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Michigan Plaza’s New Outdoor East Plaza Has Major Tenant Appeal

Chicago, IL | September 22, 2022

Even before the pandemic, outdoor amenities were increasingly a lure for tenants. While new developments are futureproofing their tenant appeal with outdoor spaces, older buildings have to find creative ways to invest in nature-focused amenities. Solutions for buildings without outdoor space include balconies and terraces, rooftop gardens, and outside plazas. Michigan Plaza, 205 and 225 North Michigan Avenue, invested in a full floor of new amenities and an impressive lobby upgrade before settings sights on a new outside location for tenants to utilize. Michigan Plaza’s new East Plaza is a superb example of an older building getting it right when it comes to adding a touch of the great outdoors.

Office Buildings Bring Art to the Masses: 181 West Madison

Chicago, IL | September 15, 2022

Large-scale art in an office building lobby creates a sense of accessibility, engages visitors, and welcomes tenants. Take 181 West Madison, for example. As people stream through the downtown building's lobby every day, all they need to do is look up and left or right to absorb massive pieces by contemporary artist Frank Stella.

Part 4 of Award-Winning GMs: The Path to Running a Successful Office Building

Chicago, IL | May 19, 2022

Among the many differences between our general managers, there appears to be one consistent trait: a willingness to mentor those around you. In our fourth and final Q&A with our award-winning GMs, we get more insight into the importance of mentoring your team, and the positive ripple effects that can have on your properties.

Part 3 of Award-Winning GMs: The Path to Running a Successful Office Building

Chicago, IL | May 11, 2021

Before the pandemic, a building's overall amenities had become increasingly important as employers looked for more incentives to lure and retain employees. As we transition out of the coronavirus pandemic, this trend is intensifying. To get a better idea of the current state of the office atmosphere, we spoke to our four award-winning general managers.

Part 2 of Award-Winning GMs: The Path to Running a Successful Office Building

Chicago, IL | May 05, 2021

At MBRE, we’re fortunate to have four award-winning general managers among our ranks. In the second part of our "The Path to Running a Successful Office Building" series, we discussed how good general managers build relationships by listening and being present with staff and tenants alike—and the buildings they manage are the better for it.

Part 1 of Award-Winning GMs: The Path to Running a Successful Office Building

Chicago, IL | April 27, 2021

While the route to becoming a general manager can seem like a straight line, there are often detours for those who become successful at running large office buildings. So how do you become the general manager in the Chicago commercial real estate market? At MBRE, we manage some of the coolest office buildings in Chicago, and we’re fortunate to have four award-winning general managers among our ranks. We interviewed these bright individuals, attempting to discover what twists and turns led them to their roles. In this first part, we discuss the diverse experience during their careers that led them to this point.

Women in Commercial Real Estate

Chicago, IL | March 01, 2022

Since the first Women’s History Month in 1982, March has been a time to celebrate women’s past and present contributions to the country and world at large. March is also a time to highlight the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality. More than ever, MB Real Estate supports the continued fight for gender equality in CRE and our community, and we recognize the complexity of achieving true parity. In this piece celebrating women and their achievements, we learn the stories of a handful of MBRE’s outstanding women professionals and why it’s important for women to have a seat at the table, from their point of view.

Chicago Commercial Real Estate: 10 Things to Watch in 2022

Chicago, IL | January 19, 2022

In our Top 10 Things to Watch in 2022 list, we discuss what may or may not happen in the Chicago CBD and suburban CRE markets in 2022. Issues like workers’ demand for hybrid work models, how hybrid work models change office space needs, the future of Chicago’s mega developments, the growing trend of adaptive reuse, and more are discussed. Read our full list of the Top 10 Things to Watch in 2022.

Chicago Commercial Real Estate: 10 Things We Watched in 2021

Chicago, IL | December 29, 2021

As the world transforms away from being in a pandemic and starts to navigate a potential endemic, commercial real estate perseveres. Coronavirus, the Delta variant, and now Omicron—it’s difficult to see how the world has changed in the past year. Nevertheless, the commercial real estate industry has definitely done more than tread water the past 12 months.

Back to the Office - The "New Workplace"

Chicago, IL | July 06, 2021

Remember mid-2020 when everyone started to speculate what offices might look like going forward? With coronavirus seemingly being tamed, we can finally start to move forward. Consensus is projecting that there will be fewer physical changes and alterations than initially anticipated. Instead, existing offices are expected to operate with fewer people occupying them at any given time.

