Developer of Moxy Hotel in Chicago’s River North Buys Former Midas Shop Next Door

After building Chicago’s first Moxy hotel next door, well-known River North developer Friedman Properties has bought the site of a former Midas auto shop, which could become the latest low-rise in the city to give way to construction cranes.

Friedman Properties late last month paid just over $4 million for the 8,638-square-foot site at 158 W. Grand Ave., according to NAI Miami brokers who represented the seller, Midas parent TBC Corp.

It’s unclear what the Chicago developer plans to do with the site, or the 4,318-square-foot former Midas building on it. The site’s zoning would allow for an approximately 60,500-square-foot development, NAI Miami broker Jeremy Larkin told CoStar News.

Friedman Properties’ chairman and CEO, Al Friedman, did not respond to a request for comment from CoStar News.

His firm previously built the eight-story, 156-room Moxy Chicago Downtown hotel on a similarly sized site next door at 530 N. LaSalle St. That hotel, developed with Indiana-based White Lodging Services, opened in 2018.

Friedman has decades of experience buying and developing offices, hotels, retail and other properties in the area just north of Chicago’s Loop business district, which led to him being nicknamed “mayor of River North.” It’s possible he bought the development site without a specific plan in hand.

“We marketed it across the country and the guy next door buys it,” Larkin said. “It happens more often than you’d think.

“When I first got into the industry, a mentor told me you always follow the rule of fives. He said you start with the property you’re selling and go five properties in either direction, and you have a 50 to 75% chance you’ll find a buyer.”

Friedman’s other River North properties include the landmark Medinah Temple at 600 N. Wabash Ave., where Chicago plans to have a temporary casino while the city’s permanent facility is built north of there along the Chicago River. In another recent deal, New York-based The Group plans to bring French concept La Grande Boucherie and a smaller Japanese restaurant to a Friedman-owned building previously rented to Ruth’s Chris Steak House at 431 N. Dearborn St.

If Friedman knocks down the Midas building and builds on the site, it would continue a trend of gas stations, auto repair stations, parking garages, surface lots and other low-slung properties that have been replaced by taller structures during a construction boom in and around the Loop since the end the Great Recession.

In fact, Friedman’s Moxy project next door was on a lot where a service station once stood.

About a half-mile east of there, Mavrek Development, GW Properties and Luxury Living Chicago have begun demolishing a parking garage at 535 N. St. Clair St., where they will then construct a 21-story, 248-unit apartment building.

About a half-mile to the west, the Habitat Company and Diversified Real Estate Capital this week broke ground on a 33-story, 343-unit apartment tower. They recently demolished the 120-year-old Cassidy Tire building, which for decades had been a tire retail and auto service facility on the site near the river.

Farther north of the Loop, developer Fern Hill wants to demolish two gas stations it has acquired alongside The Moody Church as part of a multitower North Side development that would be designed by globetrotting architect David Adjaye.

Midas decided to sell the River North site after its lease for the building to a franchisee expired, said Jonelle Compiani, a spokeswoman for Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based TBC. The Midas shop closed at the end of January, she said in an email.

TBC previously has cashed in on similar properties where property values have risen and developers are seeking land, including in Miami and Seattle, Larkin said.

Brokers were hired to sell the Chicago parcel in the spring, before rising interest rates, inflation and worries of a recession began to push down sale prices throughout the country, he said. Because of high demand in River North and a well-established buyer, the price stayed within the previously expected price range, Larkin said.

“In the right submarket at the right time with the right people, deals will continue to happen, but I think the cycle’s kind of over,” Larkin said. “You’re seeing economic activity start to slow, you’re seeing layoffs and the economy is a bit more dormant.

“In Miami, we’ve seen explosive growth slow to what we’d consider normal growth. The buyer frenzy has stopped but there are still a ton of deals moving along. There’s just not that insanity out there.”

For the Record

The seller was represented by NAI Miami brokers Larkin and Joseph Gallagher, and Chicago-based ARC Real Estate Group brokers Elan Rasansky and Al Rodenbostel.

Retail Real Estate Trends

Trends and Insights on Retail Real Estate by Experts in Multiple Markets

October 6, 2022

Each month a group of NAI Global’s top retail real estate experts participate in a conference call. The group discusses trends in their respective markets, activity, rental rates and investment capitalization rates and related factors impacting the retail industry in the U.S.

Here are some highlights from the October call.

