Tag Archives: Merchandise Mart

Merchandise Mart evolves from trade shows to tech

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Once the world’s largest structure with its very own zip code, the Merchandise Mart has transformed into the beating heart of Chicago’s tech scene. From 1871’s fledgling firms to giants like Yelp and Braintree, the Mart is a retro-chic playground for today’s tech elite.

The Mart’s foundation as a tech epicenter started in the 1980s, when ownership launched a $100 million modernization of the building’s lobby, façade and most important, major upgrades to utilities, JLL Senior Research Analyst Hailey Harrington told Bisnow.

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Tech, suburban migration fuel Chicago CBD office growth

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The downtown office market saw measured growth in the first quarter of 2015, with vacancy down to 12.7 percent and rent up 4.7 percent. But those numbers alone don’t tell the full story.

“The tech boom and suburban migration are not new phenomena, but both classes of tenants continue to drive leasing momentum,” said JLL Senior Vice President Nooshin Felsenthal. “It all comes back to job growth and companies’ desire to attract top-tier talent.”

Merchandise_Mart

Photo credit: Steve Geer

Here are seven secrets behind downtown’s rising office market and its potential for landlord leverage:… Read More