Monthly Archives: November 2016

High-End Real Estate Doing Well in Wisconsin

A new record was set in the top-priced, second-home market in November in Wisconsin. Lake Geneva saw three homes sell for at least $5 million. Lake Geneva is 80 miles north of Chicago. Here in Chicago, during the same month only one home sold in that price range, a Glencoe estate bringing in a cool $8.5 million.

If you add in the sale in September of the Lake Geneva estate which went for $9.55 million, it would not be an exaggeration to say “we’ve had a good season of top-of-the-market activity here,” as David Curry, a Geneva Lakefront Realty broker said.

Those four sales alone have already surpassed 2015. Last year Walworth County had just three homes that sold in this super-price range.

In the 15 years prior to that there had never been more than one sale per year in that price range.

Curry added that “If we had five more $5 million listings, I could sell them this year. People are knocking on doors.”

O’Hare Airport Workers Threatening Thanksgiving Strike

Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Photo Courtesy of Nicola at Flickr.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Photo Courtesy of Nicola at Flickr.

In order to maximize attention to their working conditions and wages, employees at O’Hare International Airport are threatening to strike during the busier than usual Thanksgiving weekend.

The workers are not in a union, but are being organized by the Service Employees International Union Local 1. Airplane cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants and janitors voted on whether to strike over a two-day period. In an all-but unanimous decision of 499-1, the workers voted to strike, according to union spokesperson Izabela Miltko-Ivkovich. There are an additional 1500 workers at the airport who did not participate in the vote.

The workers are not threatening to close the airport. They intend to picket outside O’Hare and walk through the airport terminals with placards voicing their complaints. President of SEIU Local 1, Tom Balanoff, said that the strike, “will cause some disruption, no doubt.”

“Workers are really frustrated because they’ve been fighting and they’ve been trying to get the powers to be to hear their voice,” Balanoff said. “So they’re hoping that with this strike, the powers that be — the city, the Department of Aviation, American, United and other airlines — that they’ll listen and come to a rational way so that these workers have the right to be recognized, and they have a right to bargain over their working conditions.”

SF Fashion Designer Cuyana Pops Up in Chicago

Just in time for the frenzied holiday shopping season, followers of exclusive fashion designer Cuyana can now head over to 840 West Armitage and browse in their well-heeled pop-up shop there.

The store, which will offer “fewer, better” women’s clothes and accessories, will remain open until Christmas Eve. The brand is known for its special feminine look which is classic and exclusive.

“We want to bring our retail experience to as many of our customers as possible and continue growing our presence in cities around the country, and eventually the world,” said Karla Gallardo, CEO and co-founder of Cuyana.

Gallardo grew up in Ecuador where the native language is Quechua and cuyana translates to mean “to love.”

“Our Chicago pop-up is designed to reflect the same level of detail that makes up our product designs,” Karla added. “The space embodies our fewer, better philosophy with a clean aesthetic filled with curated corners and beautiful product moments.”

The brand sells their product directly to the consumer rather than through traditional retailers. The pop-up will be furnished tastefully, with custom-designed furniture with classy brass and marble trimmings. The shop will also have on display “fresh finds” from all over the globe. A special treat will be live monogramming every day at the West Armitage store.

Earlier this year Cuyana hosted a three-day pop-up at Interior Define in Chicago, a customer furniture designer. This November-December pop-up will be Cuyana’s first freestanding in Chicago.

Mall of America Will be Closed for Thanksgiving

mall_of_america_logo13America’s largest mall, known as the Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minnesota, announced that it will be closed this coming Thanksgiving. Mall representatives “tweeted” last week that

“We’re pleased to give this day back to our 15,000 employees and their families.”

They will re-open for “Black Friday,” a day traditionally set aside for large discounts and slashed prices on many consumer goods.

The Mall America, by deciding to remain closed during the holiday, is taking a stand against a trend for large retailers to remain open during this universally celebrated day. Last year several chains like Wal-Mart and Target stayed open, while others remained closed, like the more upscale department store Nordstrom.

“We’ve been talking about this for months, looking at the numbers, looking at the pros and the cons,” Jill Renslow, the mall’s senior vice president of marketing and business development, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We’re excited to give this day back to our employees so they can celebrate with their families.”