U. of C.’s new dorm could transform Woodlawn into a college neighborhood

The University of Chicago is starting the final phase in a decade-long plan to pull its undergraduate students out of apartment buildings in Hyde Park and move them to new dorms closer to campus. On Tuesday night, the university announced plans for a new 1,300-bed residence hall on the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and 61st Street. When the Woodlawn Residential Commons opens in 2020, it will mean that for the first time ever more U. of C. undergraduates will live in Woodlawn than in Hyde Park.
February 22, 2018

On Far South Side, a small bakery tries to keep pace with its own big dreams

Laine’s Bake Shop is almost undetectable from the street in the Far South Side neighborhood of Morgan Park. The windows of the brick storefront, a former post office, are covered with dark curtains. The smells of vanilla, ginger and peanut butter don’t quite reach the sidewalk. Inside the tiny bakery, though, business is booming.
February 6, 2018

County agency plans to redevelop site near Obama Center

A Cook County agency designed to give new life to distressed houses is getting into the commercial property game, with its first such project just blocks from the site of the future Obama Presidential Center.
January 30, 2018

The Death of Retail Is Greatly Exaggerated

The retail industry is alive and well, despite the stories of doom and gloom that have dominated headlines. Yes, some sectors, namely the big box, department stores and some apparel-focused retailers, are in doom-and-gloom territory. And “alive and well” does not mean that any sector can avoid the fundamental strategic and structural transformation necessary to survive.
January 3, 2018

7 Best Retail Blogs Of 2017: Must-Reads For Brick And Mortar Retailers

As a retail consultant, speaker, and trainer for some of the best retail brands in the world, I get on a lot of lists. 2017 was no exception. I was included on lists put out by Fit Small Business' Best Retail Blogs, Vend’s Top Five Retail Influencers, Shopify’s Top Four Retail Blogs Every Small Business Entrepreneur Should Be Reading, RIS’s Most Influential People For 2018, and my personal favorite, Feedspot’s list of Top 100 Retail Blogs And Websites for Retail Industry Professionals ... where my blog and website are listed as number one on the planet.
January 3, 2018

The Future Of Retail In The Age Of Amazon

The Mall of America’s terrazzo floors, glazed white like doughnut frosting, ribbon out in every direction, creating a vast mirror maze of consumerism with 520 glassy storefronts. Shoppers, who have escaped an endlessly gray Bloomington, Minnesota, sky on a Monday morning in October, drift through the largest mall in the United States like tourists at an Atlantic City buffet.
November 27, 2017

Movie Theater, Creole Restaurant Planned For South Shore

SOUTH SHORE — Developers unveiled plans Tuesday night for a new movie theater and restaurant complex in a former bank in South Shore. Alisa Starks, who developed movie theaters in Chatham and Lawndale, said at Tuesday night’s 5th Ward meeting that she plans to demolish the former Urban Partnership Bank at 7054 S. Jeffery Blvd. and build an entertainment center.
October 7, 2017

New two-story retail development on its way to Chicago’s Chinatown

Last week, the City of Chicago issued a new foundation-only construction permit for a two-story garage and retail complex slated for the intersection of 23rd Street, Archer, and Canal in Chinatown. Spotted by the keen-eyed users on the Chicago forum at Skyscraper Page, the upcoming development will include 40 micro-sized “commercial condo units” and parking for 74 vehicles.
October 7, 2017

There Will Be More Retail Stores Opening Than Closing In 2017

You read the headline right, there are more retail stores opening this year than there are stores closing. You may say, but when I walk down almost any shopping street, I see so many vacancies where there were previously tenants, so... how can there be more openings than closings?
September 12, 2017

New Strip Mall Eyed For Englewood; City Selling 5-Acre Lot To Sterling Bay

ENGLEWOOD — City officials plan to sell a long-vacant five-acre lot in Englewood for $1.3 million to a high-profile developer in an effort to build shops and stores along Wentworth Avenue near 69th Street.
September 11, 2017