Welcome to Chicago TREND

Chicago TREND catalyzes, accelerates and finances strategic retail development to drive neighborhood transformation.

Occurring in communities where retail is an appropriate lever for driving community change

Providing retail services that meet the needs of current residents and will attract desired future residents

Financially viable because it meets real emerging market demand

Significant enough to influence the neighborhood trajectory
Read more about us Read more about us

Chicago TREND is a social enterprise initially funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Chicago Community Trust. It is a centralized resource for real estate developers, retailers and community development organizations seeking to better understand the trajectories of Chicago neighborhoods and invest in profitable retail projects that can drive transformative change. Chicago TREND offers a suite of services to identify neighborhood and strategic retail opportunities, shorten the typical retail development timeline, and provide financial incentives and risk sharing for retailers and developers. More specifically, Chicago TREND delivers the following:

  • Market data and analytics that provide sophisticated and predictive market data on communities’ current state and change trajectories, shopping patterns within specific commercial corridors, corridor preferences among different demographic groups, retail corridors ripe for investment, and the likely effect of new retail development on communities
  • Development facilitation services by serving as a master broker among parties interested in strategic retail development, organizing a coalition of retailers interested in urban retail development (Retail Coalition of the Willing), providing assistance that accelerates the development timeline, and initiating new retail developments where the data and analytics indicate market opportunities for strategic retail development
  • Financing tools to allow developers to attract high-impact national and local retail tenants who will influence upward neighborhood trajectory by offering debt and equity financing to close the financing gaps that prevent them from committing

These tools create mutually reinforcing retail and community change THAT BENEFITS residents and businesses alike.

Our Services

Chicago TREND offers a suite of services that identify neighborhood and strategic retail opportunities, shorten the typical retail development timeline, and provide capital and risk sharing for retailers and developers



Market Data and Analytics – Bringing “Big Data” to Neighborhood Retail Development

Chicago TREND’s ability to enable community change through strategic retail development is dependent upon highly propriety and highly sophisticated data, analytics and predictive models combined with deep qualitative knowledge. The big data analytics are essential to do the following:

  • Identify a neighborhood’s type and likely trajectories
  • Determine where retail development can influence the neighborhood trajectory and be a driver for community change
  • Assess which kind of retail stores in a given location are likely to be financially viable, strengthen the retail corridors and influence the neighborhood trajectory
  • Evaluate site-specific market potential by store type and/or store cluster

Chicago TREND has assembled extensive data on neighborhood demographic, business, real estate, and other characteristics covering over 20 years. The team is continuously developing and refining the analytical tools needed to understand consumers’ shopping choices and households’ choices. These tools are necessary to evaluate the feasibility of alternative retail investments, assess their impacts on retail corridor performance, and determine their likely impacts on neighborhoods.

Chicago TREND’s extensive qualitative knowledge about Chicago communities is also an essential component to its market data offerings. Through its partnerships with community organizations, city and civic leaders, and developers, Chicago TREND has deep knowledge of particular communities, their characteristics, likely trajectories, and proposed public and private investments that are likely to shape both retail potential and neighborhood trajectories.

Shopper and Neighborhood Choice Survey

The Chicago TREND Shopper and Neighborhood Choice Survey is a critical component of the Chicago TREND data and analytic services, as the results are used to develop the sophisticated predictive models and understand the choices of consumers and households.

The survey responses provide a detailed picture of shoppers’ demographic characteristics (where they live, work, move from and to, own vs. rent their homes, own car, etc.) and their shopping patterns. The responses are numerous enough to evaluate the determinants of shopping and neighborhood choices and to rank the productivity and attractiveness of neighborhood retail corridors. The survey gives Chicago TREND unique insight into shopping habits, demographic transitions, and residential neighborhood choices. The analytical models based on the survey provide insight into shoppers’ preferences and why they make the choices they do, as well as preferences about residential location and why they chose the neighborhoods in which they live.

