Slots, drinks, networking and a market presentation: More than 400 industry pros attend AIRE’s sixth annual virtual tour at the Rivers Casino

Industrial market activity and quarterly statistics continue to demonstrate that Industrial real estate is alive and well in the Chicago area, after one of the worst periods ever, from 2008 to 2011.

That’s why it’s no surprise that the theme of the 2016 Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers annual virtual tour was pegged as, “Industrial Real Estate: Back in the Ring in Chicago.”

Approximately 425 industrial real estate brokers, developers, owners and service providers attended AIRE’s sixth annual event April 14 at The Cube within the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, which featured a market overview, a spotlight on 34 industrial properties located in the Chicago metro area and the taped insights and perspectives of three experts in industrial real estate.

To demonstrate just how far “back in the ring” the industrial market is, the Virtual Tour Committee Chairs of Brendan Green of Colliers and Mike Magliano of Cushman & Wakefield, noted that since mid-year 2011, 71.8 million square feet of space has been absorbed in the market. This activity level more than made up for the 42.2 million square feet of negative absorption that plagued the market from the beginning of 2008 through mid-year 2011.


The strength of the market is also noted in the companies participating in the Virtual Tour in 2016. During the hour-long presentation, the tour took a close look at 34 different properties sponsored by more than 20 different properties owners and developers, and their brokerage firms.

Additionally, 15 companies served as general, cocktail and food sponsors. That number represents a sell-out, and the most companies participating since the Virtual Tour replaced the traditional bus tour.

The concept for the Virtual Tour was launched six years ago to demonstrate the role of technology in the world of industrial real estate brokerage and to create a means for touring available industrial properties without impacting the carbon footprint. For years prior, AIRE members would board coach buses near O’Hare and spend an afternoon touring properties.

Today, as a virtual tour, the event allows more members to tour more properties in less time than the old event. Further, it provides greater opportunities for networking throughout the event, with an open bar networking period both before and after the actual tour.

Property sponsors for the 2016 virtual tour include, Duke Realty, CenterPoint Properties, Prologis, Conor Commercial Real Estate, Panattoni Development, Zilber Property Group, Venture One Real Estate, Seefried Properties, Bridge Development Partners, Liberty Property Trust, Ridge Development, Pritzker Realty Group, Cushman & Wakefield, Clarius Partners, Opus Development, First Industrial Realty Trust, GLP, Molto Properties, Becknell Industrial, IDI and ML Realty Partners.Additional Sponsors include I-39 Logistics Corridor Association, Beverly Environmental, Koppco Material Handling Specialists, Krusinski Construction, Union National Bank, G Fisher Commercial Construction, Harris Architects, Hillwood Investment Properties, Iris Construction, Meridian Design Build, Novak Construction, Paine Wetzel Associates, Principle Construction, Value Industrial Partners and Yadkin Small Business Lending.