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The Key To Chicago's Retail Leasing Resurgence: Nontraditional Businesses


We know that retail real estate leasing is in one of its strongest periods in recent memory, but what retailers are driving the record low vacancies and how far does demand for storefront space stretch away from the downtown core?

According to CBRE SVP Kim McGuire, nontraditional retailers such as fitness centers and entertainment options are leading the charge. In some markets, such as Bucktown and the Southport Corridor, those retailers are the foundations for vibrant shopping districts.


Kim says these retailers are even being bold about seeking out downtown storefronts and specifically cited the openings of upscale table tennis clubs SPiN at Marina City and Bounce at 111 W Wacker as examples. With Chicago recognized as a culinary metropolis, restaurants are also vying for space in neighborhoods with guaranteed high foot traffic.

Kim adds that Fulton Market remains the neighborhood poised for the most retail growth in the immediate future. He expects large retailers to eventually make plays in Fulton Market as more out-of-town capital flows into the area.