The first wave was completed in 2013 by surveying over 8,600 respondents who made 17,000 store visits. The survey collects detailed information on shoppers’ store and neighborhood choices and covers all races and neighborhoods of Chicago. The survey is expanded annually and is in progress now with a goal of 8,500 respondents.

Please take our survey now by clicking the following link.  Chicago TREND Survey


Evaluating Site-Specific Sales Potential

For a specific site being considered for a strategic retail development, Chicago TREND can provide extensive market intelligence and data that documents emerging sales potential in addition to current leakage. In collaboration with our “Retailer Coalition of the Willing™,” Chicago TREND can provide valuable site-specific analyses to retailers, designed to complement and enhance their in-house models.

The predictions generated by the analytical models will be enhanced by Chicago TREND’s qualitative knowledge about the surrounding neighborhoods, proposed new investments of all types and their likely timelines, and key local stakeholders. This combination of quantitative analysis and qualitative knowledge creates a much more nuanced understanding of likely impacts than what the data analytics alone can provide.

Development Facilitation

Chicago TREND connects parties interested in strategic retail development.  We maintain relationships with a coalition of retailers interested in urban retail development “Retailer Coalition of the Willing™,” provide assistance to accelerate the development timeline, and initiate new retail development where the data and analytics indicate market opportunities.

Chicago TREND is the nexus of information and networks relating to retail development in Chicago.  We connect macro-level infrastructure and institutional investments with micro-level changes, events, and community aspirations.

Chicago TREND has informal agreements with key city departments, such as the Department of Planning and Development, to expedite Chicago TREND-sponsored retail development projects that align with the city’s neighborhood development goals.  We advocate to move projects from the pipeline to the finish line more quickly, saving time and money and accelerating neighborhood transformation.

The Chicago TREND is a resource helping to stimulate retail development in underretailed Chicago neighborhoods.  With data, relationships, advocacy, and financing, it bolsters the ability of developers and brokers to attract and secure high-quality tenants.”


– David Doig, President, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Inc. 


Chicago TREND provides flexible debt financing that will stay in a transaction long enough to match the lease term of desired retail tenants. We have the flexibility to underwrite subordinate debt for items such as tenant fit-out or franchise fees. Our objective is to lower early-stage risk and incentivize quality retailers to open new stores in transitioning neighborhoods. Chicago TREND financing is designed to complement and leverage developer equity, traditional bank debt, public incentives, and financing from mission-driven lenders, CDFIs, and government programs.

Chicago TREND conclusions regarding tools needed to increase retail amenities in underinvested communities are corroborated by CCLF’s 2009 State Street Corridor study, which identified low-cost, flexible predevelopment, acquisition, gap, equity, and equity-like financing as products that developers would need to enable them to bring more commercial/retail projects to fruition.”
– Calvin Holmes, President, Chicago Community Loan Fund



The “innovation” of Chicago TREND is the efficacy of data, deal making and dollars.   We stand ready to work shoulder to shoulder with the following: 

  • Developers, building owners and investors interested in uncovering untapped markets and pursuing strategic retail development
  • Retailers (national, regional and local) seeking to open new locations
  • Community development organizations implementing neighborhood development plans and seeking to attract retailers and retail developers

Our Team

Chicago TREND has an esteemed Steering Committee, experienced executive leadership and expert implementation partners.

Lyneir Richardson


Lyneir Richardson is co-founder and CEO of The Chicago TREND Corporation. He is an experienced commercial and residential real estate developer with over 17 years of experience in urban retail development.

Lyneir is also a Professional Practice Instructor in the Department of Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business School in Newark, NJ, and the Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), where he leads capacity-building programs that have assisted over 400 entrepreneurs.

