Movers: Adam Mitchell jumps to JLL from Tishman Speyer

Bradford Allen brings on development director; mayor appoints buildings chief

Movers: Adam Mitchell Jumps to JLL From Tishman Speyer

From left: Adam Mitchell, Scott Seyer, Gannon O’Brien, Steve DeGodny and Jean Zoerner (Getty, LinkedIn, Stream Realty)

A Chicago dealmaker has returned to his roots on the office tenant’s side of the negotiating table, Mayor Brandon Johnson made an interim chief buildings pick, and another local brokerage is aiming to hone its redevelopment capacity.

Here are more of the latest real estate career moves in the Windy City.

➤ Adam Mitchell is back in brokerage.

After spending the last three years working with Tishman Speyer on leasing its 7 million-square-foot Chicago office portfolio, Mitchell returned to advising tenants on their real estate decisions, as a managing director with JLL’s tenant representation team.

Before working for Tishman, Mitchell spent 20 years with Savills as a broker focused on tenants.

➤ In a similar move from a big commercial landlord back into brokerage, Steve Degodny has joined Transwestern after leaving Chicago-based Golub & Company.

Degodny will work in Transwestern’s Rosemont office, advising landlords on office leasing.

Previously, he worked with Golub for more than 18 years, overseeing leasing of its suburban office portfolio.

➤ Mayor Brandon Johnson tapped Marlene Hopkins as acting Commissioner of the Department of Buildings, after firing the previous commissioner, Matthew Beaudet, this month, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Beaudet had been the commissioner since 2020.

Hopkins, a city employee for more than 25 years, was found to be involved and partly responsible for the lack of oversight on the 2020 project to demolish a coal plant in the Little Village neighborhood, which left the area coated in dust, the newspaper reported.

Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot led changes to city law regarding planning large demolitions in the wake of the incident but insisted the developer, Hilco Redevelopment Partners, rather than City Hall, was responsible for the incident. Hilco recently agreed to a nearly $12.3 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by Little Village residents in response to the dust cloud.

Johnson has not yet nominated a permanent buildings commissioner.

➤ Stream Realty bolstered its Chicago office property management team with the addition of Gannon O’Brien, who will become the firm’s vice president in the specialty.

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He departed Chicago-based landlord Zeller Realty, where he had overseen the operations of the 1.3 million-square-foot 311 South Wacker Drive, a building that’s struggling with vacancy.

O’Brien started in property management at MB Real Estate, where he held positions at 205 and 225 North Michigan Avenue and 55 West Wacker Drive. (MB Real Estate is now owned by Transwestern.)

Stream Chicago has an office leasing and property management portfolio spanning more than 37 million square feet of space, overseen by 43 professionals.

➤ Chicago-based architecture studio Jahn snagged Scott Seyer as its latest managing director.

Seyer was most recently a principal with architecture firm SCB for four years, and previously spent 20 years at Goettsch Partners.

He will be part of a leadership team “responsible for leading the firm’s domestic and international growth,” Jahn president Evan Jahn said.

In Chicago, Seyer worked on the designs of the 55-story Bank of America Tower at 110 North Wacker Drive; the 54-story 150 North Riverside; the 46-story 155 North Wacker; and the 51-story 111 South Wacker tower.

➤ Brokerage Mid-America Real Estate’s asset management business picked up a key new client: the University of Chicago.

Mid-America Asset Management won a 600,000-square-foot assignment for operational oversight and accounting for the University of Chicago’s retail, office and entertainment properties near the school’s main campus. The retail portfolio includes a mix of independently owned businesses and national tenants such as LA Fitness, Starbucks, Ulta, Stan’s Donuts, Sweetgreen and Five Guys.

Mid-America’s Jean Zoerner, Matt Tomasek and Tracee Johnson scored the contract.

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➤ Chicago-based apartment leasing and multifamily sales firm Peak Realty is pushing further into Denver and taking on a new name, Cross Street, as it expands westward, its president Shane Rachman said.

The firm, whose sister company Peak Properties was founded by Mike Zucker in 1998, opened a second Denver office last year and has rebranded as Cross Street.