In the late 1980’s, during one of the most difficult real estate markets in history, Steve Pagnotta, a Chicago-based retail developer, recognized the opportunity to create a firm dedicated solely  to large scale retail development projects. Pagnotta’s understanding of the Chicago marketplace, expertise in retail development, and penchant for identifying professionals with his same level of integrity and tenacity, provided a solid foundation for what has become one of Chicago’s most successful retail development firms – The Bradford Real Estate Companies.

Since its inception, Bradford has persevered through numerous economic cycles, developing more big box retail projects than any other retail developer in the Chicago metropolitan area, making it the leader in retail power centers. The success of Bradford is attributable to many factors – the professionalism, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit of its team; the integrity, accessibility, and ingenuity devoted to each tenant and project; and its ability to tenaciously approach every detail of development. These factors, combined with the firm’s adherence and devotion to the core aspects of retail development, have led to Bradford’s solid reputation, its impressive base of repeat tenants, and its unparalleled retail development projects.



Bradford is a privately owned retail development company that invests for its own account as well as in joint venture with landowners and investment partners. Tenants include established retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menard’s, Meijer, Mariano’s, Kohl’s, Jewel, PetsMart, Walgreens, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe, Noodles & Company, Starbucks, Chipotle, and McDonald’s on a repeat basis.

For more than a decade, Bradford has maintained the same core group of professionals, resulting in an ability to recognize the obstacles and complexities of each project and utilize its experience to effectively and creatively execute solutions. As a result, the firm has maintained a consistent and loyal clientele, with many tenants returning for more than one development project. The dedication and professionalism of this team drives the firm’s commitment to its valued business relationships, its foundation of integrity and determination, and its entrepreneurial development tradition. The consistent success and endurance of the company is the result of adherence to several core strategies.

1) COMMITMENT – Bradford focuses solely on traditional retail development, tenaciously pursing and accomplishing each project.

2) INTEGRITY – Bradford is steadfast in its honesty & dedication, both to the tenant and the project.

3) INGENUITY – Bradford relies on its vast experience and creative approach to understand and solve the complexities that often arise in the development process.

4) ACCESSIBILITY – Bradford understands that real estate development is a relationship business, and is dedicated to the cultivation of those relationships by ensuring the management and involvement of a Bradford principal throughout every step of the project.



Bradford offers more than a development service to its clients. Landowners, investors, local governments and retailers have access to the many available resources of Bradford, from the team’s vast experience and expertise, to its creative problem solving approach and results driven entrepreneurial spirit. The retail developer devotes all of its capabilities, expertise and investment into each aspect of a development project. As such, Bradford owned and joint development projects benefit from the architectural, construction, leasing, mapping, management, legal, and financial resources available through the in-house capabilities of the Bradford team.

Whether collaborating with landowner, investor, local government, or retailer, Bradford offers insight, creativity, and dedication to each project.