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Howard Ecker Shares FASB Expertise with Forbes

I was recently interviewed by Forbes regarding the impact the new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) guidelines is set to have on company balance sheets.

Referring to the new FASB guidelines as “the biggest change to hit business owners in decades,” author Brian Rashid examines the financial impact they will […]

Conflicts of Interest Exposed by New FASB Lease Standards

CFOs are bracing for corporate real estate turmoil beyond their balance sheets when the new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) lease standards are implemented in 2019 and 2020. The new rules will require CFOs to document all leases on their balance sheets as liabilities rather than expenses. This will put […]

Why CFOs Can No Longer Afford To Delegate Their Office Lease

While CFOs may understand the basics surrounding the new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards, they may not be aware of the many ways FASB could actually disrupt their business.

Under the new rules, any lease over 12 months must now be recorded on the balance sheet as both an asset […]

American Pharaoh Wins Kentucky Derby Doesn’t Wear Blinders

Several months ago, after American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown, I started to write this blog. What prompted me to do so was the thought that I had witnessed one of the great feats in all of sports, while, at the same time, being removed from working on a deal […]

Can Man Really Fly?

Earlier this week I found some papers at home I had been procrastinating reading. Recently, I came across two articles dealing with the issue of tenant representation and whether or not full-service brokers are fair to tenants. I read the articles, which stated the usual arguments, put them aside and […]

Law Offices: How to Do Relocation Right

The law office style that was prevalent many decades ago is no longer relevant. Gone are the days of large law libraries, mountains of paper files, and an assistant for each attorney. Recent technological advances are going to take this even further, as firms transform older, inefficient offices to well-planned […]

How To Select Office Space In The New Era Of Work

Picking out the perfect office space has always been a complicated decision, but it’s become much more difficult in recent decades. For the majority of human history, companies selected their space based on the headcount of employees they needed to support. Every employee came into the office to complete their […]

Why Your CFO Must Drive Commercial Real Estate Decisions

It’s common for companies to hire either outside consultants or a real estate director to manage their commercial real estate decisions, but this often ends in disaster, especially if they are not properly guided. While yes, real estate directors may have specialized knowledge about the real estate market, it’s critical […]


4 or 5 years ago, I began an effort to re-brand our company. To make a long story short, I came up with the phrase “seeing with new eyes”. It was my opinion that the commercial real estate market was changing dramatically, and unless we looked at things in a […]

Why CFOs Can No Longer Afford To Delegate Their Office Lease

While CFOs may understand the basics surrounding the new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards, they may not be aware of the many ways FASB could actually disrupt their business.

Under the new rules, any lease over 12 months must now be recorded on the balance sheet as both an asset […]

What is the building of the future?

I just read an interesting article in the NY times about why corporate America is leaving the suburbs for the city. This article comes on the heels of a blog Howard Tullman wrote about the Merchandise Mart being what I would call “the building of the future” or as I’ve named […]

What is a square foot?

Often times it takes reading some interesting articles for me to focus on a real issue. I recently read an article about the swelling number of commercial real estate brokers coming into the industry. It is my opinion that the heart of this increase is a combination of two things. […]

The Disconnect Between Tech & Commercial Real Estate

There seems to be a huge disconnect between the slow moving industry that is Commercial Real Estate and the extremely fast paced world of Tech. I have been seeing a lot of Tech clients lately who come to me with a need for office space.  Usually, they want to move […]


Never thought you guys would hear from me this soon again. Needless to say, it wasn’t my intention, but a situation occurred after writing my most recent blog post about American Pharaoh that I couldn’t pass up.

Your law firm goes through a conflict resolution process before they are able to […]

Twilight: When the Light Shines Brightest

I heard an interesting comment the other day, one I haven’t heard before. One of our current clients came to Howard Ecker + Company after a brief relationship with a young broker from a large brokerage firm. When this client informed her broker that she would be switching over to […]

How Michigan Law Firms Can Successfully Navigate an Office Relocation

Moving your law firm can be pricey, challenging, and risky. Problems may include deteriorating team morale, getting locked in to a long-term lease that doesn’t work for the firm, and spending more money than necessary.