The Eight Realities of Post-Pandemic Office Life

Chicago, IL | June 28, 2021

It is time for companies to address some big office space questions: Should employees continue to work from home, or is in-office collaboration a priority? Should all employees shift to new, permanent, work-from-home and in-office strategies immediately, or is an adjustment period required? With extensive experience creating unique solutions for office buildouts big and small, the MBRE Workplace Strategies team has an unparalleled view of the twists and turns many offices will soon take. Within this piece, we take a closer look at some of the return-to-work office themes and issues that companies need to consider.

Bike Rooms: A Valued Tenant Amenity

Chicago, IL | May 24, 2021

When summer 2020 hit, an unintended consequence of the pandemic was a sizable increase in demand for bikes as commuters flocked to alternative forms of travel. Will everyone who bought a bike during the pandemic become an all-season, two-wheeled, pedaling road warrior? Doubtful. But those who do take to biking, whether it’s just during the warm months or year-round, will find that many buildings—certainly the ones managed by MBRE’s asset management team—already cater to their travel choice.

Healthcare Out of the Hospital

Chicago, IL | April 26, 2021

The healthcare market has taken a massive shift toward offsite development—we know, because MBRE has been heavily involved. The trend of smaller outpatient facilities has only been spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to rise and shift even after the world is vaccinated and Covid-19 is a memory. Offsite healthcare is nothing new, and MBRE is here to help you take a deep dive into this ever-evolving world.

Chicago Commercial Real Estate: 10 Things to Watch in 2021

Chicago, IL | January 25, 2021

2020's problems may continue to linger, but the office space market is far from dead. In fact, we see several trends on the horizon for the Chicago central business district and suburban market. What have we identified for the year ahead? Right now, we've got our eye on the suburban market due to millennials finally leaving urban life—will they soon fill suburban offices? We've also examined the life sciences industry, with multiple megadevelopments shifting to accommodate the growing industry, along with new office worker schedules for the post-pandemic world. Read our full list of the Top 10 Things to Watch in 2021.

Chicago Commercial Real Estate: 10 Things We Watched in 2020

Chicago, IL | December 18, 2020

12 months ago, COVID-19 was barely on America’s radar and had little hold on the development of what we tracked in our previous edition of “Ten Things to Watch.” Now, a year later, some of what we attempted to intuit has been derailed (the Southwest Loop’s expected explosion of incoming workers has fizzled), notes on industry stagnation have multiplied (the Central Loop’s shadow space problems still loom), and some aspects of the industry have proven to be surprisingly resilient (coworking space may have a future after all). On the following pages, we re-evaluate our ten issues against the events of a tumultuous 2020.

The Development of Cannabis Facilities

Chicago, IL | October 26, 2020

Cannabis facility development remains both a hot topic and, in many ways, the wild west! It is a relatively new frontier with many different and continually developing approaches. MB Real Estate’s Project Services team has been a leader in cannabis real estate development. Whether developing cultivation and processing centers or dispensaries, our experience in the life sciences, healthcare, and commercial sectors gives us a unique advantage in understanding cannabis real estate projects.

Looking Past the Pandemic: Likely CRE Outcomes

Chicago, IL | October 01, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown out everyone’s January 2020 predictions for the CRE world. So what new factors are in play for the coronavirus-altered trajectory of the commercial real estate world? From health concerns to changing amenities and evolving lease terms, we’re re-examining 2020 through the lens of what we now know. One prediction: things are not as apocalyptic as they seem.

MBRE Webinar with Dr. Emily Landon, University of Chicago Medical Center

Chicago, IL | September 03, 2020

Tuesday, August 25, MBRE hosted another informative webinar for our clients with a leading epidemiologist, so that our property management teams could interact with the source for the best COVID-19 safety practices for buildings and tenants.

MBRE Webinar with Dr. Emily Landon, University of Chicago Medical Center

Chicago, IL | June 10, 2020

Thursday, June 4, MBRE hosted an incredibly successful webinar for our clients with a leading epidemiologist, allowing our commercial real estate partners to go right to the source for the best COVID-19 safety measures for modern offices.

A Statement from Peter Ricker, CEO of MB Real Estate

Chicago, IL | June 03, 2020

An internal memo from Peter Ricker to the employees of MBRE.

The Realistic Phases of Returning to the Office Post-COVID-19

Chicago, IL | May 11, 2020

Within the MB Real Estate Project Services department, we have realized that there's no one-size-fits-all solution for businesses as they return to offices in Chicago and beyond. Each situation has different considerations based on existing conditions, business strategies, budgets, and more.