Lyneir has served as Chief Executive Officer of the primary economic development corporation in Newark, NJ, for two different mayoral administrations. He was Vice President of Urban Development at General Growth Properties, Inc., where he led the national initiative to bring quality shopping centers to ethnic neighborhoods in large U.S. cities. Early in his career, Lyneir founded Lakeshore Development Construction Company and was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as Illinois Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He started his career as a corporate attorney at the First National Bank of Chicago.

Lyneir is a graduate of Bradley University and the University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the International Economic Development Council. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council, New Growth Innovation Network, Newark Arts Council and the Cook County Land Bank, and has served as Vice Chairman of the Illinois Housing Development Authority Trust Fund Board and as a Commissioner on the Chicago Plan Commission.

Gretchen Kleinert


Gretchen Kleinert is COO of The Chicago TREND Corporation. She joined the firm in January 2019, bringing experience in community and economic development, real estate economics, project management and program design. Prior to joining TREND, Gretchen was Vice President at RW Ventures, LLC, where she worked for nine years, providing thought leadership for complex, innovative economic growth projects and managing multi-firm project teams, a diverse array of client and stakeholder relationships and firm operations. She has also served as the Director of Research for World Business Chicago and as a Project Manager for S.B. Friedman & Company, a Chicago-based real estate and development advisory firm. Gretchen holds a BA in Statistics, with a second concentration in Economics, from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

William J. McIntosh III

Director, Real Estate Finance and Small Business Services

William is the Director of Real Estate Finance and Small Business Services for The Chicago TREND Corporation. He joined the organization in November 2020 after working as a corporate banker with PNC Financial Services Inc. for seven years. At PNC he developed lending relationships with lower middle-market to large corporate institutions across the bank’s footprint. In addition to business development responsibilities, William served in roles within a diverse set of verticals including credit underwriting and portfolio management, equipment financing and debt capital markets. In his role at TREND, William supports economic development opportunities with his financial acumen and market knowledge and engages with diverse business owners across the Chicagoland area. William graduated from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, FL with his Master’s in Business Administration, with a focus on Finance & Accounting, from the institution’s accelerated Professional M.B.A program.

Robert Weissbourd


Bob, co-founder of Chicago TREND, is highly regarded for completing sophisticated economic analysis on urban markets and designing market-based strategies for regional and community economic development. For Chicago TREND, he provides strategic leadership, oversees data and analytics work, and supports deal facilitation and other client services.


Richard Voith, Ph.D., CRE.


Dick’s firm collects and analyzes data for the Chicago TREND annual survey and assists in developing and continually refining TREND’s models and analytic tools for predicting neighborhood trajectories, consumers’ shopping choices, and households’ residential choices. Dick also works closely with TREND’s Retailer Coalition of the Willing™ to develop new tools for assessing market demand and the likely impact of new retail on communities and other retailers.


Patricia Adell


Patricia provides real estate transaction structuring consultancy services, financial analyses, and public/private financing strategy to Chicago TREND.


Calvin Holmes


For Chicago TREND, CCLF will complete the underwriting process and propose loan terms and conditions, close approved loans, and provide loan servicing and portfolio management services.


Chicago TREND is guided by the strategic advice of a steering committee consisting of senior executives and thought leaders representing retailers ,developer, brokers, bankers, investors, trade, government and community development organizations. Together we all work to refine Chicago TREND’s strategy, services and priorities.

David Baum

David Baum is a leading figure in Chicago’s real estate development and retail leasing communities. Since co-founding Baum Development, LLC in 1989 and Baum Realty Group, Inc. in 1991, David has cultivated the business from a startup company into an award-winning commercial and residential development firm and Chicago’s leading retail brokerage firm. Chicago-based Baum Realty Group (BRG, www.baumrealty.com) is one of the nation’s premier retail brokerage firms. For more than 20 years, the award-winning company has provided comprehensive real estate services for a diversified clientele of top property owners as well as national, regional and local retailers such as Starbucks Coffee, FedEx Office, US Bank, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, and many others. David is often a featured speaker for real estate and business groups, universities and forums and was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 Under 40” leaders and was featured in Real Estate Chicago’s “40 Under 40” edition as well.

