Loyola University Chicago selected Mid-America Real Estate Corporation to manage the 110,000 square feet of retail spaces at both the Lake Shore Campus (LSC) and Water Tower Campus (WTC).
The university has pushed to enhance the quality of campus life because of the growing residential student population. Director of Asset Management of Lakeside Management Brian O’Leary recalls when Loyola was mostly a commuter school and there was no need for campus life, but things have changed.
O’Leary said he believes students should have more options around campus.
“Parents and students should have reasonable expectations that there will be available amenities within the community to serve students,” said O’Leary.
Mid-America will earn only a commission from leasing spaces. The university will not pay Mid-America a fixed management fee.
Lakeside Management oversees Loyola’s retail resources and will work with Mid-America on the retail developments. O’Leary said he is looking forward to the partnership and thinks Mid-America will serve as a great consultant because of its experience in Chicago.
“Mid-America has a good track record in the Chicago market and in a variety of places in downtown and neighborhoods,” he said. “They have experience in urban environments and a specialized urban team.”
Mid-America Real Estate Corporation Senior Vice President Greg Bayer said he is looking forward to working with Lakeside Management to make the Loyola community a better place.
“Our goal is to increase retail available, increase traffic of the Loyola community and bring in new offerings to Rogers Park as a whole,” he said.
Loyola and Mid-America have worked together in the past on retail areas by the downtown campus.
“We were involved with bringing in Argo Tea and the Hershey Company downtown around Lewis Towers as well as the Wabash grounds around Chick-fil-A,” said Bayer. “We have a nice history with Loyola.”
Bayer and Mid-America Vice President Lara Keene are representing Loyola’s retail space.
“Since the agreement, we are going full steam on marketing and focusing on trying to fill all the retail space that is available,” said Keene.
O’Leary said the university is currently hosting a vote campaign in which students can vote on what businesses they want to see in the neighborhood. He thinks feedback from students and the community is important
“We took a summary of the first 30 days into the campaign and saw the businesses students wanted to see,” he said. “We then assess if the community would need the business and if the university had a need for this potential business.”
Mid-America is interested in hearing from students and community members on what they wish to have put into the retail space.
“If tenants make an inquiry, it will get passed on to us and we try to make it happen,” Keene said.