Growing as a Tech Company in Chicago

Chicago, IL | March 16, 2020

Chicago’s tech industry keeps growing. Despite this, finding an ideal tech space for your fledgling company isn’t difficult. How do you choose the right space? Find someone who’s already connected techies to their future spaces...

Chicago Commercial Real Estate: 10 Things to Watch in 2020

Chicago, IL | January 08, 2020

The 2020 real estate market has hit the ground running, and you don’t want to be left behind as the Chicago central business district and suburban market determine the future. From the growing tech sector to the revival of coworking spaces, groundbreaking megaprojects and new city and state laws, we looked at the top 10 factors that will affect the local commercial real estate market over the next year. Within our list of the Top 10 Things to Watch in 2020, we attempt to determine how the chips—for better or for worse—will fall.

Chicago Commercial Real Estate: 10 Things We Watched in 2019

Chicago, IL | December 19, 2019

At the beginning of 2019, we focused on 10 things that would drive the commercial real estate market in Chicago. As the year comes to an end, we’ve examined which issues were resolved, and which have yet to be settled one way or another. A new mayor in Chicago has yet to fully define her office, and the booming economy still contains many skeptics. Chicago developments like Lincoln Yards soldier forward, tech companies continue to expand, yet it’s still difficult to predict how future generations will affect the office market in the city and suburbs.

Managing Construction of Cannabis Facilities

Chicago, IL | November 25, 2019

For the last 18 months, MBRE’s Project Services team has been a leader in cannabis real estate and currently manages construction of marijuana cultivation and processing facilities in five states. While each facility has unique physical and regulatory concerns, David Graff, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Project Services has noticed general trends and issues common amongst most projects of this kind.

Get in the Loop: Core Values

Chicago, IL | November 20, 2019

At the beginning of November, MBRE’s Kevin Purcell hosted a group of Central Loop owners, investors, and their management teams. The focal point of the discussion was how to make the Central Loop a more interesting and vibrant area for everyone. We invite all owner and investors in the Central Loop to contribute their voices and ideas – together, we will create a stronger vision.

Get in the Loop: What Owners Need to Know (Now)

Chicago, IL | October 04, 2019

What should the Central Loop to do with big tenants flocking to other submarkets, leaving several million square feet of space behind? On Wednesday, September 25, we were joined by a panel of experts for our Get in the Loop, What Owners Need to Know (Now) event for an enlightening discussion on what it will take for the Loop to attract large users.

MBRE-Managed Public Spaces Energize Downtown Chicago Beyond Business Hours

Chicago, IL | July 23, 2019

Fulton Market and River North aren’t the only places in downtown Chicago with exciting stuff to do when the office is closed. You may not think of Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, or Chicago Riverwalk when making your late night and weekend plans, but these MBRE-managed public spaces offer activities for the whole family well past business hours, every day of the week.

Don’t Be a Menace: Managing Major Renovations Without Inconveniencing Your Tenants

Chicago, IL | June 18, 2019

Renovations are a necessary part of keeping your commercial building up-to-date and competitive. But having construction done in a busy building can create major disruptions for tenants and a big headache for property management teams. Hear from MBRE’s SVP & General Manger of Michigan Plaza Steve Hennessey about how you can reduce the hassle and keep tenants happy with a solid redevelopment management plan.

Get in the Loop: Let's Get Started

Chicago, IL | June 11, 2019

Chicago’s Central Loop is losing the battle for sought-after tenants to Fulton Market, River North, and West Loop. Attracting giant brands like Google, Facebook, and Salesforce means more than adding some nice amenities to your building. In the second part of our Get in the Loop blog series, we discuss action steps owners, brokers, and other CRE professionals can take – together – to make Central Loop a thriving Chicago neighborhood once again.

Never Miss Another Business Opportunity with the Perfect Elevator Pitch

Chicago, IL | May 20, 2019

A good elevator pitch can be what stands between you and your company’s next big client. However, so few of us actually put in the effort to develop a quick and effective narrative that we can use on the fly about why an investor, prospective client, or potential business partner should give us the time of day. We put MBRE’s asset management team to the test and asked them to create an elevator pitch for their properties.

Get in the Loop: Making Central Loop a Place Where Companies Actually Want to Office

Chicago, IL | May 07, 2019

Chicago’s Central Loop is losing the battle for sought-after tenants to Fulton Market, River North, and West Loop. Attracting giant brands like Google, Facebook, and Salesforce means more than adding some nice amenities to your building. For property owners, managers, and leasing agents invested in the once flourishing district, it means thinking outside your four walls and working together to reposition the Central Loop as a lifestyle destination.

