In this Year-in-Review we reflect on the many events which transpired in 2022. Matanky Realty Group (MRG) fortunately experienced many successes throughout this past year, which, as all businesses know, is no minor accomplishment in the post-COVID world. The pandemic has impacted all sectors of business in some way, and the commercial real estate industry certainly felt the effects strongly. 2022 at times tested our employee’s resilience, and, in other moments, the year bestowed upon them great celebratory occasions. Though last year provided moments of pride and gratitude, the road from January 1 to December 31, 2022, had its fair share of bumps and obstacles. This year in review will tell the story of Matanky Realty Group’s journey through 2022, both celebrating the many highs that we experienced and detailing the challenges that we overcame.

Milestone Events

Since 1955, Matanky Realty Group has helped shape communities throughout Chicagoland by finding and creating commercial real estate opportunities for businesses that are big, small, and everything in between. We help our clients realize their potential and find a property that serves the needs of their business and offer a full-service menu of commercial real estate services ranging from sales and leasing brokerage to development to property management. Our business capabilities and extensive portfolio afford us opportunities to work collaboratively as a strategic business partner with both popular national retailers and highly motivated first-time business operators. Serving such a wide variety of clients throughout the Tri-state area has resulted in the creation of deals and involvement in events and organizations which have positively influenced our clients’ businesses and the communities for whom they provide products and services. This past year, though tumultuous, produced plenty of success stories stemming from these opportunities. Some of our personal favorites from 2022 include the following,

  • Senior VP Terri Cox is Recognized by CoStar as a Top Retail Lease Dealmaker for Chicago: Matanky Realty Group (MRG) Senior Vice President of Sales and Development Terri Cox is recognized by CoStar, the leading provider of commercial real estate (CRE) information, as a top retail lease dealmaker in Chicago during the third quarter of 2022. This honor is a result of her diligent work in leasing 2811 N Narragansett in Chicago to the popular restaurant chain, Wendy’s. This award is a part of the CoStar Power Broker Quarterly series, and it marks Cox’s sixth time winning this award. The years prior in which she has been a recipient include 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
  • CSL Plasma, The US Leader in Plasma Collection, Signs 10 – Year Lease At Bishop Plaza: Senior Vice President of Matanky Realty Group, Terri Cox, facilitated the signing of a ten-year commercial lease at Bishop Plaza. CSL Plasma, the global plasma collection biotech company, is the newest addition to the Chicago shopping center and is situated between Aviva Wholesale and the U of I Health Mile Square medical facility. Terri Cox was joined in this deal-making accomplishment by Jeffrey Maza of Cushman & Wakefield, who worked as CSL Plasma’s tenant representative.
  • World Business Chicago Appoints MRG CEO James E. Matanky as Member of Board of Directors: This past spring, CEO of Matanky Realty Group, James E. Matanky, was appointed by World Business Chicago as a new addition to their Board of Directors. Currently serving on the WBC Board alongside the Matanky CEO is a variety of 100+ esteemed companies including Aon, BP, Motorola, Google, Boeing, Ulta Beauty, and CareerBuilder. The mission of World Business Chicago and their many supporters is to make Chicago the most business-friendly city in the world by utilizing their economic development plan.
  • Senior Broker Scott Levinson Closes on Former Big Box Store in Southlake Mall: In September of 2022, MRG Senior Broker Scott Levinson completed the biggest deal yet of his career by facilitating the sale of the former Carson Pirie Scott big-box store within Southlake Mall in Merrillville, IN. Levinson saw the great potential of this high trafficked, 144,122 SF, two-story retail property, and after a brief 6 months on the market, a buyer was located, and a favorable deal resulted  for our client. This was one of 17 successful transactions for Scott Levinson in 2022.
  • Former US Bank Sold and Transformed into a New Chic Salon: In Downers Grove, IL the long-term lease of a US Bank ended, and a new and unexpected tenant decided to transform the former bank interior into a chic hair salon. The high-end beauty salon, Sotelo Hair Studio, saw the potential of this structure in combination with its prime location, saw it as a great opportunity, and got to work remodeling the commercial building to serve the needs of their business.
  • 2811 N Narragansett Leased to Wendy’s in The Chicago Neighborhood of Belmont Central: Matanky Realty Group proudly announces the lease signing of 2811 N Narragansett Ave in Chicago, IL to the popular fast-food destination, Wendy’s. This long-term lease promises that the restaurant will continue to serve the neighborhood of Belmont Central for the next two decades at minimum.
  • Robert W. Matanky, President of MRG, Joins Chicago Mayor in INVEST South/West Neighborhood Bus Tour: On September 8, 2022, Robert W. Matanky, President of Matanky Realty Group, joined Mayor Lori Lightfoot, members of the mayor’s staff, representatives of national retailers, developers, and bankers on a bus tour of new developments and opportunities within ten Southside and Westside neighborhoods. At one of only two stops on this morning long tour Robert W. Matanky and the Mayor spoke to all of those assembled to present the Retail needs of the Back of the Yards neighborhood. This bus tour was part of the Mayor’s Invest South/West initiative which prioritizes the need for development in Chicago’s most under-supported neighborhoods. An initial investment into those communities of $2 billion has resulted in new housing, retail, mixed-use developments, and the creation of new community spaces.

Tests of Resilience

Though the reasons for celebration were plentiful throughout 2022, there were also a number of challenges and obstacles that MRG was tasked to overcome. In the business realm, no industry has been left untouched by COVID-19. The commercial real estate market is still recovering from the residual wounds that COVID left in its wake. The pandemic decreased demand for office space due to the surge in remote jobs, an increase in online shopping has negatively impacted bricks and mortar retail. Big boxes have been closing and some retailers have downsized their footprint to carry less inventory and reduce the number of employees and overhead required to operate. Many individuals continue to find themselves re-building their finances following the strains that 2020 and 2021 put on them. All of this contributed to the challenges in the world of CRE.

Company Highlights

2022 came with its challenges, but all the while, we managed to continue growing and strengthening our team. In 2022, we organized two employee events which provided wonderful opportunities for team members to socialize and bond, and served as tokens of appreciation for the hard work performed by the staff over the course of the year. In July, we hosted a Company BBQ, and in mid-December we threw an End of The Year Luncheon for both Matanky Realty Group and our affiliated general contracting firm, MRG Construction Corp. These events allowed individuals from both companies to mingle and connect, further developing relationships and strengthening the entirety of our organization.

This year we also welcomed multiple new and talented members to our MRG team including our new Director of Accounting Operations, Joel Gerstein, Staff Accountant Alexis Ventura, Executive Assistant Dominique Hernandez, Brokers Brandon Nieves and Troy Bates, “Bird Dog” and Financial Analyst Sam DeBoer, Director of Property Management Shaunti Altoff, Marketing Director Rich Cruz, Marketing Coordinator Katie Feeley, and Administrative Assistant John Deger. This year was full of growth and expansion for our team, and we could not be more thrilled to add the talented and capable individuals  listed above to our already impressive roster of MRG staff. To both the new and old employees, thank you for your time, dedication, and hard work this year.

The Matanky Realty Group executive team believes that our company’s ability to end this year in a positive position results from the great work and diligent efforts by our employees. We appreciate all of our staff and associates at Matanky Realty Group, and we thank them for their time and dedication this past year. We also extend thanks to  our many clients and tenants. With that, we bid adieu to 2022, and we eagerly welcome all of the possibilities in 2023. May the year ahead be healthy, happy and prosperous for all!