REBusinessOnline

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 …

How to Repurpose Suburban Chicago’s Vacant Corporate Campuses

More than 50 years ago, I was witness to the birth of a new building type in Chicago’s suburbs — the great sprawling corporate campus. From Motorola and McDonald’s to Ameritech and Sears, some of the most influential brands in the world started taking root in Chicago’s bucolic suburbs as they looked to consolidate business divisions under one large roof and to provide a stimulating work environment away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city. Today, many of these corporate meccas …

Chicago Office: Fulton Market Isn’t in the West Loop

Long before the emergence of Fulton Market, local real estate professionals referred to the West Loop as the office submarket between Wells Street and immediately west of the Chicago River. But today some also refer to the Fulton Market area, an area one mile west and across a natural boundary of the Kennedy Expressway, as the West Loop. So which is it?The West Loop is the leading — and by far the largest — office submarket in Chicago with over 50 million square feet of office space …

Chicago Industrial Predictions: Absorption May Slow in Second Half of 2019

As we begin 2019, there are several opposing market forces at work that are sure to influence each of us, and our respective firms and clients. These market dynamics will ultimately dictate who has a great year and why — or why not. This year, it seems the signals are more mixed than in the past several years, so making predictions about the local industrial real estate market is somewhat daunting. Nonetheless, here is what to look for in 2019.[caption id="attachment_221391" …

Legal Considerations for Condominium Deconversions in Chicago

With the demand for apartments in Chicago rising, many real estate developers have discovered a previously untapped supply of potential acquisition targets — residential condominium buildings. This includes older condominium properties plagued by large deferred maintenance obligations and stagnating or declining unit sales prices. While the process for converting condominium buildings into rental properties can be more time consuming and labor-intensive than acquiring an existing …

Chicago’s Office Market: the Dichotomy Between Large and Small Law Firms

Over the past four years, Chicago’s legal sector has accounted for almost 750,000 square feet of negative net absorption despite a robust economy keeping demand for legal services of all types strong.While much has been written about large law firms shedding space as they reconfigure their offices with open floor plans that appeal to millennial and Generation Z talent, not all are following the same course of action.[caption id="attachment_213182" align="alignright" width="100"] …

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