  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Rent-A-Center
  • TIs Impacting Retail Lease Deals
  • Pickleball & Cocktails, Coming to a Place Near You Soon (most likely)
  • This and That

In late August Bed Bath & Beyond said it would close about 150 stores and lay off workers. That announcement came days after company leaders were sued, accused of artificially inflating the stock in a ‘pump and dump scheme.’

The home softs good retailer is suffering from a merchandise problem, among other things (such as a mountain of debt) after it shifted to off-brand products a few years ago, when the company tried to grow nine exclusive brands – and shoppers didn’t respond favorably. Bed Bath & Beyond is scaling back on some of those private label products and trying to bring back major brand names. Its next test will be whether they can do so by the holiday shopping season.

Meanwhile, the NAI Global Retail Council participants on the call said that several Bed Bath & Beyond stores in the Northeast are coming to the market. Additionally, there were some in Dallas, one in Arizona and five or six in the Mid-Atlantic, which to Dimitri Georgelakos, a Principal with NAI KLNB in Tysons, VA, said “is a good thing for the market, because there is so little inventory for small-and-mid-sized box stores.” Bed, Bath & Beyond typically occupies retail space from about 25,000 square feet to as much as 40,000 square feet.

CVS is also closing some stores in the Northeast as it modifies its retail concept to include more in-store health care services, said Michael Jacobs, a Principal with NAI Glickman Kovago & Jacobs, based in Worcester, MA. Walgreens is also adjusting its locations map, as word has it that the retailer was very selective in buying Rite Aid stores—1,932 according to media reports. Walgreens bought the stores and a few distribution centers after trying but not succeeding in buying the entire chain. There is an expectation that some of the stores Walgreens did acquire will go dark if they have not already.

Rent-A-Center, a company valued at $4.6 billion at the end of 2021 and with 2,435 stores at the end of last year, recently completed a new lease and opened a store in Walla Walla, WA. The company has a rent-to-own platform selling furniture, appliances, computer equipment and more to largely middle-class Americans. On average Rent-A-Center opens 10 new locations a year and does about 10 relocations. Robert Render, a Vice President in the Dallas Retail Division of NAI Robert Lynn that represents Rent-A-Center nationally said he is working on multiple transactions for the company but could not disclose the locations at this time.

TIs Impacting Retail Lease Deals

We’ve heard how rapidly rising interest rates is pausing CRE investment sales. Now construction costs, with 30% to 35% increases over a year ago, is negatively impacting retail lease deals as the build-out costs are making deals untenable. Deals are preliminarily getting through committee-level decision-making then killed at transactional (lease) execution. Tenants want rental rate reductions in order to make leases with high TIs pencil, and so far landlords aren’t budging.

Pickleball & Cocktails, Coming to a Place Near You Soon (most likely)

The popularity of pickleball is soaring as a maturing population looks for active and social gatherings that aren’t as demanding as, say, tennis or racquetball – and they are much more social than they are competitive. Hence a new retail/recreational/entertainment business is rolling out – Pickle and Social – that is the third concept developed under the Competitive Social Ventures (CSV) Holding Company. These are the guys that introduced Top Golf. To be clear about its priorities, the company put it on its Pickle and Social website: “(We are) Embracing our Mission to bring people together for FUN and authentic shared experiences by creating an unbeatable atmosphere, innovative play, amazing food and drink, and top-notch service.”

Shelby Tworek, a retail specialist with NAI Horizon in Phoenix, said the company is at work developing a 2-3 acre site in Scottsdale and is also planning similar locations in Gilbert and Glendale, both of which are also in the Phoenix Metro Market.

Related, Jacobs is working with a national sports group seeking locations in select areas along the East Coast and Midwest for entertainment development.

This and That

Home goods stores have been impacted by the slowing housing market. Year-over-Year (YoY) sales of furniture and home-furnishing stores declined in August by 1.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis, while electronics and appliance store sales declined 5.7%, according to the Commerce Department. However, declining sales at retailers such as RH, Wayfair Inc., Williams-Sonoma Inc. and others have been attributed to the shift in consumer spending habits; during the pandemic, consumers stocked up on goods. Since late last year when the health crisis began to fade, consumers switched to services – traveling and dining out, mostly, with their discretionary spending.

Gyms and in-person fitness stores are back and once again boosting occupancy at grocery anchored shopping centers and strip malls. Hammered by the pandemic, the better quality brands fared better than discounters like 24-hour Fitness. In the Mid-Atlantic region, Georgelakos reported that One Life Fitness is opening 50,000-square-foot locations in multiple locations to add to its existing footprint in the region. The company also operates fitness centers in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and DC.

