Chicago is leading major U.S. cities in pandemic recovery measures, which is excellent news for commercial real estate. For the 8th consecutive year, Chicago has led the country in corporate relocations and expansion. Commercial real estate should be firing on all cylinders as offices open back up in 2022.
- Chicago’s industrial market is booming. New leases totaled a record-breaking 48.6 million square feet in 2020 - a 28% increase over 2019’s volume. Developers are responding to increased demand.
- Chicago is set to invest $1 Billion in affordable housing. The city will invest in 24 developments to create and preserve 2,428 rental units.
- Many developers are aiming to build Chicago’s first casino and some of the biggest operators have proposed plans that would bring the establishment to the city’s Southside. https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2021/12/06/chicago-first-casino.html
- Adaptive reuse is a huge development trend in Chicago right now. In 2020-2021, developers delivered over 1,200 units from buildings constructed initially as offices; the most in any city in the U.S. besides Washington D.C.
Exciting Projects Transforming Chicago
- Developer Mark Goodman & Associates has gained approval for a 16-story life sciences building in the Fulton Market neighborhood. The building is expected to add 1,350 high-tech jobs to the city.
- A $102M “affordable housing” building is coming to underused land in Chicago’s Loop. The development will occupy land currently inhabited by a parking garage and vacant land. The housing will be priced for tenants earning 30-80% of the Chicago area median income. Designed by Studio Gang with DesignBridge and JAQ Corp, the project is expected to create 530 temporary and permanent jobs. https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2021/06/18/102m-affordable-high-rise-coming-to-the-loop.html
- After years of planning, Sterling Bay broke ground in October on the first building of its mega-development, Lincoln Yards. Lincoln Yards will bring 11 acres of new parkland, transportation improvements, an extension of the 606 trail and a new Metra station to the Bucktown / Lincoln Park area.
- Related Midwest is building a neighborhood on the city’s south branch with its 62-acre, $7.2B development known as The 78. The area is zoned for 13M square feet of buildings, housing 10,000 residential units and 24,000 workers.
- Bronzeville Lakefront is a $3.8M megadevelopment on the city’s Southside. The project stands to make history as the first project driven by a team of predominantly Black developers. Loop Capital, McLaurin Development Partners and Bronzeville Community Development Partnership, are the developers leading the project. The project will also be introducing a “social impact program” to make sure that all residents are included equally.