Industrial Midwest

Chicago industrial riding a good wave right now, says JLL's Robin Stolberg

It’s an exciting time to be involved in today’s industrial market. Experts are constantly on their toes awaiting the newest deal they can snatch. Activity is pouring in, consistently making headlines but there’s also plenty going on behind the scenes.

[caption id="attachment_67557" align="alignleft" width="214"]Robin Stolberg Robin Stolberg[/caption]

It’s an exciting time to be involved in today’s industrial market. Experts are constantly on their toes awaiting the newest deal they can snatch. Activity is pouring in, consistently making headlines but there’s also plenty going on behind the scenes. Like users experiencing increased anxiety.

Because of the strong state of the market, users are having to accelerate their decision process, according to Robin Stolberg, senior vice president at JLL. Supply is limited, he said, especially for larger requirements in the market.

“It is common that options fall off the consideration list for User-A while they are evaluating, due to User-B committing to that space, while User-A is still ‘thinking about it,’” he said.

In some of today’s submarkets and across some square footages, supply and demand are not well balanced. So when it comes down to telling your client that the option is off the list, Stolberg said it isn’t exactly a fun telephone call to make, given the competitive landscape for a building.

Stolberg and his JLL industrial team focus on Chicago’s North Suburban submarket, spanning from Niles to the border where Illinois and Wisconsin meet, into southern Wisconsin. Lately, he says, today’s market is strong and they are having fun executing transactions.

His current concern for the market is wondering when the market will take a turn and slow down with supply exceeding demand, resulting in a correction. But he assures that it might not be for some time, as “we are riding a good wave right now.”

He expects the market to continue to perform well for the rest of the year. After all, rents are stable and increasing, and concessions have decreased; Lease term, as far as year of commitment, is increasing; and absorption is occurring at a solid pace on a compressed time.

All of these fundamentals, he said, are the recipe for the positivity we are seeing in the market.

“Decisions are being made, which is what drives everything,” he added.

As a speaker for Chicago Industrial Properties13th Annual CIP Industrial Summit on April 29, Stolberg will touch on the positivity going around from the 15,000-square-foot user doubling their space to the height of the capital markets.

Find out more about our speaker, his love of cars and how his interests are rubbing off on his twins, in the following Q&A.

Chicago Industrial Properties: What does your JLL Industrial team specialize in?

Stolberg: My team lists buildings for sale or for lease across this submarket and focus on being subject matter experts in this geography. We also represent users looking to lease a new building or buy a new building for their own operation, as well as advise investors on dispositions and/or acquisitions in this geography.

CIP: What was it about the industrial market sector that attracted you?

Stolberg: I started off in the office market, and it was too one-dimensional for me.  Office brokers either represent tenants or landlords, they typically do not cross over.  Although the office market is an established highly sophisticated space, I was lucky in that there was a trend that Industrial was demanding the same level of sophistication. I saw an opening and dove in. I liked the idea of being able to work with owners, users and investors, and being able to work on sale and lease transactions.

CIP: Can you tell me about a time or experience that's stood out to you/been most memorable?

Stolberg: My team is working on a big project for a user right now. The scope is what we preach to all the young people in the business: Do the right thing for your clients, if you follow the right process, the right outcome will come. This project started as a short-term tough one, that most brokers would not have given the time of day, and passed up. We stuck with it for years because we saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

CIP:  Biggest life lesson you've learned since working in the industry?

Stolberg: Be humble.  The top brokers with long-term success are humble and are not too good for anything.

CIP: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Stolberg: I am blessed to have twin six-year-old girls. My free time is committed to them. I try to spend as much time as possible with them. When I have secondary free time from them, I am into golf and cars.

CIP: What’s on your music playlist?

Stolberg: I like 80’s music and I’m not ashamed!

CIP: What public figure would you jump on the opportunity to meet?

Stolberg: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors. He is like a movie character to the little kid in me. He made a fortune and then decided to change the world through the automobile, not to make money.

CIP: What would you consider your biggest, personal accomplishment?

Stolberg: My wife and kids.

IMG_1089CIP: Something unique about yourself that would surprise people?

Stolberg: I love cars and have since I was a little kid. I teach my girls about cars and take them to car shows.  It is hysterical when a six-year-old is walking through a car show naming the cars. When I retire from real estate, I would love to work in the car business somehow as a hobby.

CIP: Last book you read?

Stolberg: The Wolf of Wall Street.

CIP: Is there a philanthropy or charity you are passionate about?

Stolberg: I am lucky to be part of a great board of directors for the Children’s Brittle Bone Foundation.