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|Chicago’s office market may still be in recovery mode, but it's exhibiting strong new allure for companies searching the world for young, talented workers, says Studley EVP John Goodman as he analyzes the mid-year stats. Studley places the overall downtown vacancy rate at 17.6%, down 0.1% from a year ago. But Google’s agreement to lease 500k SF at the Merchandise Mart and Salesforce’s commitment to take 116k SF at 111 W Illinois St show that Chicago’s appeal radiates beyond the Midwest. (There are Cubs' fans all over the world.) John says that the area, with a number of world-renowned universities, increasing cultural attractions, great neighborhoods, and an overflowing roster of summer fun, has companies that could be anywhere signing up for space here.|
|Tenants are looking for young workers in tech, trading, and to staff corporate HQs for companies like United, which has been expanding in the Willis Tower (above) as it consolidates from the ‘burbs and other downtown locations. But downtown vacancy rates range from the South Loop’s low of 4.3% to the Northwest Corridor’s high of 29.3%, and rents are basically flat. John tells us that the market still hasn’t turned around because of weakness in the overall economy. In addition, companies are putting more workers into less space. Young workers, in particular, don’t crave the private office with window that 50-year-olds like John want, he says. (Young people don't like watching wayward birds slam into the glass.) We’ll have to see lots of job growth to move the needle sharply on vacancies.|