Bay Area Retail Veteran James Chung Launches Retail Brokerage The Econic Company

(March 22, 2021)
Retail veteran James Chung, a leading Bay Area commercial real estate broker who has transacted more than a billion dollars in total lease consideration, has launched the econic company, a bespoke commercial real estate brokerage based in San Jose and representing clients coast to coast.

Chung brings decades of boots-on-the-ground knowledge to help curate the most unique, engaging retail environments in the country, and the firm’s guiding principles views storefronts as living organisms, from their impacts on jobs to supply chains to their surrounding communities. Chung views his role as connector and placemaker, and he focuses on service, not fees, regardless of deal size.

“Retail is an integral part of all our communities and directly impacts the human experience on how we shop, live and engage with our surroundings,” Chung said. “We launched econic with a singular goal in mind: to provide seamless service to landlords and tenants alike in a landscape unlike any other in recent memory.”

Chung brings more than 20 years of experience as one of the top retail brokers in the country to his role as Founder and Principal of econic. Prior to launching the firm, he spent 18 years with global CRE brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, most recently in the position of Executive Managing Director and as the head of retail for the Western United States. He was consistently a top C&W producer and was named National Retail Broker of the Year firm-wide in 2014.

Over the course of his career, Chung has represented more than 100 national and regional tenants and landlords, many of them Fortune 500 companies, and exclusively represents more than 15 million square feet across nine Bay Area counties — some of the most coveted real estate in the world. With over a billion dollars in total lease consideration and sales in his locker of experience, Chung is relentlessly focused on delivering consistency, creativity, and transparency to his clients.

“I can tell you every make and model of cars driving by a particular intersection in San Francisco or San Jose, because I’m on the streets watching what’s happening,” Chung says. “Now more than ever, that information is critical. We know who’s in the market, and why they’re doing it — and that gives econic a unique edge to consult at a very high level and to communicate how market conditions are changing.”

Econic’s roster of clients has included everything from well known brands like adidas, Sur La Table, Starbucks Coffee, 24 Hour Fitness, Capital One, Chase Bank, US Bank, Party City, PGA Superstore, Salon Republic, Darden, Hmart, MOD Pizza, AT&T, Hibbett Sports, Save Mart Companies, Living Spaces, Inspire Brands, WellBiz Brands, Sutter Health, Fidelity, Cinepolis, and Kids Care Dental to Michelin star chefs and restaurants like Iron Chef Morimoto, Protégé, Back Of The House, and Orchard City Kitchen. Chung’s agency work on behalf of national REITs and property developers includes such names as Federal Realty, Hunter Properties, Kimco, Black Rock, Balboa Retail Partners, TRC, CIM, Jamestown, Donahue Schriber, and Keenan Land Company.

Chung is a sought-after speaker, writer, and subject matter expert in retail and commercial real estate and contributes regularly to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News. He’s also been named Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2012, ASVB (Association of Silicon Valley Brokers) Broker of the Year in 2015 and 2016, and among Chain Store Age’s “Power Four.” He is a longtime and deeply invested member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), which he served as State Director from 2014 to 2017.

The econic company is a bespoke commercial real estate brokerage was born of a singular goal: to bring a specialized and bespoke retail real estate experience to both landlords and tenants against an ever-changing retail and economic landscape. Principal and Founder James Chung is a 20-year veteran of the commercial real estate community and is a highly regarded retail broker nationally. Econic is aligned with the pulse of every retail corridor across the region’s nine counties — and represents more than 15 million square feet of retail space and 50 national and regional tenants in navigating leasing and location strategies across the U.S. Learn more at this link.