North Michigan Avenue Will Enjoy A Strong Future
By Stanley Nitzberg
North Michigan Avenue has been and will always be one of The Ten Great Shopping Avenues of the World. Like everything in life, it is going through a cycle and will need to evolve. This is no different than fashion trends, a nation’s political views, urban versus suburban lifestyles, industry priorities for investment and weather. The difference being is North Michigan Avenue is a physical form, owned by many different entities.
Retail is always evolving and going through cycles. In its simplest form, urban brick and mortar retail has not changed in hundreds of years. Picture a western town in the 1800’s. You “parked” you horse, wagon or buggy. You could arrive by stagecoach or railroad (public transportation). Each town had a saloon (hospitality / food and beverage), a mercantile store (fashion), a hardware store, bank, livery (goods and services), a doctor (medical) and a jail (law enforcement). The physical nature of an urban downtown has evolved, but not the underlying concept.
Therein lies the long-term foundation for the continued success of North Michigan Avenue. There is no other shopping district in the United States that enjoys the immediate geographic concentration of retail, residential, hospitality, museums, offices, medical and education institutions, physical beauty, natural water ways and public transportation.
The stakeholders of North Michigan Avenue, namely the Aldermen, owners, tenants, Magnificent Mile Association leadership, residents and city officials have started an immediate and 3-5 year vision process to address the current cycle of how retailers will make decisions on conducting their business.
There are many current success stories on the Avenue, as retailers ranging from the finest luxury goods retailers to food and beverage operators are actually achieving record sales levels. Rolex relocated on the Avenue and expanded its presence. A new wave of uses such as The Museum of Ice Cream and Foxtrot are opening in 2022.
Having had the privilege to transact business on the Avenue since 1993, I have been through many economic, social and retail industry cycles. I have the utmost confidence that the Avenue will continue to be the best long-term location for real estate and retail investment. We invite you to join us as we reimagine the Avenue.
Stanley Nitzberg is a Principal at Mid-America Real Estate Group, the largest regional retail property services firm in the Midwest. The organization’s exclusive focus on retail real estate, combined with cutting-edge technology and unsurpassed service, distinguishes Mid-America within the industry and provides clients with a competitive edge. The company manages and leases 42 million square feet of retail space, and represents over 270 retailers. For more information, visit www.midamericagrp.com.