Lara Keene has more than 10 years of diverse retail experience as an urban leasing and development specialist. She specializes in Landlord and Tenant Representation with a focus on Urban Trade areas including the Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast, River North, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, The Loop, West Loop, Bucktown and Wicker Park. Lara’s in-depth knowledge of retail brands and restaurants adds to her expertise in representing a wide variety of high profile local, national and international retailers.
Lara has advised a variety of retailers including, Zadig + Voltaire, Alexis Bittar, Bonobos, Citibank, Elie Tahari, Kiehl's, K Hall Studio LLC d/b/a US Apothecary, Forever 21, Fig & Olive, and Rent The Runway and currently works with Snippet's Mini Cuts, Bevello, Mojo, Elite Mr. Alan's, Sola Salon Studios, among others in Chicago. Lara exclusively represents Panera Bread and has been instrumental in their expansion and repositioning throughout the Chicago MSA.
Lara has also worked extensively on behalf of property owners, such as C.I.M., Cypress Equities, Junius Partners, Jenel Management Corporation, L&B Realty Advisors, Vanbarton Group, Newcastle Limited, TIAA, JB Realty, Novak Construction, and Madison Capital to secure a variety of retail tenants, including Pandora, Michael's, Bluemercury, TJ Maxx, Title 9, Chrome Industries, Goorin Bros. Hat Company, Asics, Marine Layer, Drybar, Pierre Deux and Quatrine Custom Furniture. Some of Lara's most significant accomplishments includes the leasing of 9,000 SF of retail space at the Shops on Fremont in Lincoln Park to Anthropologie on behalf of CRM properties and ZARA's expansion into a corner flagship position at Block 37 - nearly doubling the retailer's size from approximately 15,000 SF to 27,000 SF on behalf of C.I.M Group. Most recently, Lara organized a lease with David Yurman to occupy a new flagship position at 919 North Michigan Avenue on behalf of TIAA.
Lara is a graduate of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she earned a Bachelors degree in Biology. Lara is a licensed broker in the state of Illinois and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Women in Retail Leasing (WIRL) and the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana Alumni Association. She also serves as a co-chair of the Magnificent Mile Association By the Numbers Committee.