Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Below are articles that caught our attention the week of July 16.
- Two local executives are tapping a key part of Chicago’s cultural history – the blues – to revive Block 37 on State Street. Plans are in the works to develop the mall into “The Blues Experience,” which includes a blues-oriented museum, a nightclub and musical classrooms. The project would spread over four levels of the property, covering approximately 80,000 square feet.
- A venture led by Crown Commercial Real Estate & Development Inc. paid $7.25 million for 168 N. Michigan Ave. The 12-story, 76,000-square-foot tower is 100 years old and will be turned into a hotel with a restaurant and rooftop bar. Another Crown-led venture previously owned 168 N. Michigan Ave. and sold it for $13 million in 2008.
- In the midst of Navy Pier’s redesign, attendance at Navy Pier is surging and broke previous records with 1.35 million visitors in June alone. For the first six months of 2012, attendance was up 18 percent to 3.5 million.
- Fast-growing data analytics firm Sagence Group selected Chicago for its new headquarters. Sagence signed a 9,500-square-foot lease at 525 W. Monroe St. and has plans to expand to 245 employees within three years.
- The Chicago-area retail vacancy rate declined for nine consecutive quarters, while average asking rents continue to rise. The local retail vacancy rate fell to 9 percent in Q2 2012, citing a “slow and steady recovery.” In another positive sign for the local retail market, Virgin Mobile USA opened its flagship outlet in Lincoln Park. The flagship could be part of a 25-store rollout in the Chicago area.
What headlines caught your attention this week? Leave us a comment and let us know.