Ari Topper, CFA
Principal / Broker

Ari is a seasoned and respected commercial real estate broker with nearly 20 years of experience practicing real estate. Born and raised in the Chicago area, Ari joined Baum Realty in 2018, specializing in investment sales brokerage, commercial leasing, and investment advisory services. His firm grasp on real estate finance and underwriting, combined with his advanced interpersonal skills make Ari a rare “double threat” in the brokerage world. Ari has experience with a wide variety of property types such as multi-family, retail, office, and industrial and has represented sellers, buyers, landlords, and tenants in his career.

Ari holds the highly regarded Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, the LEED-AP designation, and is a licensed real estate salesperson in the State of Illinois. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with a concentration in finance.

Lee Dickson
Managing Director / Broker

Lee leads Baum Realty’s Entertainment Practice focusing on incomparable performing arts organizations, immersive and experiential location-based entertainment concepts, hospitality professionals, musicians, magicians and other intriguing visionaries to meet their unusual real estate requirements. She locates remarkable, unique spaces that work well for this growing list of clients and makes creative, mutually beneficial deals for landlord and tenant. Her clients’ needs are not always understandable to commercial brokers focusing on office, retail or industrial. Theirs is a special language and she speaks it fluently.

Notable representations include Lighthouse Immersive (Immersive Van Gogh), Starvox Exhibits (The Art of Banksy), Original X Productions (Harry Potter - Magic at Play), Round Room (F1 - The Exhibition and Tupac Shakar. Wake Me When I'm Free), Immersive Co. (Perceptual Shift), Chicago Magic Company (The Magic Parlour), Albany Park Theater Project (Port of Entry), Peanuts International, Future Gallerie, Revel Global Events, The Paramount Group and Nirvana Center Dispensaries (that's entertainment, too, isn't it?).

Lee joined Baum Realty after a successful run at the helm of Dickson & Co., her commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in urban leasing and sales. She 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.

Josh Crane
Managing Director

Josh Crane joined Baum Realty in 2023, bringing more than 20 years of leasing experience to the role of Managing Director. Previously, Josh focused on leasing real estate in-house. He takes a very personal, ownership-like approach to leasing space, delivering all-encompassing services from negotiating new and renewal leases to the marketing and brand development of the assets he represents. With deep experience covering real estate from new construction to landmark buildings, his range of office and medical office expertise allows him to understand the different goals and objectives of each of his clients and their assets.

Before joining Baum Realty, Josh was a partner at Merit Partners and had success working for companies such as Golub & Company, Friedman Properties, and M&J Wilkow. Josh is an Illinois-licensed real estate broker and an alumnus of the University of Arizona, where he majored in Communications.

Paul Fishbein
Managing Director

Paul Fishbein joined Baum Realty in 2023, bringing over 30 years of invaluable experience in commercial real estate. Paul is renowned for his exceptional redevelopment, leasing, and sales work. Paul brings an unwavering commitment to excellence and integrity to every project he undertakes. With a visionary approach, he has achieved remarkable results, positioning properties for exceptional value creation for building owners and tenants.

An award-winning developer, Paul’s expertise shines in revitalizing large-scale vacant properties. Before joining Baum Realty, Paul founded Merit Partners, a Chicago-based firm focused on redeveloping office and mixed-use properties. Among his notable achievements was redeveloping the 1.5 million square foot former Marshall Field campus at 4000 West Diversey. Under Paul's strategic guidance, the project became an award-winning success, breathing new life into the massive building and revitalizing the surrounding area.

Before forming Merit, Paul held influential positions at Centrum Properties and Amerimar Enterprises for 16 years, where he achieved remarkable success as a developer and broker. His track record boasts $750 million in successful developments, leasing, and sales.

Paul is a US Green Building Council LEED Green Associate and an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he majored in Economics. His commitment to sustainability and development excellence and a strong track record of delivering meaningful economic returns have transformed Paul into a sought-after development partner and a driving force in commercial real estate development.

Chuck Whitlock Image

Chuck Whitlock

Senior Vice President / Broker (312) 275-3133
Chuck Whitlock
Senior Vice President / Broker

Charles Whitlock is a Senior Vice President at Baum Realty 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.

Tyler Dechter
Vice President / Broker

Tyler Dechter joined Baum Realty in 2018. A vital team member, Tyler works on middle market investment sales assignments throughout the Midwest and has made key contributions to multiple successfully completed sales and leasing transactions.

Primarily focused on live-bid online auction transactions, Tyler also works on traditional sales assignments and provides all aspects of property due diligence and underwriting as well as landlord representation services and market analyses to his client base which includes private equity and debt funds, banks, family offices, corporations, and individuals throughout the country.

Prior to joining Baum Realty, Tyler worked at Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG). Tyler is an active member of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, ICSC, Urban Land Institute, and The Junior Council of Lurie Children’s Hospital. Tyler was named a top 25 Ten-X broker expert nationally by volume in 2021 and was awarded the CoStar Power Broker award in 2020. Tyler is a licensed Illinois Real Estate Broker. Tyler was born in Northbrook, IL and graduated from Butler University, earning his bachelor’s degree in finance. When not in the office, Tyler can be found on the golf course or spending time with family and friends

Owen Wiesner
Senior Associate / Broker

Owen joined Baum Realty in June 2021. As a member of the firm's Investment Sales and Urban Office & Flex teams, Owen provides significant contributions to current leasing and investment sales assignments including conducting due diligence, market research, and proactively seeking out new business opportunities.

Prior to joining Baum Realty, Owen interned at CapRock Real Estate on the acquisitions team where his primary focus was finding investment grade multifamily buildings in secondary and tertiary markets that met acquisition criteria. This included conducting demographic market analysis, due diligence, and interfacing with owners and brokers to establish meaningful connections.

Owen is an active member of the Real Estate Investment Association (REIA) and the DePaul Real Estate Alumni Alliance (DREAA).

Owen graduated from DePaul University’s Driehaus School of Business, earning a bachelor’s degree in real estate with a minor in photography. When not in the office, Owen enjoys his free time spent biking, golfing, and skiing.