Earth Day is a Time to Celebrate, but Sustainability is a Year-Round Commitment

Chicago, IL | April 22, 2019

For Earth Day, we’re celebrating the hard work of our Asset Management team who has successfully implemented energy saving practices across our entire portfolio, reducing our carbon footprint and minimizing operational costs for our clients. But every day, we acknowledge the importance of these initiatives, the dedication of our amazing staff, and that sustainability is a year-round commitment.

Reviving a Legacy: Once a Servant to the Underserved, Old Cook County Hospital Will Once Again Bring Life to Chicago’s West Side

Chicago, IL | March 25, 2019

Constructed in 1913, the Old Cook County Hospital’s contributions to modern medicine are well-documented. However, County’s contributions and historical significance to Chicago’s minority communities are perhaps just as profound.

Women in Commercial Real Estate

Chicago, IL | March 04, 2019

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s past and present contributions to our country and the world at large. In addition to recognizing the incredible strides women have made socially, politically, and economically, Women’s History Month is also a time to acknowledge the work still to be done in order to reach full gender equality. In this piece celebrating women and their achievements, we learn the stories of MBRE’s amazing women professionals and why it’s important for women to have a seat at the table, from their point of view.

The Challenges of Relocating a Corporate HQ

Chicago, IL | February 04, 2019

Relocating a company’s HQ is both a more complex process than your typical relocation and a move that is critically important to a company’s business functions. Learn tried and true strategies for successfully relocating your client’s next HQ from MBRE’s EVP and Managing Director of Corporate Services, Andy Davidson.

MBRE Forecast: 10 Things to Watch in 2019

Chicago, IL | January 07, 2019

Every new year brings change, and major transformations are already unfolding in 2019 – especially in Chicago. A new political playing field, an uncertain economy, and a shifting paradigm for how and where companies choose to office leave a lot of big questions unanswered about the city’ future state of affairs. MB Real Estate has put together this list of 10 things to watch in 2019 that will determine the fate of Chicago’s commercial real estate market to keep you informed throughout the year.

Cannabis Facilities in Commercial Real Estate

Chicago, IL | November 28, 2018

As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana, the cannabis industry has become a rapidly emerging market in commercial real estate. Learn from MBRE's EVP & Managing Director of Project Services David Graff what CRE professionals must consider when working with clients in this booming business.

Public Space as an Office Amenity

Chicago, IL | October 09, 2018

MBRE Research Associate Jeffrey Waldo discusses some of Chicago's most popular public spaces and their effectiveness within urban theorist William Whyte's framework for what makes such spaces successful.

Repositioning Your Commercial Property

Chicago, IL | September 24, 2018

Office tenants’ expectations for building perks and amenities have never been higher, meaning your building could benefit from a major update. Ellen Trager of MBRE’s Leasing Services division gives her insight into the advantages of repositioning your office property and the most effective approach for accomplishing the project.


Chicago, IL | July 06, 2018

The Fulton Market neighborhood is currently one of the hottest destinations for tech in Chicago. Craig McCaw of MBRE's Corporate Services division discusses why Fulton Market is a desirable location, where tech companies previously gravitated, and how it compares to other areas nationally.

Is Subleasing Right For You?

Chicago, IL | May 29, 2018

If you've ever considered subleasing, you know how challenging it can be to effectively market your space and iron out lease terms with your landlord and potential subtenants. MBRE Corporate Services' Elise O'Connor gives her take on why some companies choose to sublease and the value of working with a commercial real estate professional.

Transparency in Offices

Chicago, IL | May 21, 2018

Marc Schwartz, our Director of Workplace Strategy, provides his thoughts about physical transparency in today's office design and the relationship between social interaction and physical spaces.

Dog Lovers Rejoice – 333 North Michigan Lets You Bring Your Pup to Work

Chicago, IL | March 13, 2018

What makes the work day just a little better? How about a dog-friendly office? Effective immediately, tenants at 333 North Michigan can bring their furry friends to work – any floor, any time.

The Latest and Greatest Tenant Amenity? Modern Art.

Chicago, IL | October 31, 2017

To compete in the CRE amenity wars, owners of CRE are offering everything from tenant lounges featuring guest baristas to yoga and meditation rooms. The owners of the Inland Steel Building, also known as 30 West Monroe, are appealing to the cultural side of life and have installed the internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor’s piece, Blood Mirror.

You’re Invited: The Daley Plaza Will Now Host Your Private Events

Chicago, IL | September 05, 2017

Long recognized for its cultural significance in downtown Chicago, the Richard J. Daley Center's Daley Plaza is now available for private and commercial events.