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 September 24.
- The Medinah Country Club in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago is hosting the Ryder Cup this week. The biennial golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States is considered a world-class event, attracting thousands of international guests that have an estimated economic impact of $130 million. For both the suburbs and the City of Chicago, the Ryder Cup is a chance to demonstrate its assets to a well-heeled crowd in hopes that they will return for business meetings or a full-fledged relocation. This week, some BOMA/Chicago building members have switched to red, white and blue lighting as a show of support for Team USA.
- Hospitality Properties Trust agreed to purchase Hotel 71, the 437-room hotel at 71 E. Wacker Dr. The hotel, which has an ideal location but has suffered from a lack of investment since the economic downturn, may receive a new name.
- The New York Times featured Chicago, and most notably the Merchandise Mart, as a rival to Silicon Valley. According to The Times, the entire River North neighborhood is being transformed by the Merchandise Mart transitioning to tech company tenants. As additional evidence, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced technology firms will create 2,000 jobs in Chicago collectively by 2015. Companies such as GrubHub, BenchPrep, kCura and Networked Insights will each create between 120-300 jobs in the next few years as they continue to expand in Chicago, further reinforcing Chicago’s image as a tech hub.
- The Wirtz family is planning to renovate 333 N. Michigan Ave., a marquee Art Deco historic tower, to attract new office and retail tenants. The $25 million renovation will include revamping lower-level facades and adding a new entrance on the Wacker Dr. side of the building.
- Although occupancies and rents at Chicago-area commercial properties are rising, local firms remain nervous about hiring. Chicago commercial real estate jobs decreased in Q2 2012 by 2.9 percent from one year ago. Job cuts in the Chicago-area construction industry likely account for much of the decline, which dipped below 100,000 in Q1 2012 for the first time since 1985.
What headlines caught your attention this week? Leave us a comment and let us know.