Joel Bookman

Joel Bookman is the President and CEO of Bookman Associates, Inc., providing consulting services in economic development, comprehensive community development, commercial corridor development, and strategic planning. Previously, he served as managing director of the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development, a venture of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and director of programs for LISC Chicago.  At LISC Chicago, Bookman guided the work of LISC staff in its New Communities Program, Elev8 Education Initiative, and its Centers for Working Families. The New Communities Program is a 10+-year program to support comprehensive community development in 16 Chicago neighborhoods. Over the past 35 years, Joel Bookman served as the executive director of the North River Commission and the Lawrence Avenue Development Corporation (LADCOR) and the chief executive officer of the Kimball Plaza Development Corporation (KPDC) and the Mayfair Commons Senior Living Center LLC, on Chicago’s northwest side. He has served as a consultant in strategic planning, economic and community development, and nonprofit management since 1981. Joel is a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

John Bucksbaum

John Bucksbaum is founder of Bucksbaum Retail Properties, LLC.  John previously served as chairman and CEO of General Growth Properties, Inc., a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which had ownership and management interest in over 200 regional and super regional shopping malls in 44 states. The company portfolio totaled approximately 200 million square feet of space.  John received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado in 1978. Professional affiliations include the following: past worldwide chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), trustee and member of the executive committee of ICSC; past chairman of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at The Wharton School, and trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). In addition, John serves on the boards of the University of Chicago Hospitals, The Field Museum, the Chicago Sports Commission, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, USA Cycling, the Paralympics Advisory Committee to the U.S. Olympic Committee, Young Presidents Organization and the Advisory Board of the Chicago Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

Todd J. Cabanban

Todd J Cabanban, one of the founding principals of Cabanban, Rubin, & Mayberry LLC, has demonstrated a sure command of the metropolitan Chicago commercial real estate market over a 22-year career. Todd has spearheaded the leasing for a number of significant developments in the city, such as Sherman Plaza at 87th and the Dan Ryan, South Loop Marketplace, the Roosevelt and Ashland Jewel/Osco Center, the Osco center at 67th Street and Stony Island Avenue, and also in the suburban markets, with Broadview Village Square and Gurnee Town Center. Todd spent 10 years building a strong company as a founding partner of Zifkin Realty & Development. Prior to Zifkin Realty, Todd was executive vice president and managing director of retail brokerage at Hiffman Shaffer Associates. Todd also sits on the state committee for ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers). He is a board member and president for the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International and an active mentor for the Eisenberg Foundation. Todd’s civic duties include being the board chair for the Leaning Tower YMCA in Niles, Illinois, as well as serving on the board of managers for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. He is an Indiana University graduate and holds an Illinois Brokers real estate license.

Derek R. B. Douglas

Derek R.B. Douglas joined the University of Chicago in January 2012 as the vice president for civic engagement. In this role, he leads the university’s local, national, and international urban development and civic engagement efforts. He also spearheads the university’s efforts to work in partnership with the surrounding South Side neighborhoods, city, region, nation, and globe to advance urban economic development, enhance the quality of life for residents, and enrich the work of university faculty and students through research, education, and direct engagement. From 2009 through 2011, Derek  served on the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC) as special assistant to President Barack Obama, where he led the DPC’s work on urban and metropolitan policy issues. Prior to working in the White House, Derek served as Washington counsel to New York governor David A. Paterson and director of Governor Paterson’s Washington, D.C. office. In this capacity, Derek served as the governor’s chief architect for federal policy and oversaw federal policy development and advocacy on domestic, economic, and urban policy issues for the state of New York. Douglas graduated from the University of Michigan with highest honors in Economics and from the Yale Law School.

