Tag Archives: downtown Chicago

Q2 2018 Office Insight: Millennials driving major moves and redevelopments

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Millennials

Across submarkets, Millennials fueled the commercial office market’s robust performance in the second quarter.

As global companies continue to change the complexion of their workforce in favor of digital natives, Millennials are having an increasingly outsized influence on major expansions and headquarters relocations. In 2018 alone, international companies including Rio Tinto, Showpad and iam bank have expanded their Chicago-based North American headquarters. The reason? Illinois is the second-largest producer of computer science graduates in the country.

With Illinois graduates accounting for nearly 10 percent of U.S. computer science degrees last year but only modest tech wage growth locally, Bay Area tech firms and legacy employers alike are seeing Chicago as a necessary outpost, especially for highly technical positions. Most recently, that prompted Walgreens’ to plant its flag at the Old Post Office, establishing a 200,000-square-foot digital hub.

This war for talent has definitely made its way into the development pipeline, with 6.6 million square feet underway. While incremental vacancy increases are likely at this point in the cycle, we’re still seeing rent growth, strong absorption numbers and stable concessions.… Read More

Q1 2018 Office Insight: A tale of two markets

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office insight

Q1 2018 stats for the Downtown Chicago office market

Two roads are diverging in Chicago, as evidenced by first quarter’s mind-boggling 35.2 percent spread between Class A and Class B asking rents downtown. While the triennial property tax assessment pushed landlords of choice properties to raise rents to record highs, they’re controlling the sticker shock with substantial concession packages.

Tenant improvement allowances are up by an average of 33 percent in the CBD over the past five years, something “that’s really moving the needle for tenant decision,” JLL Managing Director of Research Christian Beaudoin recently told Crain’s Chicago Business.

Construction costs rose 3 percent last year, there’s more than 7 million square feet of product under construction and landlords are competing aggressively to land tenants. These factors are fueling tenant demand for TI dollars, which will be applied toward building out creative, highly amenitized spaces in configurations ranging from traditional to progressive (like GGP at River North Point).

While financial services and law firms are shedding excess second generation Class A space, those vacancies continue to be offset by suburban relocations (including McGraw-Hill and AdTalem Education), particularly to the West Loop. Leasing activity has already reached more than 45 percent of last year’s total volume, a roaring start to the year bolstered by the urban migration trend.… Read More