Managing the Midwest / spotlight
interest groups or sell personal belongings like furniture.
“Keeping multifamily residents
happy very much depends on tech-
nology,” said Yvonne Jones, CPM,
managing director of asset and
property management at McCaf-
fery Interests Inc., in Chicago. “Res-
idents don’t want to have to pick up
the phone or fill out paperwork.”
Retailers demand Wi-Fi-enabled
locations; are trending toward re-
quiring mobile payment technol-
ogy; and need constant connection
to social media outlets. Jones said
she is in the process of building on-
line portals for her retail clients to
manage tasks like reconciliations
and rent payments to make their
“A big shift in how we deploy
technology for retailers has occurred in the last several years,” Jones said. And if retailers need it, or residents want it, property managers and their clients better provide it as competition heats up in the commercial retail and multifamily real estate markets.
Fueled by job growth, both sectors are seeing improvements in Chicago, the
Twin Cities and Milwaukee.
Chicago is becoming a popular tech hub, which is helping to fill
office vacancies. During the first quarter of 2013, the Chicago CBD
office market experienced steady rent rates and an 11. 5 percent
vacancy rate, down from 12. 2 percent one year ago.
MULTIFAMILY DEMAND MULTIPLYING
In the City of Chicago, multifamily high-rise development is expected to
swell in 2013, increasing retailer demand significantly, according to Marcus
and Millichap’s Retail Research Market Report for the first quarter of 2013.
Developers are anticipated to complete 2. 3 million square feet of retail space
in the metro area this year, up from 910,000 square feet in 2012.
Minneapolis-St. Paul touts one of the lowest multifamily vacancy rates in
the country at 2. 7 percent, according to the January 2013 report, The Compass, from Cushman and Wakefield/North Marquette Real Estate Group.
Further, construction on several large-scale housing projects is expected to
begin in 2013. That residential growth will likely spur more retail, with between 500,000 and 700,000 square feet of positive absorption estimated for
the second half of 2013.
Milwaukee is no different with elevated multifamily occupancy rates and
growing retail opportunities. However, delivery of apartment product in 2013
will outpace renter demand, according to the Marcus and Millichap Apart-
ment Research Market Report for the second quarter of 2013. Still, vacancy
is expected to remain at 3. 5 percent at year-end. Retail vacancy rates contin-
ued to fall for the fifth consecutive
quarter in the first quarter of 2013,
down to 8. 5 percent, according to
CB Richard Ellis’ Milwaukee Retail
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