Meghan Harte

Meghan Harte serves as the executive director of the Chicago office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). A national leader in comprehensive community development, LISC Chicago’s mission is to connect neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier. Meghan oversees a professional staff of 13, an active real estate loan portfolio, and an annual organizational budget of $8 million. Prior to joining LISC Chicago, Meghan served as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s deputy chief of staff. Previous to working in the mayor’s office, Meghan was vice president at AECOM. She also served as the managing director of resident services for the Chicago Housing Authority. Meghan served as a deputy chief of staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley and held positions surrounding the 1996 Democratic National Convention and the 2012 NATO Host Committee. Meghan holds a B.S. degree from Vanderbilt University and received her JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She serves on the Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, is on the board of Special Children’s Charities Chicago and is a volunteer coach at ABC Pilsen.

Greg Hummel

Greg Hummel is a senior partner at the national and international law firm Bryan Cave LLP. He is based in Chicago, where he leads the firm’s public private partnership practice. His work involves real estate development and finance, as well as, public and project finance. His 40-year career unfolded first as counsel to leading national developers, architect/engineers, construction companies, and commercial and investment banks. Today, Greg’s practice focuses on the economic development and job creation activities of cities, states and other units of government both in the United States and abroad. He has advised public and private clients on public finance and economic development strategies all over the world including the governments of New Zealand and its capital city Wellington, New South Wales, Australia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. cities of Chicago, Raleigh, and Hartford. Another facet of his practice is incentives where he has obtained financial benefits for private sector clients in the form of grants, tax credits and/or tax exempt debt in over 20 U.S. states. Greg also serves as legal counsel to some of the nation’s largest banks, construction companies and real estate developers, for whom he handles all facets of acquisition, zoning, construction, financing, leasing, management and disposition of office, retail, industrial, and residential projects. Greg Hummel is a graduate of MacMurray College (BA) and Northwestern University School of Law (JD).

Carl Jenkins

Mr. Carl A. Jenkins serves as a senior advisor at Penta Mezzanine Fund. Carl serves as a managing director and head of community investments for BMO Harris Bank N.A. Carl oversees Community Reinvestment Act investments targeting lower middle market companies and community-based real estate development in all BMO Harris markets. He  manages a team and investment portfolio with commitments exceeding $500 million and covering the states of Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington and Wisconsin. He served as a commercial real estate lender for BMO Capital Markets and the BMO Harris Community Development Lending team. He has been with Harris since 2000. Previously, Carl served as a vice president at BMO Harris Bank National Association. Carl spent eight years with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). He began his professional career in 1986 as an architect. He serves as a member of financial advisory board of Patriot Capital, L.P. He serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, Cook County Land Bank Authority, Disability Opportunity Fund, Small Business Investor Alliance, Chicago Sinfonietta, Goodman Theatre, the Illinois Facilities Fund, and the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. Carl earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. He also holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina.

Lauren G. Lowery

Lauren G. Lowery is both a principal and managing broker at Finders Plus Real Estate and FP Commercial Real Estate based in Chicago, Illinois. Lauren is responsible for business strategy, new business development, retailer relationships, and retail advisory services for FP Commercial. Throughout Lauren’s extensive and diverse 20-year career, she has been involved with the development and representation of retail and residential properties throughout the greater Chicagoland area with an emphasis on Chicago’s urban, downtown, and South Side communities. FP Commercial Advisory Services has provided real estate related counsel to the city of Markham, Illinois; The Bronzeville Retail Initiative; Edgewater Development Corporation; Neighborhood Housing Services of Illinois; and West Humboldt Park Development Corporation. Lauren received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a Master of Arts in Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, Carruthers School.  Lauren is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, an Illinois state licensed managing real estate broker, and is a professional certificate candidate at NeighborWorks America in community revitalization. Lauren is also a member of the Society of American Archivists, holds a professional certificate from the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives and Record Administration in Washington, D.C. and the immediate past vice president of the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association.

