Landlords Can’t Afford to Ignore Traditional Tenants over Tech Companies


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It’s an exciting time in the Chicago tech scene, with new startups changing the entire face of our commercial real estate market. This infusion of creativity and drive is fantastic for our city, but is it really driving our overall economy forward? Reports say it’s not.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Leisure & Hospitality, Construction and Professional Services industries led the market in job growth in May 2016. Tried-and-true professions – e.g. lawyers, accountants, architects, etc. – are the real drivers in keeping Chicago diversified and thriving. These facts, however, are not receiving the same attention as tech to keep the commercial real estate industry fully informed.

Landlords across Chicago are investing in these tech companies, providing incentives such as tenant improvement dollars, rent abatement and leasing commissions, in the hopes they will turn into long-term commitments. Like banks, though, landlords can’t lend on ideas over a tenant’s actual ability to pay. We need to continue to support our tech scene while remembering which leasees prove to be the smartest investments.

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