Online, Luxury Retail Brands Expand in Chicago Neighborhoods

By Kelly Nickele, Mid-America As the summer season begins, retailers and restaurateurs in Chicago are scheduling tours for the city’s warmest months of the year, and overall leasing velocity is continuing to increase. Here’s a quick review of the top retail real estate trends in Chicago now.  Digitally native brands continue to expand, embracing omnichannel sales strategies. I grew up at Fremont & Armitage in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood through my high school years. I …

Downtown Chicago Multifamily Market Roars Back

By Mike Drew, Structured Development As a longtime developer of multifamily, commercial and mixed-use properties in Chicago, I can tell you we’ve never seen anything like the last few years. From the highs of the pre-pandemic multifamily construction boom to the lows of the first year of COVID-19 lockdowns — when downtown emptied out — to today, it’s been a rollercoaster ride. But the multifamily sector has ultimately proved resilient and is roaring back stronger than ever. Here’s a …

The New Paradigm of Chicagoland Industrial Market

The industrial market will be forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, demand for industrial space was closely tied with gross domestic product (GDP), with demand rising and falling alongside the U.S. output of goods.  The pandemic has accelerated an already shifting economy to an “on-demand” economy. This shift was created by technology companies fulfilling consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services, and has now led to industrial warehouse …

Success in 2022 Chicago Office Landscape May Boil Down to Who’s Minding the Store

When it comes to which office properties will succeed in the coming years, success may boil down in part to who is minding the store.  Like most big cities, Chicago’s office market has been tested by the pandemic, and office property owners face a far more competitive environment. Year-end 2021 office vacancy rates were nearly 18 percent in the central business district (CBD) and over 25 percent in the suburbs, or 44 percent and 35 percent higher, respectively, than two years prior, …

Chicago Office Market: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A common question Chicago office brokers are hearing from clients these days is, “When is the best time to start negotiating with my landlord?” In fact, it is also a question brokers are asking themselves, contemplating when they should advise their clients to get into the market. The truth is: 1) it’s very hard to say, and 2) it depends on the situation.  Let’s explore what we do know. This is a historically tenant-favorable office market. Vacancy rates have increased from 13.8 …

Condo Deconversions Will Continue in Chicagoland Area

If we consider that 2017 was the year that deconversion sales in Chicago began in earnest, we are now four years into the cycle. I’m frequently asked my opinion of how much longer this cycle will last, and what it will look like going forward. To me, that comes down mainly to supply and demand, with an eye on change in the relevant state and city statutes governing these sales. The supply of condominiums in Chicago is still plentiful, especially condominiums that were converted from …

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 …

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