Allen Joffe is both a principal and the managing broker of Baum Realty Group, LLC. Since joining the firm in 1993, Allen has provided clients with an unmatched knowledge of the Chicago area retail leasing business. He has successfully negotiated and managed lease transactions for more than 50 clients.
Allen has overseen retail leasing programs for both urban and suburban properties and has completed land sales ranging from 1 to 80 acres, successfully negotiated lease terminations, consulted for the Chicago Transit Authority and Mesirow-Stein, as well as brokering approximately $30 million of investment sales transactions on behalf of DIKA Management.
Allen has been recognized for his achievements by the Commercial Forum, a division of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) on numerous occasions. He was awarded Broker of the Year for Tenant Representation three years in a row, was the recipient of the Jimmy John’s Top Producer award, and was awarded the Top Retail Leasing Broker distinction in Chicago by CoStar three times.
Allen is an active member of the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, The Realty Club and is a member of the State Board of Directors for the International Council of Shopping Centers. He is an advisor for the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) and also serves on the Project Review Committee of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. In addition, beginning in 2014, Allen was selected to join an elite group of real estate industry leaders as a mentor with the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation, where he provides guidance to students interested in pursuing a career in real estate.
In his spare time, Allen is an avid soccer player and bicyclist. Participating in the MS Tour de Farm is an annual event for the Joffes. The ‘Gold Spokes’ distinction for being one of the top fundraisers has been bestowed on Allen since 2012.
Allen graduated from Illinois State University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
Adam Secher has been a partner with Baum since 2001. Representing both landlords and tenants, Adam has fostered long term relationships with retailers and restaurateurs throughout Chicago’s most desirable retail corridors.
As a founding member of Baum’s Luxury Division, Adam spends time with landlords and tenants specializing in the fashion and lifestyle categories. He is responsible for the recently completed flagship Gold Coast stores for Away Travel, Warby Parker, Vans, Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent, Starbucks, BHLDN, Brioni, Madewell and Le Pain Quotidien.
As one of Baum’s restaurant experts, Adam’s clients include TAO Group, Starbucks, Chipotle, Naf Naf, Roka Akor, Tortoise Club, DMK Burger Bar and a variety of local independent restaurants. Significant landlord representations include Hines, Marol, Repak Development, and Golub & Company. Adam possesses an intimate knowledge and understanding of Chicago’s retail communities including the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park. Two of Chicago’s largest ever single tenant retail transactions can be traced to Adam’s recent efforts – the world’s largest Starbucks Roastery (43,000 SF on Michigan Avenue) and TAO Chicago (34,000 SF at 632 N. Dearborn).
Adam is past vice-chairman of the Chicago Association of Realtors’ Commercial Forum committee and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers where he sits on the committee for the Illinois ICSC State Committee. Previously, he served as co-chairman of the Chicago’s Next Generation committee. Adam earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin.
Lee joined Baum in 2020 after a very successful run at the helm of Dickson & Co., her commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in urban leasing and sales. Lee’s career in brokerage traces back to her time as the Director of Retail Leasing with Metropolitan Structures as they developed Illinois Center, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and were the first team to try their hand at Block 37 with Helmut Jahn in the 80’s. Lee and her partners established The Retail Group, the first brokerage firm in Chicago to specialize in retail properties and tenant representation. Later, she joined forces with Friedman Properties to create three boutique shared office suites businesses which heralded today’s popular co-working spaces. As their Director of Retail, Lee marketed and leased the block known as Tree Studios and Medinah Temple and represented the Public Building Commission in redeveloping the Page Brothers Building adjacent to The Chicago Theatre.
Lee focuses on incomparable entertainment, restaurant and event clients and meeting their unusual requirements. She has an affinity for counseling theater companies and other not-for-profit entities to find the right fit for their unconventional needs and budgets. Accordingly, Lee has served on boards for The House Theatre Company, Remains Theatre Ensemble, Famous Door Theatre Company and, most recently, Route 66 Theatre Company. She currently represents several such companies in search of their permanent performance, production and office spaces, as well as rehearsal facilities. Notable representations include Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, Revel Global Events and Cards Against Humanity.
