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Commercial Real Estate

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Crain’s Chicago Business recently listed Oakbrook Terrace-based NAI Hiffman as the fourth-largest commercial real estate broker in the Chicago area for 2005.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Hiffman attributes much of his company’s success to maintaining a loyal, high-achieving team of employees who are shareholders in the company. Hiffman said this invested team has contributed to NAI Hiffman’s capacity to shift and grow to keep pace with industry and technology changes.

Dennis Hiffman himself has forged innovative real estate development in Oak Brook and Oakbrook Terrace. Hiffman and his partner, John Sweeney of JPS built the first of the current ‘new generation’ buildings along the area known as the Golden Triangle. In 1981, Hiffman and Sweeney acquired eight acres of land on the Northern Trust lot between 22nd Street and Butterfield Road where, at the time, several residential properties stood. The developers were able to move those properties and rezone the land to construct the Midwest Office Center and Northern Trust Bank buildings. These buildings were the first in the area designed to have a ‘downtown Chicago’ feel, rather than the suburban feel of most other commercial buildings

Future Development
NIA Hiffman’s most recent project, the Oak Brook Promenade, is an exciting example of creative commercial development. NAI Hiffman describes the Oak Brook Promenade, located at 3001-3051 Butterfield Road, as 185,000 square feet of upscale retail space.

According to Hiffman, “this unique, high-profile project’s economic benefit to the area will be huge.”

Hiffman envisions more successful development in the area. Hiffman said, “We’ll continue to see development and redevelopment in Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace and surrounding communities, particularly in the northern part of Downers Grove and southern part of Lombard.”

NAI Hiffman is a member of NAI Global, the world’s largest commercial real estate organization, and is the largest full-service, privately owned real estate services firm in the Midwest.

Industrial Real Estate

CenterPoint Properties opened its corporate office in Oak Brook on July 4, 1998.


The site and facility was a brownfield redevelopment, a true ‘diamond in the rough,’ according to CenterPoint Senior Vice President of Development, Fred Reynolds.

CenterPoint chose Oak Brook as its base for several reasons. The first was the community’s centrality to CenterPoint’s 47 million square foot property portfolio. According to Reynolds, “CenterPoint is all about transportation and infrastructure, and Oak Brook was the best location.”

In addition, the company needed to consolidate three locations into one, to better serve the company’s markets. This meant basing all employees in Oak Brook. This was the company’s first relocation, Reynolds said. “We learned a lot about customer service when our own company became ‘our customer.’

As an investor, developer and manager of industrial real estate, CenterPoint is unique in focusing on hands-on property management and providing a rapid response to customers and tenants.


As the largest owner and developer of industrial real estate in metropolitan Chicago with 22 branded business parks and 3,300 acres of developable land, CenterPoint remains committed to metropolitan Chicago, the nation’s largest industrial property market and transportation hub.

Over the past five years, the company has successfully developed two of the nation’s largest intermodal facilities, the 750-acre BNSF Logistics Park Chicago (“BNSF LPC”) in Elwood, IL and the 1,200-acre Union Pacific Global III in Rochelle, IL. BNSF LPC, which anchors the 2,200-acre intermodal logistics park (“CenterPoint Intermodal Center”), is both a successful Superfund redevelopment story and a national model for other inland port developments. CenterPoint’s niche and experience in these developments, along with the financial backing of CalPERS, provide a strong foundation for similar intermodal opportunities.

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