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"] …

Infrastructure Investments Spur Industrial Development in Chicago Market

There is no question that all signs are pointing in the right direction for the nation’s second-largest industrial market. Midway through the year, the vacancy rate has stabilized below 7 percent for the first time in over a decade. On top of that, quarterly deliveries totaled 4.5 million square feet, of which 3.9 million square feet was speculative. In the second quarter, 7.9 million square feet was absorbed.So what’s next for Chicago’s industrial occupiers? Luckily there are two …

New Chicago Office Markets Shape Perception of the City

It’s an exciting time to be part of the action in Chicago’s real estate market. While Illinois remains an “outflow” state, construction cranes dot the Chicago skyline and the city’s inflow numbers remain positive. Large employers are considering Chicago for campus-like headquarters operations and exciting markets are continuing to grow.[caption id="attachment_204662" align="alignright" width="100"] Kimberlyn de Buhr, Transwestern[/caption]In particular, west side blight continues …

Deconversions, Adaptive Reuse Drive Chicago Multifamily Investment

Resilience in the Chicago apartment market amid a historic construction boom is creating opportunities for multifamily investors, particularly those who are willing to go the extra mile — sometimes literally — to capitalize on rent growth outside the downtown core.[caption id="attachment_204657" align="alignright" width="100"] David Goss, Interra Realty[/caption]Across the city in outlying neighborhoods like Uptown, Rogers Park and Pilsen, value is being discovered in vintage buildings …

For Some Office Tenants in Chicago, Being Out of the Loop Is In

Office developers in Chicago are thinking outside the box — and outside the central business district — in order to cater to tenants in search of creative office space. While there will always be companies that want the cachet that a business address in the Loop offers, others realize the strategic advantages of urban, non-CBD locations as a recruiting tool.Live/work/play neighborhoods like River North and the West Loop are growing because high-profile employers want to attract a …

Chicago Hotel Supply Growth Is in Line With Other Markets

Back in mid-2017, in a piece that was published right here in Heartland Real Estate Business, I talked about what might be in store for the remainder of the year. Specifically, I wrote that while “concerns about oversupply will likely persist in many [Midwestern] markets,” the outlook was not as grim as some industry analysts had been forecasting — a “second wind in the hotel sector” was “helping to calm the waters.” The general sense was that we would continue to see moderate …

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