Ralph Lauren is Opening 250 New North American Stores

Shifting from department stores to its own branded outlets, Ralph Lauren told investors in late September it has exited two-thirds of department stores where it sold apparel and would instead open direct-to-consumer locations, beginning with 14 new stores in prime markets, such as San Francisco, Denver and Seattle. Already 63% of the company’s revenue comes from consumerdirect sales, with 26% attributed to e-commerce.

An Inside Look At “Getting On The Green”

Craig Merlin’sGetting on the Green” podcast sets out to explore the different pieces of the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) puzzle. From asset managers to property managers, “Getting on the Green” dives deep to uncover what goes into each of these roles. As a former professional golfer, Craig finds the CRE business to be much like his beloved game: it is a group effort that relies on feedback from peers, dedication, and practice. The melding of his two loves brings the podcast to life bringing the different roles and aspects that keep the CRE industry running to center stage.

Each guest surprisingly had one thing in common: they all had an outside interest that fueled them to succeed in the CRE business. Daniel De Pablo, a property manager, majored in criminology at FIU and was always interested in the psychology of people. As a property manager, he explains that this interest helps him be compassionate, helpful and resolve many problems with tenants. Larry Gautier, an Auburn University Alumni and fifth generation “Miamian,” attributes his success as a broker to the many roles he has held since 1980 in the commercial real estate business. He has held roles such as property manager which allows him to truly understand his clients, the buyers, and sellers he encounters every day.

Merlin uncovers helpful tips to succeed in this industry. As Timothy Merriman Jr. puts it, “One day you have to wake up and realize no one is going to do it for you.” Merriman explains to Merlin on the podcast that there is no secret to this industry except hard work. Like many things in life, there is no secret pill to make you a real estate guru. 

Each guest explains their personal journey how they “made it”,  resonating with the same idea: at the core, to be successful you must put in the work, day in, day out, of relationship building, research, and getting serious truly learning the ever-changing landscape of the Real Estate landscape. 

Ultimately the CRE industry cannot ever be explained in a nutshell. Craig Merlin sets out to do this and does a pin-up job of doing so. Make sure to take the time to listen to “Getting on the Green” where you will hear from real estate professionals speak about the restaurant industry, cost segregation, real estate law and so much more. 

Let us know what you think!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcast

Click here to listen on Spotify

Restaurant Ordering Help During COVID-19

NAI Miami wants to share a nationwide resource for our restaurant clients, tenants and friends that you might not know existed- Speedytab.

Speedytab offers commission-free online and app ordering to help drive sales during Coronavirus.

Below is a one-pager outlining how Speedytab is helping, but at a high level they are providing branded online and app ordering for restaurants for free right now to help stay open and succeed.

They have customers across the country, from single-unit operators like Madruga Bakery to national chains like Barnes & Noble Cafes.

NAI Miami wants to work together with our restaurant tenants, clients and friends to help us all succeed during these challenging times.

Here are some examples.

Pubbelly Sushi Web:

Gregorys Coffee Web:

Kuma’s Corner web and app

If you are anyone you know can benefit from using this company please reach out to our contact:

Adam Garfield

SpeedETab, Co-founder & CEO


4 Tips for Designing an Energy-Efficient Commercial Space

Written by Lana Hawkins

When running a small business, even the smallest amount of saved energy can be important. Lighting, heating, air-conditioning – all of these things increase your utility bill. What’s more, but they pose a threat to our environment and anything you can do to aid in helping preserve the planet matters. Therefore, if you’re designing a commercial space for your company, making it energy efficient is a great idea. Listed below are four tips that can help.

Invest in new equipment

Older generations of technology tend to use much more energy than the new ones. Just take a look at fridges where olds ones can use up $300 worth of energy per year. On the other hand, the newest generation of fridges uses only $75 per year. Commercial spaces are generally full of equipment that this rule stands for, and investing in new equipment is extremely important. When talking about fridges, you can get mini-fridges for your commercial space that only spend $10 worth of energy a year. Opt for new PCs, monitors and printers and reducing your energy consumption will be a real piece of cake.

Think about heating

Another thing you might want to do is to consider changing the ways you heat your commercial space. The first step you can take is making sure that the office is properly insulated. If it is, it will require less heating to make the place warm. Look for the gaps between the windows and walls and fill them up if you find them. These gaps let cold air leak in and reduce the room temperature. If you’re ready to spend more, investing in double-glazed windows is also something you can’t go wrong with. Last but not least, consider getting a smart thermostat that’ll make controlling the temperature much easier.

