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A Small Lease Could Show How The Office Market Is Changing

8601 West Bryn Mawr Ave.

It's a small deal, but a new lease at the Concourse Chicago office complex could show how the office market will look as it is shaped by the coronavirus crisis. Some office landlords will not find it a comforting vision. 

The Clarity Group, an information technology firm that serves healthcare providers, exchanged 9K SF in a Class-A, multistory office building in the O’Hare market for a little more than 1K SF in the single-story Concourse Chicago nearby at 8601 West Bryn Mawr Ave.

Office tenants throughout the market have expressed fears about returning too early to densely packed office buildings, especially those where employees must squeeze into elevators each morning and afternoon. Single-story buildings may provide a solution.

The 165K SF Concourse Chicago provides firms with private entrances to their space, separate HVAC systems, private restrooms and their own kitchen, according to NAI Hiffman's Steve Chrastka, who leases the property with Jason Wurtz. Employees can also relax in outdoor lounge areas.

“Having no restrictions on access and not sharing hallways, bathrooms or HVAC is even more important now,” Chrastka said.  

Before the pandemic's onset, the vast majority of Clarity Group employees were based in the company’s office space, he added. But the company fully embraced a work-from-home model, so it can now get by with a much smaller office footprint.

“This type of mindset will be adopted by companies looking for an office space and setting that offers them complete control over their space going forward," Chrastka said.