Firms that do it right in Michigan not only lock in efficient space at economic terms […]

Risky Business

In the 1980’s, a major oil company hired me to seek out 30 locations for a new business they had entered: office products. The company’s head of real estate told me that he wanted me to negotiate 30 leases across the US. The catch? He wanted each one to have […]

An Old Horse Knows The Route

The Chinese have a saying: an old horse knows the route.  I thought about that last week when a good friend and colleague of mine (let’s call her Jane) asked if I would work with her to sublease her office so her company could relocate. While this sounds like it […]

On Efficiency & Customer Service

A recent piece in The New York Times discussed the future of branch banking and what firms like J.P. Morgan Chase are doing to provide their customers with the service they require in a cost-efficient and future-proof model. What I gleaned from the article is actually applicable to virtually any […]

Back To The Dinosaur Age

I recently attended a meeting of international companies and space planners, where we discussed the use of open space versus private offices in the workplace.  What I found interesting is that many firms desire a location with an atrium, so their employees can see each other as they do their […]

Contemporary Office Space: Part Three


While your people and your field of work certainly play a role in shaping your office landscape, another important factor actually has to do with what goes on outside the four walls of your space. According to a study by Gensler, cities and their respective cultures and trends […]

Property taxes up at biggest buildings in Cook County

Prices of the area’s biggest commercial properties keep rising, and so do their taxes.

Property taxes rose at nine out of the 10 commercial properties in Cook County with the highest bills in 2013, according to the Cook County Treasurer’s Office. That’s similar to the 2012 tax year, when tax bills […]

Contemporary Office Space: Part Two


Last week’s discussion was about considering your people when making decisions about your office space. Another equally important influence on your workplace should be the actual work that you do. It might seem like a given, but it can be quite surprising how often I see offices that […]

Robert Gusman Named Managing Broker of Firm

Former Village Council member Robert Gusman has opened a Miami office for Howard Ecker & Company, where he will serve as the Managing Broker of a large commercial tenant representation firm.

Howard Ecker & Company is based in Chicago and also has offices in New York and Denver.

Gusman’s main focus will […]

Contemporary Office Space: Part One


In this mini-series, I discuss the various aspects of a workplace and how it affects and is affected by the culture of the company that occupies it.

Ask any company in any industry in America, and in general, the overwhelming consensus is that the workforce is trending towards the […]

Pyongyang Real Estate Heats Up (Yes, That Pyongyang)

I was recently perusing the business section of The Japan Times when I came across a most unusual headline: “North Korea Realty Market Soars.” I read it a couple of times before chuckling to myself and thinking, They must have meant “South, not “North.” Boy, are those editors going to […]

Striking A Balance Between Versatility & Expertise

Last month, I had the opportunity to participate in the Kellogg Innovation Network, or “KIN” Global summit, where I met some really brilliant people doing innovative work in all types of industries. KIN was a chance for us all to put our heads together and see if we couldn’t come […]

Another Look At Bar Association Moves And Remodels

When relocating, think about culture and space differently
Law offices have changed dramatically over the past few years, with the elimination of traditional law libraries and mountains of paper files, and so have the offices of bar associations. Not only do recent advances in technology and communication make old offices obsolete, […]

Choosing the Wrong Office Space Can Cost You

I have a friend, let’s call him Charlie, who runs a successful hedge fund. Charlie’s a smart guy. In addition to being a quant — a class of professional that’s intelligent by definition — he started a business a few years back that he eventually sold to a major Wall […]

Trade Winds: De-Mystifying the East in Business Matters

I was in Shanghai recently to meet with a client who had just rented a large commercial space in a very expensive part of that city. An unexpected problem had come up with the property, they told me. With all the new construction going on in the surrounding area, their […]

Moving the Office

When a forward-thinking firm relocates its offices, it will lock in favorable terms on efficient space – but also strive to create a work environment that reflects the firm’s culture and values. Although no master blueprint works for all firms, several considerations are key.

Four Mistakes Universities Make When Expanding Their Campus

Certain colleges and universities across the country are making plans in 2014 to expand their campus footprint and acquire more real estate. The question is, how do they carefully manage the potential challenges and risks, and implement a successful and efficient plan?

It’s a topic that I know very well: Large […]

Veracen Partners Among Pack of New Leases at 250 West 55th Street

Veracen Partners is among a set of several new tenants to take space at Boston Properties’ 250 West 55th Street, signing a 10-year, 11,263-square-foot lease for a portion of the 16th floor at the 38-story tower.

CBRE, which represented the landlord, announced the lease concurrently with a 7,196-square-foot deal with RTW […]

How to Relocate Your Office Without Disrupting Your Office

For many in the legal profession, the law offices of the 1950s through the 1990s just don’t cut it anymore. Gone are the days of large law libraries, mountains of paper files, and one assistant per attorney. Today’s advances in technology are going to rapidly multiply these changes and dramatically […]

Voice of Denver: Relocating Offices In Denver Without The Hassle

Real estate veteran Howard Ecker says there are five key questions to ask before relocating an office in Denver.

Choosing the right space for your company is about more than just finding a place to hang your hat and do business. Space has become an important component of a company’s culture and […]

Five Qualities Great Workspaces Have

Howard Ecker shares the characteristics of offices that keep employees motivated.