Consider your lighting options

Incandescent light bulbs use by far more energy than some other lighting options. CFL and LED are the most popular and most energy-efficient lighting options available right now. If every household in the U.S. replaced just one of their incandescent light bulbs with one of these, it would have the same impact on the environment as removing 1 million cars from the streets. This makes relying on LEDs in your commercial space the perfect option for your energy bill. Turn to experts who design lighting fixtures for businesses to make sure you end up with the best lighting in your commercial space. Keep in mind that good industrial light fixtures can improve working conditions and help your employees be more productive.

Make small adjustments

Sometimes, it only takes a few adjustments to save energy. Most modern offices only use power strips when necessary. If you introduce these things to your commercial space, you’ll make it easier for you and your staff to unplug appliances that are not in use. This prevents equipment from using the “phantom loads” of energy like they do when plugged in directly. Another smart idea is to use a different type of printer cartridges. For example, toner cartridges are a much better choice as they require less energy. They’re also less expensive, making them a perfect option for your efficient office space.

Follow the four tips we covered in this post and designing an energy-efficient commercial space won’t be tough. You’ll end up with more money left in your pocket, and you’ll help preserve the planet along the way. Remember that there are always new ways to make your commercial space more energy-efficient and you should continue to explore them. Even the smallest adjustments will help you make your business more energy efficient.

Most IRS Returns, Payments, and Other Items Have Been Postponed to July 15

Below please find updated information from one of our community partners, Cherry Bekaert, regarding upcoming tax deadlines for 2020. If you have any questions concerning taxes feel free to email us at and we will connect you with your local Cherry Bekaert office.

The IRS recently issued Notice 20-23, which amplifies the relief provided in earlier notices and provides for an almost comprehensive postponement to July 15, 2020, for federal income tax returns, payments, and other time-sensitive acts normally due between April 1, 2020, and July 15, 2020. The items, otherwise due between April 1, 2020, and July 15, 2020, that were noted in our last guidance that have now been postponed to July 15 include:

  • Estate Tax Return (Form 706)

  • Split-Interest Trust Information Return (Form 5227)

  • Corporation Application for Quick Refund of Overpayment of Estimated Tax (Form 4466)

  • Refund claims for which the refund statute of limitations expires between April 1 and July 15

  • Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts (Form 3520)

  • Application for Change in Accounting Method (Form 3115)

  • Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990)

  • IRA Contribution Information (Form 5498 series)

  • Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation (Form 1120-F)

  • Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return (Form 1040-NR)

  • Fiscal-year or short-year returns

  • Second quarter estimates

The items that have NOT been postponed until July 15 are:

  • Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return (Form 941)

  • Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return (Form 720)

The IRS has provided guidance on additional tax acts that have been postponed, including Qualified Opportunity Zone investments, 1031 like-kind exchanges, applications for tentative refunds, and elections under section 163(j), and provided relief to partnerships to be able to file amended returns.


There are distinct advantages to starting your tax return preparation process now if you have not already done so, including the acceleration of any current-year refunds you may be due. Furthermore, recently enacted legislation has created significant tax planning opportunities to amend prior year returns for additional refunds as well as reduce current year taxes. Most of these tax planning opportunities require significant analysis and many require separate studies. We strongly encourage you to start now.

Note that you can still file your return but postpone the payment of any federal taxes until July 15.

What is Actually Due April 15?

Below please find some great guidance from one of our community partners, Cherry Bekaert, regarding upcoming tax deadlines for 2020. If you have any questions concerning taxes feel free to email us at and we will connect you with your local Cherry Bekaert office.

The IRS has issued numerous postponements and extensions of deadlines for returns, payments, retirement plan contributions, and other items normally due April 15, 2020.

Below is a list of items that still have an April 15 deadline:

  • Estate Tax Return (Form 706)
  • Split-Interest Trust Information Return (Form 5227)
  • Corporation Application for Quick Refund of Overpayment of Estimated Tax (Form 4466)
  • Refund claims for which the refund statute of limitations expires on April 15

Additionally, there are certain items on which the IRS has yet to issue guidance. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that the following items, or an application for an extension of time, should be filed by April 15:

  • Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts (Form 3520)

  • Application for Change in Accounting Method (Form 3115)

There are other deadlines occurring after April 15, but before July 15, that have not been extended. These include:

  • Payroll tax returns (Forms 941), due April 30
  • Excise tax returns (Form 720), due April 30
  • Tax-Exempt organization returns (Forms 990), due May 15
  • IRA Contribution Information (Forms 5498 series), due June 1
  • Fiscal-year or short-year returns due May 15 or June 15
  • Second quarter estimates, due June 15
  • Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation* (Form 1120-F), due June 15
  • Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return** (Form 1040-NR), due June 15

In addition to these federal due dates, some states still have not postponed or extended due dates for filing returns and/or paying taxes. To see the current list of state due dates, please click here.

