By Ginger Downs, RCE, CAE, IOM
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Association of Realtors
While news about the current residential real estate markets dominates media coverage, it’s important, and essential, to recognize the healthy presence that commercial real estate commands here in Chicago.
Over the past year, Chicago has seen a number of impressive commercial real estate achievements. For example, the reinvention of State Street is well underway, with a surge of diverse retailers eager to populate the area.
Crain’s Chicago Business reported last month that the downtown office vacancy rate dropped to a five-year low of 11.7 percent, and has fallen for seven consecutive quarters. At the Chicago Association of Realtors Good Neighbor Awards in April 2007, we honored Magellan Development Group LLC for the impressive 28-acre Lakeshore East Development. Magellan is building more than a series of high-rise condominium towers; it’s building communities.
The CAR CommercialForum will recognize outstanding achievement in commercial real estate at the fourth annual citywide CommercialForum Honor Awards on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Four Seasons Hotel. At this red carpet event, CAR will honor the top commercial real estate practitioners in Chicago.
Nominees compete in a wide range of categories, such as “Investment Sales Broker Multi-Family,” “Retail Leasing – Tenant Representative,” “Rookie of the Year” and more. The winners will remain a surprise until their names are called at the event, with one special exception.
Each year, CommercialForum honors a particularly outstanding individual with the Impact Award. This award recognizes lifetime achievements in the field of commercial real estate and economic development in Chicago. Selections are based on the recipient’s reputation for quality and integrity, community involvement and positive impact on the city. This year’s Impact Award recipient is Steven Fifield of Fifield Companies.
Under Fifield’s direction, over the past 30 years Fifield Companies has completed more than 56 buildings worth over $4 billion. Fifield received the Building Owners and Managers Association’s “Renovation of the Year” award for the Civic Opera House and, most recently, the Commercial Real Estate “2006 Development of the Year” award for the USG Building at 550 W. Adams. Mr. Fifield was honored with induction into the Chicago Association of Realtors Hall of Fame in 2004.
It is important to appreciate our unique city and spectacular skyline, which, without our city’s commercial sector, would not exist.
THE CHICAGO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (CAR), “THE VOICE FOR REAL ESTATE IN CHICAGO” SINCE 1883, REPRESENTS THE BUSINESS INTERESTS OF MORE THAN 17,000 REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS IN CHICAGOLAND. CAR IS LED BY A VOLUNTARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS, ELECTED BY THE MEMBERSHIP, WHO WORKS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH A PROFESSIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF.