A significant trend in Chicago’s retail landscape is the emergence of city neighborhoods as desirable alternatives to locations along Michigan Avenue and Oak Street. Here’s an in-depth look at Chicago’s hot neighborhoods:
This story first appeared in the March 27, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Gold Coast (Michigan Avenue, Oak Street, etc.)
While luxury and international retailers sought space on Michigan Avenue or Oak Street, a chichi side street that now houses Hermès, Harry Winston and Yves Saint Laurent, retailers also see potential on nearby streets for flagships. Tory Burch and Burton opened on Walton Street in 2007 and UGG Australia launched last year along Rush Street, one block west of Michigan Avenue, home to local retailers Jake and Ikram. Sportswear retailer Original Penguin will unveil its first Chicago store this year on Rush Street in the former Johnny Rockets location.
Barneys New York will double its size in a 95,000-square-foot, newly constructed space at Oak, Rush and State Streets, across the street from its current 50,000-square-foot store. It’s a move brokers predict will extend the reach of Oak Street.
Oak Street itself is undergoing a revitalization, solidifying its place as a destination for luxury shoppers with Harry Winston, David Yurman and Jimmy Choo opening in 2007. This movement comes at a time when Oak Street will have more potential retail space than has been available in recent years.
With a handful of colleges in Chicago’s historic downtown Loop district, savvy retailers have taken note. H&M, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, Filene’s Basement and Nordstrom Rack all do business on State Street with a new Loehmann’s at State and Randolph enjoying one of the retailer’s best openings, said Ty Tabing, executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance.
Lakeview (Southport Avenue)
Anthropologie opened in late 2006 on the neighborhood street just blocks west from Wrigley Field that remains well populated with women’s and children’s specialty stores and restaurants. Lorraine Adney, who brokered the deal, said sales at the Southport store are strong and more national retailers have toured the family-friendly area where rents have risen from $30 two years ago to $48 to almost $60 a square foot today.