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Nontraditional Retail Drives Growth In The Whole Sector For Chicago

Restaurants, entertainment venues and specialty fitness studios have become "the main source of activity and growth in the retail sector" in the Windy City, according to a recent analysis by CBRE Chicago. 

With climbing Chicago rents and the threat of e-commerce swallowing an ever-larger market share, traditional retail may need to reconsider its continued reliance on traditional brick-and-mortar stores. 

High Street will always have strong interest from retail tenants," said CBRE senior vice president Kim McGuire. "But surrounding neighborhoods are finding it more difficult to attract quality retailers, as rents have escalated in recent years and the internet continues to take its toll."

Kim says nontraditional retail has stepped up to fill this vacuum, with growth especially strong in Streeterville, River North and Old Town. [CBRE]