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Market Report

Chicago Retail Market Report

Second Quarter 2019

Market Moves Slower as Owners Explore Ways to Fill Empty Space

Chicago recalibrating as the retail sector remains in transformation stage. The wave of store closures over the past several years is beginning to impact Chicago. Space is being absorbed; however, it is occurring at a much slower pace than in prior years, particularly as empty big-box stores require larger format retailers or even several smaller vendors to occupy the entire block. Substantial vacancy decreases witnessed in previous years are turning into minimal movements as the market adjusts to the influx of available space. This has reduced the need for new construction and has weighed on rental gains. Though rent growth in the Windy City has been rather inconsistent over the past decade, rate reductions are becoming more prevalent as owners sacrifice some profitability to attract new tenants and keep their retail centers full.

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