Category Archives: Retail

Does It Really Matter Where Customers Shop?

        Does It Really Matter Where Customers Shop? By Bridget Lane, Director, Business Districts, Inc. The headlines about 2017’s all-important holiday sales season have come out and they seem contradictory… Shopping center traffic is up, internet sales break records, 91% of shoppers surveyed by Deloitte plan to shop online, millennial and Gen Z Shoppers are brick-and-mortar’s essential future. What is the truth? The key to reconciling these headlines is understanding the difference between shopping and buying. Shopping is deciding what to purchase and buying is both a … Read More

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ULI Chicago in 2015: Removing Barriers, Building Partnerships, Engaging Community

ULI Chicago is advancing its mission of creating healthy, sustainable communities with the generous time of our members, and with the support and commitment of our sponsors.  Here are some of the 2015 highlights… BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS ULI Chicago is partnering with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to make it easier to reuse older buildings that are an essential component of the rich and diverse urban fabric of Chicago. Engaging industry and community leaders from around the City has provided the Partnership with a strong understanding of the most significant … Read More

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ULI Chicago Addressing Retail Challenges with Suburban Clusters

ULI Chicago is continuing to convene clusters of neighboring suburban communities as a part of its two-year Retail Initiative to share best practices, and to foster a regional, collaborative approach towards retail development. In July, ULI Chicago convened two separate meetings in South Holland, Calumet City and Lansing in south suburban Cook County and Winthrop Harbor, Beach Park and Zion in northeast Lake County. Mayors, municipal board members, and economic development professionals from each community participated in the meetings. ULI Chicago members, Bridget Lane, Director, Business Districts Inc., Todd Berlinghof, … Read More

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ULI Chicago Retail Initiative Sponsors Retail Cluster Workshop in Lake County

As a part of its on-going retail initiative, ULI Chicago convened a cluster of five neighboring communities in Northwest Lake County in early June to engage them in a discussion on challenges and opportunities for retail development. Elected officials and staff members from Hainesville, Lakemoor, Round Lake, Volo and Wauconda were in attendance. ULI Chicago retail workshop panelists, Bridget Lane, Director, Business Districts Inc., and Todd Berlinghof, Partner, Hamilton Partners presented the framework for successful retail development prepared by the ULI Chicago Retail Workshop in Fall 2014. They presented available resources and engaged all … Read More

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ULI’s Senior Resident Fellow, Maureen McAvey, Talks Retail

ULI’s Senior Resident Fellow and Bucksbaum Family Chair for Retail, Maureen McAvey, has been instrumental in leading the ULI Chicago Retail Initiative through its early stages. During a recent visit to Chicago, Maureen shared her thoughts on the challenges facing retailers and communities today and how ULI can help address these issues. What retail issues are on your radar right now? There are big demographic changes underway. One of the largest demographic cohorts today, Generation Y (people born between the early 1980s and early 2000s), is ethnically diverse and well-educated. … Read More

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ULI Releases Retail Report co-authored by Chicago Member

A new ULI report, Retail in Underserved Communities, explores factors that hamper retail development in some lower-income communities, offers solutions to overcome the dearth of shopping options for neighborhood residents, and includes case studies exploring how retail development sparked revitalization efforts. The report is co-authored by ULI senior resident fellow Maureen McAvey and ULI Chicago member, Bridget Lane, director of Business Districts Inc. in Evanston, and is based on observations from industry experts at a ULI forum held in February 2014 that included representatives from ULI, the U.S. Department of … Read More

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ULI Chicago Launches Retail Initiative with 2-day Workshop

ULI Chicago kicked off its 2-year retail initiative by convening a workshop on October 29-30, 2014 to address the challenges that suburban communities face in maintaining and attracting successful retail developments. The workshop brought together 15 experts including retail developers, investors, public sector representatives, planners, and engineers to help define the framework that must exist for retail development to thrive in the 21st century. Retail development is especially challenging because retail markets are constantly shifting and evolving, and are rarely defined by political boundaries. Our suburban communities are increasingly dotted … Read More

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ULI Chicago Participates in Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC) Workshop

The City of Chicago organized a workshop on July 30 for over a hundred leaders of Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations in the City to provide them with resources and strategies for strengthening and supporting their local business districts. ULI Chicago was invited to participate in the workshop to highlight its role as a potential partner and resource. ULI Chicago Members, Jim Kaplan, Managing Principal, James Kaplan Companies LLC, and Matt Otto, Division Manager, Apex Companies LLC made a presentation regarding ULI Chicago’s Technical Assistance Panels that have helped … Read More

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Winnetka Plan Commission/Zoning Board Discuss ULI Chicago TAP Recommendations

April 14, 2014 – Winnetka Talk – Plan commission, zoning board to look at Winnetka overlay district After reviewing several recommendations regarding the village’s retail overlay district, the Winnetka Village Council passed those recommendations to their lower boards for further discussion. The Urban Land Institute’s study of Winnetka’s overlay district was first given to Winnetka’s Business Community Development Commission in November. The BCDC then brought suggestions to the Village Council at an April 8 study session. The recommendations presented by the BCDC include allowing non-retail services within the overlay district, … Read More

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ULI Fellow, Maureen McAvey, Comments on Shifting Retail on NPR

February 17, 2014 – NPR – Demographic Shifts Contribute To The Changing Face Of Retail So far this year, retail chains have announced some heavy cuts. J.C. Penney said it would close 33 stores. Macy’s said it would lay off 2,500 workers. Sears will close its flagship Chicago store in April. That’s creating a glut of excess space. But that’s just one of several forces changing the face of retail.  Listen to full story on All Things Considered on NPR Learn about ULI Chicago’s new Retail Working Group and the grant that Maureen … Read More

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