The amount of downtown Chicago office space up for sublease has surpassed the worst days of the Great Recession, opening up holes in the office market and increasing uncertainty even as new coronavirus vaccines spark hopes that conditions could soon return to normal.
There is now more than 5.2M SF of available sublease space, up nearly 1M SF from three months ago and an increase of more than 2M SF since the end of Q1, according to a report just published by MBRE. When the economy hit bottom in 2009, the amount of sublease space on the market peaked at 4.2M SF.
Many of the firms shrinking their footprints are tech-oriented, and that could spell further trouble for downtown landlords, especially in the West Loop, Fulton Market and River North submarkets, where tech firms were responsible for much of the leasing activity before the pandemic shut down the office sector. …
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