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Retail Initiative

What does retail development need to survive and thrive in the 21st century? A key question being addressed in ULI Chicago's two-year Retail Initiative.

Retail Initiative

ULI Chicago’s multi-year Retail Initiative brings best policies and practices in retail development directly to community leaders. Our goal is to help foster an environment where communities can collaborate to attract strong, sustainable retail as an integral part of their built environment. 

Attracting and sustaining healthy retail development continues to be a challenge for most Chicago area communities even in the post-recession economy. Changing demographics, lifestyles and the steady rise of e-commerce are altering the retail landscape rapidly, making it necessary for communities to re-evaluate their competitive position in the market as well as their retail development strategies.

While each municipality and neighborhood has its unique challenges and opportunities, the underpinnings of creating and sustaining healthy retail remain largely unchanged. Recognizing that, ULI Chicago Retail Initiative has developed the following tools for communities:

Tools for Communities
Retail Report. The report provides an overview of major trends affecting retail development and best practices findings based on ULI National’s research and ULI Chicago’s local programs completed as a part of its Retail Initiative.

Retail Primer. The Primer is a 3-step “checklist” that municipalities can use to understand what type of retail development is supportable in their community and the steps needed to translate the development potential into reality.

The Primer is designed as a working document for a community’s planning and development team – we encourage you to download it today!

Retail Discussion. ULI Chicago has presented its Retail Workshop recommendations and the Retail Primer to clusters of communities throughout the Chicago area to promote resource sharing and cross-collaboration.  Read about ULI Chicago Retail Cluster Meetings.

To schedule a retail discussion in your community, please contact ULI Chicago at 773-549-4972.

Continuing the Conversation
Recognizing that the retail landscape is continuously changing and has shifted considerably even since ULI Chicago first launched its initiative in Fall 2014, we will continue to compile latest relevant research on our website to complement the information and strategies presented in this report. So be sure to check back often!