REBusinessOnline

Chicago Industrial: Full Speed Ahead at End of Second Quarter

By Adam Haefner, Avison Young The Chicago industrial market continues to move at full speed at mid-year 2021, with strong tenant demand keeping vacancy around 6 percent, despite 64.7 million square feet of new construction added since 2018.  At this stage in the pandemic recovery, large corporate healthcare, retail, logistics and e-commerce businesses continue to drive much of the leasing activity, which totaled 27.5 million square feet near the mid-point of 2021. Companies such as Wayfair, …

Chicago Market Experiences Surge in Retail Sales as COVID Restrictions Loosen

By Chris Irwin, Colliers International As we begin to lower our masks, breathe fresh air and see smiles on everyone’s faces, there are strong signs that better than pre-COVID retail activity in Chicago is here.  With the expanded vaccine rollout, a decrease in unemployment plus the added boost of stimulus checks, the surge in retail sales in the city and surrounding areas has been measurable. The demand for retail space increased in fourth-quarter 2020 and first-quarter 2021 significantly, …

Tenants, Landlords Analyze Future of Chicago’s Fulton Market District

By Allen Rogoway, Cresa Chicago Over the past seven years, the Fulton Market office submarket has changed the landscape, and boundaries, of Chicago’s central business district (CBD) and what a “live-work” ecosystem can look like. Whereas the River North office submarket evolved over 30 years to become a low-cost alternative to the Loop for creative, boot-strapped companies requiring mostly small footprints, Fulton Market was developed for tech-centric, multinationals willing to pay …

The Future of Chicago’s CBD Is Slowly Coming into Focus

By Jeff Mulder, Colliers International Chicago By now, we all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the world, affecting life as we knew it in the most unexpected ways. Our business, the business of office space, has been hit hard as companies almost instantly deferred or canceled real estate decisions and switched to work-from-home. The average occupancy of buildings in Chicago’s central business district (CBD) is currently 8.2 percent, according to the Building Owners …

Missouri, Illinois Ports Collaborate to Grow Business on Inland Waterways

By Mary Lamie, Bi-State Development The key to current and future success for four ports in Missouri and Illinois is collaboration. As ports continue to play a critical role in the global supply chain, the special working relationship between the directors of the ports in St. Louis and Kansas City is helping to keep operations flowing on the inland waterways, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Significant investments in each port are also fueling growth at each facility. “Like many …

Pandemic Shines Light on Lack of Cold Storage Space

By Brian Niven As we begin to reopen most parts of our society following the COVID-19 pandemic that devastated our country and economy earlier this year, many in the commercial real estate industry are beginning to take stock of the massive shifts it may have put into motion. While the pandemic has decimated many sectors — shuttering retail shops, leaving offices empty and setting off an exodus of urban apartment dwellers — prospects for industrial properties have remained strong. Demand …

Now Is the Time to Invest in Chicago’s Office Market

There is a widely held belief that investing in the Chicago office real estate market in 2020 is potentially a bad bet. While some investors are concerned by headlines decrying the fiscal health of Illinois, the supposed overvaluing of Cook County tax assessments and softening of the Chicago market, our experience tells us those fears will create opportunities for contrarian investors willing to dig deeper. Because these misperceptions are scaring away some institutional investors, the time is …

Industrial Landlord Consolidation Means Chicago-Area Tenants Should Be Ready to Negotiate

In December 2019, Prologis, the largest industrial landlord in the world, announced its acquisition of Liberty Property Trust, another publicly traded REIT with a large industrial portfolio of its own. This deal, valued at $12.6 billion, seems to have become the norm in recent months. Companies such as Prologis and Blackstone Group, as well as regional ownership groups, have gobbled up industrial investment opportunities whenever they can. Just 10 years ago, the industrial real estate asset …

Chicago CBD Office Market in the Groove, Even Property Taxes Unlikely to Bring It Down

Despite recent concerns of an imminent market correction, the Chicago central business district (CBD) still has room to run. There are many signs of optimism in the market, including continued healthy fundamentals and a wealth of redevelopment projects injecting new life and vibrancy into various submarkets. In the second quarter, downtown Chicago wrapped up its busiest quarter for office leasing since 2016. Additionally, the downtown office vacancy rate of 11.6 percent was the lowest it had …

Investors Should Take a Second Look at Opportunities in Chicagoland Multifamily

Chicago real estate has been the subject of considerable pessimism from local and national investors due to a variety of factors. Much of this can be blamed on our unfunded pension liability, which is expected to significantly increase real estate taxes across the area in the coming years. Many institutional multifamily investors claim that their data says to avoid Chicago. Instead, they seek multifamily properties at far lower returns and cap rates in places such as Nashville, Austin and …

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