There’s no doubt that local businesses will have much to celebrate if on October 2, 2009, Chicago wins the 2016 Summer Olympics bid. But just how would Chicago hosting the Olympics affect the city’s restaurant and retail construction activity? Here are a couple of my predictions….
- Given the fact that most national and international retailers already have stores in Chicago, most retail construction will involve remodeling and expansion of existing stores.
- Ditto for restaurants. I do not anticipate new restaurateurs signing long-term leases for a two-week event.
- Retail and restaurant construction would most likely start in 2015.
- The hottest ticket in town for retail and restaurant owners will be a City of Chicago “Express Permit.” Historically, retail and restaurant renovations/expansions take 3 to 9 months after their building permit is issued.
- Larger general construction contractors that have been bidding on smaller retail and restaurant construction projects “at cost” to maintain their crews, will return to building larger projects like the infrastructure and buildings for the Olympics and leave the construction of stores, restaurants and hotels to general contractors that specialize in this type of construction, like Englewood Construction.