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CHICAGO-Northern Realty Group Ltd. is closing its doors after 20 years in Chicago. Three of the firm’s principals – Bruce Kaplan, Michael Shields and Kim McGuire – will be joining CB Richard Ellis’ Chicago Retail Services Group as SVP. Leslie Mader will be joining the group as a vice president and Jim Tsevis will be joining the group as an associate.

Northern Realty was formed in 1987. “The company’s specialty was retail, particularly the integration of retail into high-density, mixed-use developments,” Kaplan says. Some of the firm’s projects included the $300 million reconstruction of Navy Pier and the redevelopment and expansion of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The firm has represented a variety of tenants including AMC Theatres, Harris Bank, Starbucks Coffee, Panera Bread, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cosi, Panda Express, FedEx Kinkos and Lettuce Entertain You. Current projects for the group include redevelopment of the retail at Presidential Towers, consulting and leasing for the redevelopment of McClurg Court and consulting and leasing for the retail of the John Hancock Center.

“Given the capital markets and the state of the development world as it stands right now…we decided what we would do is take our brokerage group and move it to another company,” Kaplan says. CB Richard Ellis was chosen, in part, because “the resources here are extraordinary,” he says. Northern Realty had put out a survey each year on the Michigan Avenue and State Street retail market which took up the time of every person working for the firm; whereas, at CB Richard Ellis there is a research department “to do the lion’s share of the work,” he says. Northern Realty, at its largest, had 20 people and is now down to a “skeleton crew,” he says. Principal Michael Tobin remains with Northern Realty Group “to wind down the existing company,” Kaplan says.

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