There are still advantages to filing your return by April 15, including the ability to accelerate refunds, if applicable, receive important cash flow planning information, and carry back losses based on the recently passed legislation. Note that you can still file your return by April 15 but postpone the payment of any taxes until July 15.

Enjoy Your Weekend (Virtually)

We’re all working together to practice social distancing and stay safe these days. But social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t be social, and many businesses are offering new ways to do so virtually.

We thought it might be helpful to share a few options to engage with while you are staying safe at home. From virtual museum tours to art classes to meal delivery services, here’s a list of activities happening now or coming soon.

Miami is ready to be explored – virtually that is .

Some of the best local museums have uploaded their exhibits to their websites, so you can peruse some of the world’s best art from your computer.

Perez Art Museum Miami Digital Museum

The Bass Museum of Art Virtual Tours:

For those with kids at home, we know being cooped up can be even more challenging. For those restless tots, check out virtual expeditions from Jungle Island.

Beaches are closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch some rays. TimeOut has the solution: You can now work on your virtual tan along 825 miles of the Florida coastline.

A bunch of local Miami restaurants and chefs are stepping up to offer amazing meal prep kits delivered straight to your door. Now you have no excuse to order pizza every night.

Wine tasting, happy hour, and cocktail classes have gone virtual. Check out this complete list of local virtual events for all thing boozy.

The most gorgeous natural light phenomenon, The Aurora Borealis (or, Northern Lights), has made its way to the small screen.

What better way to relax at home than by catching a light show from the comfort of your couch?

NAI Miami | Fort Lauderdale Pays It Forward South Dade Style

In efforts to keep our staff safe and healthy and give back to our community a group of amazing NAI Miami | Fort Lauderdale team members really stepped it up!

On Monday the NAI Miami | Fort Lauderdale team received this email from our CEO Jeremy Larkin:

We are fortunate to live in Miami and be part of a growing urban area which is so close to the largest winter vegetable and fruit farms in the United States. As a result of the pandemic, these farmers are unable to sell their crops to their usual clients, the local restaurants, airlines and cruise lines for obvious reasons. Rather than leave these crops in the fields, some farms are harvesting them and offering the harvest to the local community in bulk quantity. Bonnie and Jeff Buell volunteered to get up at the crack of dawn today and go wait an hour in line to purchase fruits and vegetables.

Please take what you and your families need. If you can, pay it forward so we can continue our NAI Miami Food Pantry.

Be safe. Be well. Take care of your families and yourself.

The response was incredible!

Together the NAI Miami | Fort Lauderdale team packed bags, coordinated deliveries and even collected enough money to do a second run!

CEO Jeremy Larkin also shared this quotes:

“And that is what the economy is really about: not stocks, not bonds, or corporate profits but human potential.” Umair

It is through challenging moments that your character is forged and one develops the characteristics required to evolve in our paths to personal and spiritual maturity. These are moments of clarity to understand what you are and are not. “Suffering introduces you to yourself and reminds you that you are not the person you thought you were.” Paul Tillich

We are so much more than we imagine ourselves to be.

We hope by sharing our experience we motivate others in our community to step up.

If you are, or know of any other farms or restaurants setting up distributions please contact us!

A Thank You To Our Superheroes!

We at NAI Miami would like to take a moment out of our busy lives to thank some of our heroes in the fight against Covid-19 within our own office, our property management department and maintenance personnel. These men and women are showing up to work every day working tirelessly out in the public to help keep our community and properties safe for all during these trying times.

Many people do not think of Commercial Real Estate as an essential business during times like pandemics and natural disasters. Yet, we are invaluable to our property owners, landlords, tenants and consumers who visit the properties we manage to pick up necessary supplies or to receive care in an emergency such as today.

Our property management department displays unwavering commitment, dedication, care and concern for many people they do not even know. They are at the front lines, working on fixing up properties, securing cleaning services and/or security companies to help ensure the safety for the properties and the people within.

We at NAI Miami want to express our heartfelt gratitude. The words “thank you” are just not enough to express how much we all appreciate you. But it is a start. It has been said before, real heroes don’t always wear capes. And you all prove that over and over again, especially during the hard times such as these.

Thank you for being our Superheroes!