Productive office space is created and nurtured by many different things. In today’s working world, it is important to tailor your office space to the needs, wants and expectations of current and prospective employees as well as the clients you […]

Investment Banker Signs Lease At 16M

An investment banking firm is the latest tenant to sign a lease for office space at 16M, a 10-story mixed-use building at 16th and Market streets in Lower Downtown Denver.

D.A. Davidson & Co. signed a more-than-10-year lease for approximately 25,000 square feet of office space on the third floor of […]

Law Offices: How to Do Relocation Right

The law office style that was prevalent many decades ago is no longer relevant.  Gone are the days of large law libraries, mountains of paper files, and an assistant for each attorney.  Recent technological advances are going to take this even further, as firms transform older, inefficient offices to well-planned […]

Thinking of Moving? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions First.

Choosing the right space for your company is about more than just finding a place to do business and greet your clients.

The clear winners not only lock in great space at prices that work for their business, but also create work environments that reflect their culture, ethos and values. This […]

Mistakes When Choosing A New Office In 2014

Choosing the right space for your company is about more than just finding a place to hang your hat and do business.

Recruiting firms that are doing it right — whether large or small, national or local — not only lock in efficient space at economic terms that work for their […]

4 Big Mistakes Most Law Firms Make When Expanding Office Space

The legal profession is not what it used to be. Our father’s law office is becoming unrecognizable; with the legal profession rapidly changing. It has become much easier to be strategic and efficient with office spaces.  With changes that have come about due to new financial models, emerging technology, and changing commuting […]

Riverview Realty Partners Announces Lease Expansion With SmithBucklin Corp At AMA Plaza

Riverview Realty Partners announced today that ContextMedia, Inc. and SmithBucklin Corporation, have entered into lease agreements at AMA Plaza, 330 North Wabash, in downtown Chicago with an affiliate of Riverview. The lease with ContextMedia, Inc. provides for it to lease the entire 25th floor of AMA Plaza, consisting of 32,650 […]

Will You Be Relocating Your CPA Firm Office In 2014?

CPA firms of all sizes are growing. One of my clients has doubled in size (headcount) in just a little over a year. Maybe you are not facing that kind of extreme growth, but I hear directly from many firms that they are “building out space.”

Howard Ecker of Howard Ecker + […]

4 Big Mistakes Most Accounting & Finance Firms Make When Expanding Office Space

Decisions regarding office space can prove to be a difficult, disruptive, expensive, and stressful endeavor.

Firms that are doing it right, whether a full-service global firm or a smaller specialized firm not only lock in efficient space at economic terms that work for their business, but also create work environments that […]

Workforce Factors Working Against Landlords In Lease Renewals

Howard L. Ecker, President and CEO of Howard Ecker + Co., a national tenant rep firm based in Chicago, sees the same trends at work in his firm’s markets.

“Tech companies will expand,” Ecker said. “If you look at the biggest users of office space recently, tech tenants are much more […]

Upgrading Office Space: Four Big Mistakes

It’s an especially timely topic at the beginning of the calendar year, as companies of all sizes are making plans to upsize or downsize their office space. Forty-year commercial real estate legend Howard Ecker, who has worked on San Francisco’s Transamerica Building and Chicago’s Time-Life Building, knows this scenario well, […]

4 Big Mistakes Most Accounting & Finance Firms Make When Expanding Office Space

The end of the year usually signals a time of change in the personal and professional lives of many people. As we prepare to bring in the upcoming New Year, many reflect on the ups and downs of the past year.

Firm owners are no different. As you meet with your […]

Mine’s Bigger Than Yours! Commercial Brokers & Skyscrapers

On November 12, commercial brokers everywhere were stunned by the news that New York’s One World Trade Center had supplanted Chicago’s Willis Tower as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Stunned? Okay, maybe not.

After all, it’s not as if the announcement from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat […]

How Traditional Businesses Can Build Offices Like The Hottest Silicon Valley Startups

Silicon Valley and San Francisco aren’t the only urban centers that have office workspaces completely different than those that existed just a decade or two ago. Thanks to tech behemoths like Facebook and Google, companies around the U.S. are seeing a fundamental shift in workspace. Traditional space users—law firms, accounting […]

Thinking Anew About Your Workspaces

Midmarket executives should be aware of new trends in work environments.

Current commercial real estate trends show that traditional space users – law firms, accounting firms, ad agencies and even major public real estate companies – are now looking to edgy tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google for inspiration in […]

Can Collegelike Offices Help Retain Young Employees?

Assuming is not always the best approach for companies where the demographic skews older, says Howard Ecker, who owns Howard Ecker & Co., a commercial tenant representation firm.

