Are national retailers bullish on the Chicago market? Recent anecdotal evidence would seem to suggest it.
Over the past few months, brands including Target, Buy Buy Baby, Lululemon, Athleta, Topshop, AllSaints and Timberland have all announced plans to open new stores in tony urban areas like Old Town, West Lakeview and North Michigan Avenue.
At the same time, The Bond Cos., a Chicago developer, recently announced plans for 200,000 square feet of speculative retail space in a new mixed-use development in the South Loop.
Local JLL retail expert Mark Hunter says the news is indicative of a slowly improving economy and retailers’ collective confidence in Chicago as a viable and productive place to do business:
“It’s certainly good news because retailers are very selective in store expansions today compared to a few years ago. Having first-to-market stores like Topshop and AllSaints (both based in London) make a commitment to Chicago should spur other retailers to open stores here.”