She previously led the River North Business Association as its President and served on the Lakeview Pantry’s Capital Campaign to raise funds for their new expanded home in Uptown. She is an active member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Arts & Business Council, City Club of Chicago, Women in Retail Leasing and EPWNG. She volunteers with The Saints, which supports performing arts organizations through ushering and charitable services.
Will Crowden specializes in retail site selection, and the sale and leasing of urban and suburban retail properties. For more than fifteen years, Will has worked closely with many institutional property owners and developers, and has exclusively represented dozens of local, national, and international tenants throughout both the Chicago market and across the country. Will has particular expertise representing growing brands on their new market roll-outs, and has earned the reputation of being a national retail specialist acting as the real estate lead for multi-unit national roll outs. Will is a trusted advisor to several retailers – including Fortune 25 and Fortune 200 companies. He serves as the exclusive site selection professional for Starbucks Corporation, PDQ, Blaze Pizza, and Foss Swim School among others. Notably, Will was an integral part of the team that sourced and negotiated the Starbucks Flagship Roastery transaction on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, which will be the largest single location for Starbucks in the world.
Significant property owners represented by Will include Macerich, The Sterling Bay Companies, Crow Holdings Capital and Newcastle Limited. Will has also performed extensive workout services with many local and national banks, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase Bank and MB Financial, in each case helping them dispose of numerous troubled assets.
Additionally, Will has served on the Board of Directors at The Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) for two consecutive terms and was also the 2012 and 2013 Chair of CAR’s Commercial Forum Committee. He is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), ICSC Government Relations Committee, a founding member of CAR’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) Advisory Board and a member of the Real Estate Investment Association (REIA).
Mike joined Baum in 2019 as a Managing Director in the Tenant Representation division, bringing with him diversified experience in corporate operations, in-house development, land acquisition, project leasing, dispositions and tenant representation. Prior to joining Baum, Mike formed his own company called The Meksto Group, Inc., a brokerage, consulting and development company.
In addition to his work with The Meksto Group, Mike has consulted with Megalytics, Inc., a firm that provides advanced data mining and analytical analysis to the Commercial Real Estate Industry. Megalytics clients include institutional investors, national commercial real estate firms, as well as corporations that benefit from advanced analytics in their decisions surrounding commercial real estate locations, valuations and business partnerships.
Prior to forming his own company, Mike was Senior Vice President / Managing Director Retail with NAI Hiffman headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. NAI Hiffman responsibilities included management of the Retail Brokerage Team, shopping center leasing, tenant representation as well as land acquisition for valued clients throughout the Wisconsin, Illinois and NW Indiana markets
Before association at NAI Hiffman, Mike was a Vice President of Development with Dalan / Jupiter Development based in Chicago, Illinois. He was responsible for land acquisition, project leasing and sales as well as lease and sale contract negotiations with tenant representation. Mike was involved with over 1,000,000 square feet of shopping center developments along the Randall Road corridor in Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles, Illinois.
Prior to joining Dalan / Jupiter Development, Mike was a Vice President with the firm of Tanguay / Burke / Stratton. While at TBS, Mike was responsible for the Home Depot and Target site selection process and was the coordinator for the marketing and sale of the excess Target properties throughout the entire Chicago Metropolitan market.
Before Tanguay / Burke / Stratton Mike begin his Commercial Real Estate Career as a retail broker with CB commercial. Mike was a “Top Ten” regionally ranked producer as a retail specialist in the Oak Brook, Illinois Office. Mike spent seven years at CB Commercial concentrating on retail leasing, land sales / acquisitions and tenant representation.
Mike is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, former Chairman of the NAI Global Retail Executive Committee, and an Illinois Retail Broker of the Year Finalist in 2013.
Mike attended Utah State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science. He is a member of the Alumni Association, Life Loyal Sig / Sigma Chi Fraternity and Football Letterman.