Cynthia McSherry

Cynthia McSherry is the executive director of the Urban Land Institute Chicago, one of the first district councils of ULI-the Urban Land Institute. ULI Chicago, with over 1,300 members, continues to be the leading voice for improving state and local land use policy and development practices in the greater Chicagoland area. She has been an integral link in the chain of progress for ULI Chicago for over 18 years. Cynthia is also president and founder of McCarthy, McSherry and Associates, Ltd. (MMA), started in 1990, offering a flexible, creative, and individual approach to meeting, event, and management services including organizational management from board development and strategic planning to fundraising campaigns and volunteer recruitment. Prior to building her own company, Cynthia acted as the executive director of the Three Arts Club of Chicago, a landmark residential facility for women in the arts, responsible for the overall building management and maintenance of this historic property on the Chicago’s Gold Coast. As an assistant dean of students for the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, her tenure was spent soliciting funds from both private and public institutions and individuals for minority student scholarships.

Jeff Malehorn

Jeff Malehorn is the president and CEO of World Business Chicago (WBC), where he is responsible for the attraction, expansion and retention of companies to Chicago. Jeff leads the implementation of the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, which was produced by WBC at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s request and is the outline for the city’s overarching economic development efforts. Jeff reports to WBC Chairman Mayor Emanuel and Vice Chairman Michael Sacks and works closely with WBC’s distinguished board of directors and the mayor’s office. A GE Company officer since 2001 and Chicagoland resident since 2004, Jeff was previously president and CEO of GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance. Additionally, he served as co-leader for GE Capital, Americas Commercial Council. Prior to that, he served four years as president and CEO of GE Healthcare Financial Services. An experienced global leader who has spent the majority of his career growing financial services businesses, he was president and CEO of GE Commercial Finance’s Global Financial Restructuring business based in Tokyo, where he led teams buying distressed debt in Europe, Asia and the Americas. He is the outgoing Metropolitan Chicago American Heart Association board chairman and is a board member for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Junior Achievement, and was a founding Midwest board member for BuildOn.

James E. Matanky

James E. Matanky of Chicago, Illinois, is president of Matanky Realty Group and heads the development and brokerage arms of the company. He is the immediate past chairman of the Illinois state planning committee of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and is ICSC certified in executive leadership (CRX), leasing (CLS), development (CDP), shopping center management (CSM), and marketing (CMD). He currently serves as the North American chair of the ICSC Ambassador Program and is the Midwest divisional operations chair. He regularly participates as a panelist for both the ICSC and the Urban Land Institute. James has worked with the city of Chicago as a mentor for retail redevelopment and has served on the Chicago Building Department Commissioner’s advisory panel as well as the Illinois Food Marketing Task Force, tasked with determining strategies to eliminate food deserts around the state. James was honored as a recipient of the Chicago Neighborhood Developer of the Year Award multiple times for his work in Chicago’s underserved communities. He was also honored as a recipient of the Chicago Good Neighbor Award. James received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Illinois, College of Law and is an honorary fellow of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. James graduated with honors from the University of Illinois with degrees in finance, accounting, and law. He earned an honors graduate degree in law from Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.

Michael A. Mitchell

Michael has more than 30 years of project management and real estate development experience. His experience spans both project and asset management experience with residential and commercial real estate. Michael graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1985. A decade later Michael founded an affordable housing development consulting firm to partner with HUD, local governments, financial intermediaries, and community development organizations to develop and build sustainable supportive and affordable housing developments across the country. Michael has served on the boards of several non-profits, including the South Side Community Federal Credit Union where he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for a 6-year period. He is former board director and member of the executive governance committee of The Woodstock Institute. He has served as a board member of The Renaissance Collaborative, has sat on the board of St. Edmund’s Redevelopment Corporation and is a former member of the Community Investment Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Mr. Mitchell is currently President of Mitchell Development Consultants INC, a community based residential/commercial development and construction firm located in Chicago, Illinois.

