In Chicago, Large leases on track to match 2018’s record year and dominating in the West Loop

Leasing in Chicago’s CBD shows no signs of slowing down after recording thirty straight quarters of positive net absorption.

October 16, 2019
  • In 2019, there have been about 50 leases, both new and renewals signed over 50,000 SF and the average deal being 120,000 SF.
  • With new developments preleasing with big name out-of-market companies and growing Chicago-based firms, there has been tremendous growth driving vacancy down to levels not seen since year-end 2016.
  • While creative office accounts for 19.3% of the total inventory and growing with new deliveries, 33% of large leases this year have been in creative office product; further illustrating tenant preference for this product type.
  • Overall, the West Loop continues to dominate large leasing market share and the Central and East Loop are on track to outpace large block leasing activity from last year. 
  • With large blocks of space coming back in low-rise or buildings with inefficient existing conditions, landlords of these blocks need to ask themselves: is there an alternative use for this space or must they spend the capital for improvements in order to remain competitive.

Source: JLL Research

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