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updated: 3/13/2014 11:59 AM

Melaniphy brothers die within weeks of each other

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  • John Melaniphy Jr.

    John Melaniphy Jr.

  • F.J. 'Mel' Melaniphy

    F.J. 'Mel' Melaniphy


Two brothers, both major voices in the commercial real estate and retail industries, died within weeks of each other.

John C. Melaniphy Jr., principal at Chicago-based Melaniphy & Associates Inc., and his brother F.J. "Mel" Melaniphy of Arlington Heights, chairman and CEO of Site Location Specialists Inc., were remembered by friends and family this week.

John C. Melaniphy Jr., known for his reports on retailers, was born Jan. 30, 1936, in Chicago to Judge John Cyril and Gertrude Jean (nee Carpenter) Melaniphy. John Jr. died after surgical complications Monday while surrounded by his family, said his son John Melaniphy III, the economic development director for Wheeling.

"(He) was a respected real estate visionary who conducted assignments throughout North America and abroad," said his son John III, who worked with his father for years.

John Jr. was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from Mt. Carmel High School and the University of Illinois. He started his real estate career at Real Estate Research Corp., where he became senior vice president.

In 1969, John Jr. joined Kentucky Fried Chicken as director of real estate and construction, set up the company's real estate department, and selected and built more than 700 KFCs.

In 1971, John Jr. founded Melaniphy & Associates Inc., an international real estate consulting firm, where he counseled thousands of developers, retailers, restaurants, and shopping centers owners and was quoted extensively by the media. Some of his major projects included Woodfield Mall, Mall of America, Bay Shore Town Center, Virginia Beach Town Center, Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, Easton Town Center, and the Rock & Hall of Fame, among many others.

He was a contributing author to the book, "Shopping Centers and Other Retail Properties," published by John Wiley & Sons, in collaboration with Urban Land Institute. He wrote numerous articles and was a speaker on a wide variety of subjects. He also was an expert witness and testified at all levels of the judicial system.

John Jr. is survived by his wife of 55 years, Carol Joann (nee Sugrue); sons John Melaniphy III, Michael J. Melaniphy, daughters Laura M. Whaley, Patricia A. Talbot, Megan T. Melaniphy, Erin A. Melaniphy, and Sharon M. Cuncannan. He also had 15 grandchildren and one great grandchild. In addition, he is survived by siblings Joan Grogan, Patricia Gibbons, Margaret Shelkey, Joey Ploetz; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Smith Corcoran Funeral Home, 6150 N. Cicero Ave., Chicago. A memorial mass will be 10 a.m., Friday, March 14, at Queen of All Saints Basilica, 6280 N. Sauganash Ave., Chicago.

John Jr.'s brother, Mel Melaniphy was born April 6, 1937, and died on Feb. 27 at his Arlington Heights home.

He was born and raised in Chicago. He graduated from Mt. Carmel High School, the University of Illinois for aeronautical engineering and International University for his MBA. He started his aviation career as an engineer and test pilot for General Dynamics in San Diego, Calif.

He later founded Site Location Specialists and participated in numerous trade associations throughout his career, including seven years as president of the Chicagoland Restaurant Brokers Association.

Some of his better known deals included the Wellington of Arlington and extensive work with Darden Restaurant Group, including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and others. He handled the transaction for the large postal hub in Palatine, worked on many area hotel deals and worked with his partner, Cedric McGraw, on large projects for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.

"Mel was always willing to give a helping hand with respect to the restaurant and real estate business, and really embodied what the CRBA stood for," CRBA President Sperio Adamis said in a statement.

Mel is survived by his wife of 47 years, Margaret Mary (Jerome), daughters Melissa Kirby, Michelle Ingels, son Michael, and two grandchildren. Services have been held.

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