David Reifman

David L Reifman was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to be the city of Chicago’s commissioner for the Department of Planning and Development, effective Sept. 1, 2015. Prior to this appointment, David was a partner at DLA Piper in Chicago where he spearheaded a variety of major economic development projects and large-scale planning initiatives throughout the city. A native Chicagoan, David specializes in zoning, land use planning, tax increment financing, historic preservation, and public-private partnerships. David brings a long career in complex development deals that combines community economic development, affordable housing development, job creation, and neighborhood engagement. Some of his projects include representing Unilever Manufacturing in seeking development expansion of its Hellman’s facility in Little Village; redevelopment of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Wilson Yard site, which now has a Target, Aldi, and affordable family and senior housing; and redevelopment of the 200-acre Ryerson site in Pullman, which includes Method, as well as additional space for neighborhood retail and commercial uses. He also represented the Chicago Cubs during the team’s renovation and expansion of historic Wrigley Field. David earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Illinois. He received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

Lyneir Richardson


Lyneir Richardson is co-founder and CEO of Chicago TREND. He is an experienced commercial and residential real estate developer with a track record of attracting retailers and businesses to urban areas.Lyneir is a faculty member at Rutgers Business School and leads the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. He was recruited by former Mayor Cory Booker and served as chief executive officer of the primary economic development corporation in Newark, New Jersey for over five years. He was also vice president of urban development at General Growth Properties, Inc. where he led a national initiative to bring quality shopping centers to underserved neighborhoods in U.S. cities. Prior to General Growth, Lyneir founded Lakeshore Development & Construction Company and was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as llinois Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He started his career as an attorney for the First National Bank of Chicago. Lyneir is a graduate of Bradley University and the University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of Urban Land Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers and International Economic Development Council. He has served on numerous nonprofit and civic boards, committees, and commissions.

Cynthia Stewart

Cynthia Stewart is a senior community relations and public policy executive with a commitment to public-private partnerships and corporate social responsibility.  She worked her way up through the ranks in the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Office of Global Public Policy to Vice President of Community Development where she and her team promoted sound development and public-private partnerships (P3) though its P3 Retail Program. Prior to ICSC, Cynthia was chief of staff to Maryland State Senator Jim Simpson. She also served at the municipal level in both Illinois and South Carolina as deputy city clerk, city clerk and community development assistant. She completed her B.A.A.S. in public administration from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, and completed the University of Shopping Centers School for Economic Development, the ICSC School for Professional Development, and in 2019 she graduated from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility. During her 21-year career at ICSC, Cynthia served on various councils and committees including the Brookings Institution’s Urban Markets Initiative Advisory Council, the U. S. Conference of Mayors’ Business Council Steering Committee, and the National League of Cities Corporate Partners Council.

Robert Weissbourd

Robert Weissbourd founded RW Ventures, LLC in 2000, after serving for ten years in executive positions at Shorebank Corporation, including as co-manager of Shorebank Chicago Companies and of Shorebank Advisory Services. He was a lead developer of MetroEdge, the Center for Financial Services Innovation and the Urban Markets Initiative. Bob is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Center. Bob served on the Obama Transition HUD Agency Review Team and as chair of the Obama for America Campaign Urban and Metropolitan Policy Committee. Bob has been active for over 25 years in community and civic organizations. He has served as president or vice president of the boards of the City Colleges of Chicago, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Crossroads Fund, Businesspeople in the Public Interest and PROCAN, as well as on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School and the Advisory Committees for the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development, (Chicago) Mayor’s Technology Advisory Committee, CWICSTATS (research advisory board to the Chicago Workforce Investment Council), Brookings Metropolitan Economy Project and Brookings Urban Markets Initiative. Bob clerked for federal Judge George Leighton, after receiving a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. from Yale University.

Contact Us

For questions regarding our services, please contact

Lyneir Richardson, CEO of Chicago TREND
E-mail: lrichardson@chicagotrend.com
Phone: 312-624-3136