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Chicago's New Office Construction Bucking The National Shift Toward Suburban Construction

Chicago Office
John Buck's 151 North Franklin, where a large block of Downtown office space was taken by Facebook.

Chicago is a top-10 U.S. market for new office deliveries in 2018, according to a new report from CommercialCafé. The 2.4M SF in new inventory, led by the arrivals of 625 West Adams, McDonald's new West Loop headquarters and 151 North Franklin, place Chicago seventh on the list of the top 50 markets for office deliveries next year. 

What makes Chicago's pipeline stand out more is it bucks a national trend of office construction shifting from urban cores to the suburbs. Of the nearly 75M SF in new U.S. office inventory scheduled to go online next year, 35M SF are in suburban areas and only 15M SF are in central business districts. The Chicago suburbs are in a steady rebound from the post-2008 real estate collapse, but vacant corporate campuses are the strongest proof that demand for new office construction in the suburbs is lagging, compared to what is happening in the CBD and adjacent submarkets.