Charles Whitlock is a Senior Vice President at Baum, specializing in the sale and leasing of office, retail, and industrial property in the West Loop, River West, Wicker Park, River North, Goose Island, Lincoln Park, Andersonville, Roscoe Village, Downtown Chicago, the Greater Chicago market, as well as the Denver Metro.
Charles has a comprehensive real estate background, including experience in land use, zoning, financial modeling and real estate development. He has worked on complex projects involving regional lifestyle centers, transit oriented developments, retail pad sites, landlord representation and tenant representation.
A licensed real estate broker in Colorado and Illinois, Charles earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Denver. He attended the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. He is actively involved with the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR), and the University of Denver Alumni Organization.
Nicole Cardot joined Baum in 2010. She provides both tenant and landlord representation services with a focus on downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburban markets. Nicole exclusively represents Chipotle, Starbucks, Graeter’s, Dotty’s Café, McAlister's Deli, Insomnia Cookies, DMK, Blo Dry Bar, Club Pilates, Luke's Lobster, and a variety of independent retailers and restaurants. She also represents numerous landlords including Campus Acquisitions, Akara Partners, Speedwagon Properties, GW Properties, Hines, and Newcastle Limited.
As a vital member of Baum’s Tenant Representation Group, Nicole has secured high profile lease and purchase opportunities on behalf Tenants, Landlords and Sellers in Chicago’s most desirable downtown retail markets including the Gold Coast, Loop, River North, Bucktown/Wicker Park and the West Loop. Nicole graduated from Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Apparel Merchandising. Nicole is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, ICSC Next Generation, Woman in Retail Leasing (WIRL), Restaurant and Real Estate Connection (RARE), Chicago Junior League and Indiana Real Estate Alumni Association. Nicole is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois.
Dan Molnar joined Baum in 2012. He specializes in retail tenant and landlord representation with a focus on downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburban markets. As a member of Baum’s Tenant Representation Group, Dan has secured hundreds of leases for tenants throughout Chicagoland. Exclusive representations include Starbucks, Five Guys, Naf Naf Grill, Jimmy John's, Dotty’s, Primrose Schools, Susie Cakes and Cresco Labs, in addition to multiple independent retailers, restaurants and landlords.
Prior to joining Baum, Dan worked as a broker at Colliers International where he helped establish their Chicago retail division. During his time there, he exclusively represented accounts including Palm Beach Tan, European Wax Center, Granite City Food & Brewery and Ace Hardware.
Dan is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Young Real Estate Professionals and ICSC Next Generation. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Emory University where he was a member of the varsity baseball team. Dan is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois.
Julie Williams joined Baum in 2020 and serves as an Executive Assistant and broker in the Tenant Representation division. Prior to joining Baum, Julie was an attorney and residential real estate broker. She earned her bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Chicago and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. Julie is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois.
Heather Muth joined Baum in 2016 and serves as an Associate Project Manager and broker in the Tenant Representation division. Her work primarily focuses on downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburban markets, and she works with such clients as Starbucks, Chipotle and a variety of independent retailers and restaurants.
Prior to joining Baum, Heather lived in Los Angeles and worked for Rolling Stone on the advertising sales team. She earned her bachelor’s degree with a double major in Communication Studies and Theatre from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was captain of the varsity soccer team. When not in the office, Heather is an avid runner and is active in the Chicago improv/sketch comedy scene.
Heather is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and Women in Retail Leasing (WIRL), and she is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois.
Bill Cooney joined Baum in 2019. His primary focus is in retail tenant and landlord representation in the Chicagoland MSA. Since joining Baum, Bill has developed a specialty within the emerging cannabis business. While representing Cresco Labs on a national basis, Bill has collected material experience understanding state and local regulations, zoning requirements, and negotiating letters of intent in the cannabis industry.
Prior to joining Baum, Bill worked as a broker at Fitzgerald Commercial where he represented tenants like Chase Bank, Mike Ditka’s Restaurant Group, and the PGA Super Store, in addition to various landlords and developers in the Chicagoland region.
Bill graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban & Regional Planning. He is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois. Bill is a passionate Chicago and Illini sports fan and enjoys playing soccer, golfing, and traveling in his free time.