News from the Chicago Chapter

Solid Economic Fundamentals, Robust Apartment Market and Evolving Retail Sector Key Topics at IREM Chicago Mid-Year Market Review

Posted by [email protected] on 07/11/2019 12:51 pm  


Six Members Installed July 10 for Earning IREM Designations, News Shared on IREM Cares Day and Upcoming Chapter Events

The strong local economy in 2019 has been driven by job growth, a demand for office space and the sheer size of the metropolitan Chicago market. Development of new multifamily assets remains robust, as more properties coming online are geared to specific market segments. Owners of retail properties need to be creative to attract tenants in the growing online economy.

These thoughts summarize key points made by panelists during the IREM Chicago Mid-Year Market Review held at the July 10 Chapter meeting and luncheon. A crowd of more than 100 members, guests and Industry Partners attended the event at Gene and Georgetti’s restaurant in Rosemont. Danny Nikitas, principal and managing director at Avison Young, led the discussion.

The first presenter, Brandon Svec, director and market economist at CoStar Group, employed a PowerPoint presentation to share data and insight on the state of the region’s economy and employment. “Real estate is macro driven by the capital markets,” he said. “There’s still positive momentum in the macro economy.” He noted the “office using jobs” – those in financial and professional services and communications – is leading to growth and absorption in the office sector.

The perspective on the multifamily market was provided by Gail Lissner, CRE, managing director of Integra Realty Resources. A “tremendous amount” of new apartment buildings have been completed in Chicago in recent years, and “leasing continues at a very strong pace,” she said. Micro units geared to the Millennial demographic are being built, along with apartments for the age-restricted market, such as tenants older than 55 years of age.

Development of high-end apartments and office properties has been positive for retail landlords, said Deena Zimmerman, vice president at SVN. Fitness centers, fast-food casual restaurants and health and beauty stores have leased space in newer upscale properties. Regarding the impact of online shopping on traditional retail, Zimmerman offered this perspective: “There’s only so much online shopping you can do. Stores still need to have a bricks and mortar retail presence. Retailers need to be nimble and stay ahead of the trends.”

In discussion following the presentations, members of the audience posed questions on escalating property taxes in Cook County.  Comments from the panel included:

  • Expect commercial property taxes to rise, with the highest levels in the apartment sector.
  • Property reassessments my impact future sales.
  • There may be tax caps of 5 to 8 percent on triple-net leases.
  • Property managers should keep owners and tenants up-to-date on the evolving property tax situation.


IREM Chicago 2019 President Kris Haskins, CPM®, welcomed those in attendance to the mid-year Chapter luncheon. She recognized IREM Chicago members Nick Helmer, CPM®, for celebrating 45 as a Certified Property Manager and Bill Cody, CPM®, who celebrated 39 years holding the designation.

During the meeting, 2009 President Kimm Donnelly, CPM® led the installation ceremony for these members who recently earned IREM professional designations:

  • Sarah Wall, ACoM®, Blue Star Properties
  • Kevin Cooky, ARM®, Draper and Kramer
  • Katherine Feehan, ARM®, Draper and Kramer
  • Shaun Reed, ARM®, Holston Management Corporation
  • Tasha Rush, ARM®, A&R Katz Management
  • Kelli Stuart, ARM®, Draper and Kramer

During the meeting, Chapter Treasurer Steve Schimmel, CPM® shared news on upcoming Chapter events, including:

  • The IREM Chicago Golf Outing and Silent Auction August 5 at Kemper Lakes.
  • A tour and luncheon at the Abt Electronics facility in Glenview on August 21.
  • The September 11 Chapter luncheon and meeting, with a presentation by Dr. Debbie Phillips, CPM®.
  • A Wrigley Rooftops event September 17, when the Chicago Cubs take on the Cincinnati Reds.
  • One Year Later – a behind-the-scenes revisit tour of the Old Main Post Office on October 10.

Chapter Secretary Colleen Needham, CPM®, ARM® reported on an effort by IREM Chicago to build awareness for the impact legal cannabis and the JUST Housing laws will have on property managers. And, June McCrory, CPM® provided an update on the work completed June 27 as part of the IREM Cares Day volunteer effort on behalf of LYDIA Home, the Chapter’s official 2019 charity.

These IREM Industry Partners and their representatives sponsored the April meeting and luncheon: