Commercial Real Estate News Brief: September 2014

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Commercial real estate is a dynamic industry. Keep up with Spaces’ monthly recaps of the most valuable industry articles we’ve recently come across, focused on news in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  

Commercial Crowdsourcing: Hotels Respond & Renovate JLL CRE News Brief

Good or bad, short-term or long-term, travelers are talking about their hotel experiences on forums and review websites. And, according to a recent article in The New York Times, hotels are finally listening.

Hotel brands are reading what travelers say about them — and their competitors — and planning their investments accordingly.” 

A recent example: When prepping for renovations, Omni Hotels and Resorts trolled reviews, specifically TripAdvisor, to see what their guests had to say. Why? Review and booking websites have more clout then ever before, and executives are taking interest in direct feedback when it comes to property investments.

Calling All Retail Property Owners: Are You Appealing to Millennials?

In a recent article on The Investor, JLL’s Caroline Brooks (@CarolineKBrooks) noted,

“… when it comes to spending habits and material addictions, retailers and retail landlords can’t afford to ignore millennials.”

In fact, this up-and-coming generation spends about $600 billion annually in the U.S. That number is only expected to climb upward through 2020. So, how can retailers, retail property owners and landlords appeal to these shoppers? Below are five tips to get started.

1.  Meet millennials online. Offer digital channels and tools of communication.
2.  Solicit the savings, captivate through coupons. Provide value through good deals.
3.  Online shopping is convenient, but they still like physical stores. Make your store a cool, fun place to shop.
4.  Hands-on, in store, before heading out. Create a unique, desirable in-store experience that can’t be matched online.
5.  So fresh and so green. Earn respect with more sustainable practices.

Visit Brooks’ full article for details. 

Cleveland Still Rocks

In the words of JLL’s Scott Pick (@Pick_Scott), “Cleveland is the place to be.” Pick admits that there’s still work to be done; however, he details exciting trends and projects in a recent article via Freshwater Cleveland. 

According to Pick, there’s a major shift toward residential real estate in the CBD. Thanks to increased demand, a number of office buildings are being repurposed for residential use. But, not to worry, because according to Pick, “… this rush for residential is a good thing. Urbanization in Cleveland will eventually fuel the office and retail market, and will (in the process) fill up vacancies.” 

Pick is expecting big things for Cleveland in the coming years. The city has made the shift from “down-and-out to up-and-coming.” 

Read the full article in Freshwater Cleveland

News Wrap-Up in Our Region 


  • According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, the Kenwood Collection reached “a major milestone” in September as the final steel beam was installed.
  • Neyer Properties purchased two Blue Ash properties for about $8 million. The company is planning $3 million worth of renovations for both buildings.


  • Developers have proposed a $231 million mixed-use project at the Huntington Building downtown. Renovations would include hotel and residential space.
  • Facing a major parking shortage downtown, Cuyahoga County officials have plans to improve the Huntington Park Garage.



  • Now that Meridian Health Plan’s ideas for a brand new building development “have been scrapped,” Meridian has opted to lease a building downtown.
  • Following Cadillac’s announcement about relocating its Detroit office to NYC, Lowe Campbell Ewald (advertising agency that handles much of Cadillac’s creative work) may follow-suit and send staff to its NYC office.


  • There are prospective plans for a new 305,000-square-foot distribution center in Butler County. If approved, the center will likely house a FedEx and about 500 new employees.
  • Keystone Summit Park is now on the market. JLL’s Dan Adamski, “… expects Keystone Property Group to generate a strong return after buying what had been a property built for a single tenant that had been struggling during a down economy.”

 Newspaper image via NS Newsflash.



One thought on “Commercial Real Estate News Brief: September 2014

  1. Lijoy

    I’m very happy for Cleveland. With the recent spotlight on professional athletes being recruited there, Cleveland has become a destination spot again. It’s amazing how professional sports can impact businesses and real estate. We are hoping for similar impact here is Canada. The commercial real estate market in Canada has seen steady gains, however we do have cities like Hamilton, Ontario that are waiting for the extra boost to become a destination again.

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