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Mid-America Blog

Sep 17 2015
Destination... Rochester, Minnesota?
The city of Rochester, Minnesota has long been synonymous with the world renowned Mayo Clinic. Over the next 20 years the city will be synonymous with one word: GROWTH. This is due to Destination Medical Center or as it is more commonly referred to DMC.

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Sep 14 2015
2015 Urban Grocery Study
I recently completed my biennial Urban Grocery Study that I launched in 2009. The purpose of this study of local and national grocer penetration was not only to aid my existing grocery client in their market knowledge, but also to put some basic supply and demand numbers to this critical driver of our industry. The results and trends in two year increments are always fascinating, and while the study only covers my specialty of “Urban” Chicago (+/-3 million people and +/-1 million households), its fairly representative of Chicagoland grocery landscape as a whole.

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Aug 17 2015
Working Next to Bob Sugar
Success for some people depends on being able to have full concentration, complete silence and absolute attention to detail. The ability to go into your office and... work! Well lucky for me, I’m not one of those people. You see, at Mid-America Michigan, those of us that are situated at the east end of the office are treated to a much different work environment. I thought I’d share with you what it’s like to work in the office adjacent to Jack Uhazie. Or – when he’s really trying to impress someone on the phone – Bob Sugar.

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Aug 04 2015
Commercial Real Estate - An Industry of Reputations
Over the years, I’ve come across my share of disreputable brokers and “used car salesmen” that fit the cartoon’s description. But for the most part, and a big reason why I’m still in this business, is because of the quality people and strong relationships I’ve developed over the years with clients, fellow brokers and tenants.

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Jul 28 2015
Winning the Game of Retail
The retail environment can sometimes seem like the audience at a game who is either cheering for your victory or booing you off the playing field. As retailers struggle to stand out in a recovering post-recession market place it has become more important than ever to understand who your customer is and what drives them to make a purchase.

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Jul 21 2015
Chipotle’s New Southeast Asian Concept
Steve Frishman and I (as well as fellow Mid-America brokers Tony Schmidt and Adam Drier from Michigan and Wisconsin, respectively) recently attended a Chipotle Development Conference for two very sunny days inside of a large dark conference room at The Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, FL. Chipotle Mexican Grill was kind enough to invite sign vendors, general contractors, food suppliers, architects, engineers and, most importantly, their real estate brokers as a token of their appreciation for our combined efforts to help make them arguably the most successful restaurant company in the United States. And, on many levels, one of the most successful restaurants in the world.

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Jul 14 2015
Wisconsin – Health & Wellness (& Happiness) Initiative
As part of the Wisconsin office’s goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle, we decided to partake in an organized, office-wide 5k run. Every year, Milwaukee hosts Bastille Days which opens with a Thursday night “Storming of the Bastille” that includes 5,000+ participants making their way through downtown Milwaukee via a 5k run or 2-mile walk.

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Jul 01 2015
A Half Marathon Once a Month For One Year
At least three days every week, I attend a gym on Lake Street in Bloomingdale, owned and run by Dan Luif. I am Dan’s very first customer and for a little while, I was Dan’s only customer. Now he has every unit in the tiny strip mall except the end unit. No…we don’t manage it. Dan enjoys motivating me (by motivating, I mean bugging) with remarks like, “you never challenge yourself!”, “you only work out so you can eat more!”, “you’re making me look bad!” and other whiney stuff. In an attempt to silence him, I impulsively signed up for a half marathon each month, for twelve months in 2013 and began my training.

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Jun 24 2015
5 Things Retail Consumers Unknowingly Teach Us About the CRE Industry
Within the last few years of working in the commercial real estate industry, I’ve grown accustomed to the blank stare and lack of follow up questions when talking to friends and family (aka the consumer) about my job, the current events in my industry, and my daily “deal dramas”. It’s certainly not because of a lack of intelligence, but it’s hard to be genuinely interested or ask the appropriate follow up question when you don’t think you understand an industry you don’t work in.

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Jun 18 2015
An Unforgettable Experience
In 1971, the first Starbucks café opened its doors in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. It was a local one store outfit that would later evolve into the mammoth company we know today.

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Jun 10 2015
GM to Invest $1 Billion in Detroit-Area Tech Center
The GM Tech Center, an iconic facility that has long served as one of the auto industry’s storied hubs of car design and engineering, has been approved for a $1 billion makeover. Currently, the campus is home to more than 19,000 employees. General Motors has announced that they will invest $1 billion in its Warren, Michigan Technical Center campus, creating approximately 2,600 new salaried jobs to support future business growth at the National Historic Landmark site.

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Jun 03 2015
Don’t Forget About the Relationship
It seems as though we rarely experience a day where there is not an announcement about new technology being introduced into the business place. From cell phones that used to be the size of a small carry-on bag to units that now contain high resolution digital cameras, email and a host of other applications to make our lives more interactive, we have become ever accessible and in many ways more responsive to our customers. However, while these tools have served to allow us to increase our productivity, in many instances they have drawn our attention away from one of the cornerstones of our industry – relationships.

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May 27 2015
2015 RECon Recap
This year’s RECon seemed to be a lot more like 2007 than any of the recent years’ shows. All three halls were busy and filled with landlords, brokers, retailers and restaurants moving from meeting to meeting working on their next deals.

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May 21 2015
All in a Day's Work
So what does a property manager do? Well let’s start with what we don’t do… sit still for very long.

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May 05 2015
Effective Customer Communication
In a recent internal Mid-America sales meeting, we all traded ideas on effective customer communication, marketing and messaging in a world where everyone expects increasingly quicker response time and engagement. I've included an excerpt we discussed from HOW GOOGLE WORKS by Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt and former Senior VP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg.

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Apr 28 2015
What’s in a Downtown Sports Arena?
The obvious answer is easy: sporting events, professional basketball, college basketball, hockey, concerts, high school athletic events, the circus, WWF wrestling, conventions and many other events where a large venue is required. The not-so-obvious answer is what a downtown sports venue does for a city.

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Apr 21 2015
Proven Methods for Maximizing Productivity
We are all busier than ever, but staying organized will help keep you productive and keep tasks moving forward. Here are a few proven methods for maximizing productivity:

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Apr 13 2015
Growing Trend: Specialty Fitness Clubs
Specialty health clubs are a growing trend in Chicago. They range from cycling at Flywheel and SoulCycle to high impact cardio/weights at Shred415 and Orange Theory, ballet inspired classes at Pure Barre, The Bar Method, Daily Method and The Barre Code to yoga at Core Power Yoga, Yoga Six and Yoga By Degrees.

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Apr 01 2015
Restaurant Row
Restaurant expansion continues to be one of the strongest categories in the Minnesota metro. From QSR to full-service, there is still a plethora of restaurants popping up everywhere.

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Mar 16 2015
March Madness
With the turning of the calendar to March, us Midwesterners automatically feel a sense of optimism regarding the coming months. Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, advertisements of the azaleas at Augusta National have commenced, clocks spring forward and we believe, although more often than not we're wrong, that we have made it through Mother Nature's harsh winter. However, there is one event that defines the month more than any other, the NCAA Tournament known to us all as March Madness.

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