Industry expert, Lee Dickson, has joined Chicago-based Baum Realty Group to lead its new entertainment practice.
“Lee is joining us at the beginning of an incredible inflection point,” said Baum Realty president Mike Demetriou. “With Lee at the helm, we are launching an entertainment practice focused on representation of tenants, landlords and investors who play in and interact with the music, theater and performing arts spaces across Chicagoland.”
Dickson predicts that entertainment and performing arts businesses—the firms that have perhaps suffered the most during the Coronavirus pandemic—will rebound with tremendous velocity in a post-COVID world.
“Just like the roaring twenties were presaged by a global influenza pandemic, I have tremendous faith in the resiliency, entrepreneurial skill and the collective sprit of the arts communities that I’ve worked with nearly my entire career,” said Dickson. “The rebirth and expansion of these communities is so personal to me—I cannot wait to be a part of their resurrection!”
Dickson joins Baum Realty after a very successful run at the helm of Dickson & Co., her commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in urban leasing and sales. Her career in brokerage traces back to her time as the director of retail leasing with Metropolitan Structures as they developed Illinois Center, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and were the first team to try their hand at Block 37 with Helmut Jahn in the 80s.
Dickson and her partners established The Retail Group, the first brokerage firm in Chicago to specialize in retail properties and tenant representation. Later, she joined forces with Friedman Properties to create three boutique shared office suites businesses which heralded today’s popular co-working spaces. As their director of retail, Dickson marketed and leased the block known as Tree Studios and Medinah Temple and represented the Public Building Commission in redeveloping the Page Brothers Building adjacent to The Chicago Theatre.
Dickson focuses on entertainment, restaurant and event clients and meeting their unusual requirements. She has an affinity for counseling theater companies and other not-for-profit entities to find the right fit for their unconventional needs and budgets. Accordingly, Dickson has served on boards for The House Theatre Company, Remains Theatre Ensemble, Famous Door Theatre Company and, most recently, Route 66 Theatre Company. She currently represents several such companies in search of their permanent performance, production and office spaces, as well as rehearsal facilities. Notable representations include Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, Revel Global Events and Cards Against Humanity.
She previously led the River North Business Association as its president and served on the Lakeview Pantry’s Capital Campaign to raise funds for their new expanded home in Uptown. She is an active member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Arts & Business Council, City Club of Chicago, Women in Retail Leasing and EPWNG. She volunteers with The Saints, which supports performing arts organizations through ushering and charitable services.
Dickson holds a BS in economics from Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY (now part of Fordham University) and attended Purdue University.