Startup Culture Inspires Changes In Traditional Chicago Office Spaces

Chicago office spaces originally suited for law and accounting firms are being repurposed to attract tech startups and the firms who want to emulate that culture, says Howard Ecker, whose eponymous Chicago-based firm, founded 38 years ago, matches tenants to space.

He described to Blue Sky some ways startup culture is […]

Twitter Will Become Mid-Market Street’s Revitalization Engine

What SMBs Need To Know About Commercial Real Estate

Lease and rent expenditures often represent an enormous financial commitment for small businesses. Unfortunately, unless commercial real estate is your core business, you may end up overpaying or not getting what you really need.

“If a business owner walks into the building directly, he’s talking to the broker who represents the […]

5 Secrets To Finding Commercial Property For Startups

“Commercial real estate is an archaic, lumbering, anachronistic beast.” —Danny Boice, startup co-founder

Startups don’t get us. They dress like skate punks, don’t shave, keep weird hours and say “awesome” all the time. Who’d want to invest time and effort in finding commercial property for startups?

Well, Valentine Ecker Klutznick would. She’s […]

Pepper | Ecker Press Release

Led by David Burton, as head of global corporate real estate services (CRES), and previously a director with Credit Suisse, Pepper Property has leveraged this platform and made key hires in the UK and Asia as well as formalizing a long-standing alliance in the US with Howard Ecker & Company.

Judaism Your Way Relocating To Governor’s Center II

Denver-based Jewish outreach organization, Judaism Your Way (JYW), announced that the organization is relocating to Governor’s Center II, 600 Grant Street (Suite 308) on May 1. The move comes after significant growth both in services and personnel over the last two years.

“We’re excited to be moving to new and larger […]

Howard Ecker Schools Andrea Miller On The Merits of Keeping Business Lean

Howard Ecker has run Howard Ecker + Company, an international commercial tenant representation and brokerage firm, for 40 years. His firm does a lot with a little. A team of fewer than 30 employees — including his daughters, Valentine and Kinzie — has managed to maintain a client list that […]

Doing The Deals

Howard Ecker & Co. said it negotiated leases for about 23,000 square feet at 218 S. Wabash for the union Unite HERE Local 1, which moved from 55 W. Van Buren. Baum Realty Group said it represented the men’s fashion retailer Brioni in its ground-level lease of 2,300 square feet […]

Step Into BDO USA’s Bright, Green, Collaborative Home

Ken Mooney, executive director of ops, shows us inside 330 N. Wabash, BDO USA’s Ludwig Mies van der Rohe–built, Gensler-designed space for traveling accountants.

BDO’s accountants are often on the road, so desk assignments shift depending on who’s around. Storage lockers allow employees to set up shop when they’re in, while […]

Peppercorn Capital LLC Secures Sought After Lake Street Property

Peppercorn Capital LLC, a Chicago-based real estate investment and development company, recently purchased the Trainor Glass Company showroom on the corner of Lake Street and  Sangamon. The firm closed on a lease that includes three separate 5,000-square-foot-buildings located at 939 W. Lake Street for Chicago-based tenant, Minimal.

The design company is […]

600 Brickell Signs The Ferraro Law Firm

600 Brickell at Brickell World Plaza has signed a 15 year lease with The Ferraro Law Firm, a nationally recognized, mass tort firm, best known for chemical, asbestos, pharmaceutical litigation and tax whistleblower cases. The Ferraro Law Firm will occupy the 38th floor of the new Class-A office building in […]

BDO USA Leases 33,267 SF At 330 N. Wabash

BDO USA LLP, an accounting and consulting firm, signed an 11-year lease for 33,267 square feet in the office building at 330 N. Wabash in Chicago, IL.

BDO’s office space encompasses the 32nd floor and commences on December 1. Future tenants in the building include the American Medical Association, which will […]

Future Of Commercial Real Estate Undergoing A Fundamental Shift

Commercial real estate is experiencing a fundamental, disruptive and well-overdue shift.  People entering the workforce today have a completely different concept of work and the space in which they work than when I began my career, more than 40 years ago. They’re younger than they have ever been, more tech […]

Prime Group Realty Trust Announce Lease with SmithBucklin

Prime Group Realty Trust has announced that SmithBucklin Corp. has executed a lease agreement and will relocate its Chicago headquarters to 330 N. Wabash Ave. in January 2013. SmithBucklin is leasing approximately 111,081 rentable square feet in the building.

The building was designed by architect Mies van der Rohe and completed […]

Mobile Makeover

Like many entrepreneurs, real estate executive, Howard Ecker, and architect, Helmut Jahn, believe mobile devices — and a handful of must-have apps — are transforming the way they do business.