Contact Us

Downtown Chicago Office Sublease Inventory Hits Highest Mark Yet

Available sublease space in downtown Chicago reached another historic high in the second quarter, hitting nearly 8.1M SF as the business district continues to reckon with the fallout of hybrid and remote work.

The Chicago skyline

Sublease availability doubled in the year following the coronavirus hitting U.S. shores in 2020 and has increased every year since, according to a new report from Transwestern. It has risen about 1.4M SF over 2022 levels so far this year.

In all, Transwestern said 414 sublease spaces are available, led by the West Loop, which accounts for 163 of them, or about 40%. Eighty-nine spaces, or 21%, are available in the Central Loop, while the submarkets of Fulton Market/River West and North Michigan Avenue rang in with the smallest shares of sublease availability at 6% and 5%, respectively.

Last month, Transwestern analysts Caitlin Ritter and Tanita Bradley cited the Fulton Market District as “the single bright spot in the market,” noting that it had “come at the expense of Chicago’s other office submarkets, particularly the Central Loop.”

Only 226.4K SF of sublease space has been leased so far in 2023. Sublease availability was also reduced by large spaces put on the market by, ArentFox Schiff and YMCA of USA being pulled off “after finding no takers,” the report said.

Chicago’s downtown area now counts 28 blocks of sublease space larger than 50K SF, including nearly 120K SF in Salesforce's newly built space at 333 West Wolf Point Plaza. The company had originally committed to leasing 500K SF at its namesake building but cut that by a quarter this spring. 

Other large chunks up for sublease include 79K SF of Facebook's space at 151 North Franklin St., 75K SF of Golub Capital’s space at 150 South Wacker Drive, and nearly 69K SF of Omnicom Group's space at 225 North Michigan Ave.