs - has not seen a fast rise in rental rates over the past year
  • Main and Main retail locations are experiencing rents at 2005 levels, though 1 mile away locations are still at 2008/2009 levels
  • Positive: recession weeded out the weak; shops consolidated; closed under-performing stores; leaving the best of the best.
  • Currently Landlords are feeling confident in the market and not agreeing to stipulations of retailers; Landlord motto: "Just say NO"
  • Supply/Demand: 2007: 8 million SF under construction | 2011: 1 million SF under construction | Past 18 months: 2.3-2.6 million SF under construction


Strong Tenants in Market

  • Food - quick paced restaurants (like Chipotle)
  • Yoga
  • Purebar
  • Native food
  • Urgent Care/Immediate Care within Retail Space
  • Health life style businesses

CAP Rates

  • High credit Tenants are negotiating lower rents due to owners able to sell asset with a 5% CAP Rate (Ex. McDonald's) 
  • Grocer locations such as Mariano's is trading at 5% CAP Rates

Pop Up Stores

  • Stores such as Halloween stores, national owners like as they negotiate one lease for their portfolio across the country. Down time of the leasing season.
  • Seeing more and more licensing agreements in place of leases for short term deals - start up concepts/seasonal
Kristian Lee (88 Posts)

Kristian is a licensed Illinois Commercial Real Estate REALTOR since 2003 working with small to medium sized businesses locally and nationally as well as owners of real estate from office, retail to industrial at Village Commercial. in Frankfort, IL. Kristian specializes in branding each property he represents through different marketing tactics, boots on the ground and the latest technologies gained from his experience. For each tenant representation assignment he becomes his client's "in-house" broker walking them through the process from initial meeting till occupancy. He is the founder of Commercial Main N State, a blog and VBlog providing tips and market rental trends to small businesses on #CRE. He currently on the Board of Directors of the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors®

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