“Fordham Tower Overlooks Castles, Lord Seeks Retail Tenants” Illinois Real Estate Journal
May 7, 2001
Soon to be standing in the nucleus of Chicago’s Cathedral District is the 50-story, high-end Fordham Tower
development, including 20 penthouses, 229 one to three-bedroom condominium units and six town homes. Coupled
with a variety of housing comforts, the residential fortress will surly attract residents.
But for Keith Lord, the object is just to get people to stop by.
Lord, president and managing partner of The Lord Cos. L.L.C, is the leasing agent for the 13,775 square feet of retail
space available on the first floor of the tower. There is no question about it; Lord is looking for tenants that will
compliment the tower.
“The Fordham Group is combining townhouses with condominiums,” Lord says. “It is clearly the best building in the
market right now, and so the retail must be of the same caliber.”
The residential combination will be permeated with an array of goodies found at a five-star hotel including valet parking,
child care, daily maid service, space for dinner parties, wine cellar, humidor, an indoor grass area for dogs, fitness center
with year round heated pool, perennial garden deck, 24-hour doorman, computer and business center, secretarial
services, and limousine services.
The tower, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenze, also includes an 11-story, 500 car parking garage deck that will
buttress the town homes. The parking availability, Lord says, will be a primary incentive for retailers.
Leasing at $30 to $70 net per square foot, the retail space is available to white table cloth restaurants, coffee shops, high-
end clothing retailers and any other service boutiques that would serve as an amenity to the building. The size of the lease
space ranges from 1,000 square feet to the full 13,77 square feet.
The lease rates are pretty average for the area, says Lord. Priced less than the Michigan avenue store fronts, The
Fordham offers rates that parallel nearby buildings including 33 W. Huron, a retail strip also represented by Lord.
Attracting retailers won’t be difficult. With ample parking space and access for Fordham residents as well as the
Michigan avenue pedestrians and tourists, Lord believes tenants will have no problem pre-leasing before the space is even
“The building design is key for retailers to get buyers, and this is the best area because of the density and because of the
access to the tourists and residents. Retailers are looking for access to disposable income and visibility.”
The Lord Cos. recently signed Blockbuster and Whole Foods to the immediate area. Lord also notes that in close
proximity to The Fordham is Blackhawk Lodge, domestic and rustic yet sophisticated cuisine. Other nearby venders are
Rosebud restaurant and Peter Bartlo Art Gallery.
Since the surrounding area has few retailers, Lord Believes the retail faction of the tower will serve the surrounding
neighborhood as well.
“This is the largest contiguous space available. There is nothing off Michigan Avenue, nothing in the area, and quite
frankly nothing of the quality and (with the) parking.”