Up-And-Coming Chicago Neighborhood Guide


Class commercial building

Move over Fulton Market, we have some new players ready to take the spotlight. The Southwest Loop, South Loop and Old Town are hot with activity and ready to make their mark. Check out what makes these three contenders a dream for investors, commuters and brokers alike.

Southwest Loop:

It’s no secret that Chicago’s loop is making big moves in commercial real estate. But contrary to past developments, there is a small sleepy corner of the loop making a name for itself. Billions of dollars are being poured into this corner of the loop from projects such as The 78 megadevelopment which boasts a $5 billion dollar price tag, a new red line stop and three new roadways. Not to mention the complete rebuild of the Old Main Post Office and renovations happening in the Willis Tower. With all of this new activity, it’s projected that major players and their thousands of employees will soon find their place in this up-and-coming corridor.

South Loop:

This isn’t South Loop’s first time making its name on CRE broker’s lists everywhere. Around 2015 the South Loop was the “it” neighborhood of Chicago, and while it has managed to continue growth over the years, other neighborhoods like Fulton Market have taken over the spotlight. With potential developments such as the proposed mixed-use development near Soldier Field, Tenant Advisory Group predicts that 2020 will be the year that South Loop sees a resurgence in commercial real estate development, especially in the wake of the aforementioned Southwest Loop Corridor boom.

Old Town:

The new is being brought to Old Town. Known for its rich history and being home to Second City, Old Town has a historical charm that can’t be beat. But it’s not just the existing developments that make this classic Chicago neighborhood part of our up-and-coming areas, it’s the new developments that seem to keep popping up. Office spaces are finding their home in Old Town as well as a new multi-step development with three highrises: the Old Town Park Phase 2. This development is the second highrise in a three-step plan that will eventually hold around 500 residents, a parking garage and new commercial space.

A commonality between some of these projects is a focus on enhancing not only the surrounding areas, but also the accessibility, efficiency and ease of public transportation. It seems that in the coming years commuters will find enhanced public transportation and an easier commute. Which developments are you most excited to see?

Chicago’s Next Top Neighborhood


The South Loop, River West and West Loop each have taken their turn as being Chicago’s “it” neighborhood. Now it’s time to turn our eyes towards the Clybourn Corridor, the thin strip of land on the western edge of Lincoln Park between Clybourn Ave. and the Chicago River. This area already serves as a main shopping destination for Northsiders, and the recent addition of Newcity is part of a continuing trend in this area. There are many developments currently in progress with many more slated to come online for the near- and long-term future.

High Demand

The Clybourn Corridor is currently exploding with new developments planned and in progress. Despite the rising vacancy rates from the influx of new buildings, retail rent has remained steady and even reached higher levels in recent years. This stretch of well-located land is continuing to attract businesses, both large and small, and they are not shying away from the increasing rents. With retail, professional and residential buildings on the dockets, the Clybourn Corridor has the attention of the city.

Room to Grow

In the last five years, over two million square feet of commercial real estate space has come online with over 1,000 new residential units. Even with the high amount of proposals, there is plenty of room for development and redevelopment in the Clybourn Corridor. Most famously, the Finkl & Sons steel plant is one of the headlining redevelopment projects. Sterling Bay has recently unveiled their vision for the redeveloped Finkl & Sons steel plant which includes a mixture of office, retail and residential buildings to be built on over 30 acres of riverfront property.

A Fresh Start

One driving factor behind the surging demand to reshape the Clybourn Corridor is its ability to act as a blank canvas. Large developers are purchasing old properties with dated buildings and redeveloping these sprawling sites into efficient retail, office and residential buildings. Its extreme demand is also fueled by the dense nearby population and affluent neighborhoods near the Clybourn Corridor, which attracts shoppers and businesses. Additionally, Metra plans to update their Clybourn train station to match the rapid updates the area is receiving. The proposals to revamp the community expects to draw a large, new employment base and add thousands of residents, all creating a positive influence on Chicago’s economy.

Chicago’s real estate industry continues to grow as a plethora of new buildings come online each year. The city’s lively entertainment scene, attractive amenities and its role as a booming international business hub make it a highly sought after location for corporations, and the employees who work for them. It will be exciting to watch the plans for the Clybourn Corridor unfold into a redeveloped, bustling stretch of Chicago.

Infographic: Chicago’s Next Neighborhood to Watch


Chicago’s Next Neighborhood to Watch


The South Loop real estate market has been exploding in the last couple years, but what is the next neighborhood to experience a boom? Perhaps the answer isn’t just one, but several. As businesses keep shifting their focus to downtown, neighborhoods surrounding the popular Loop, will boom: River West, River North, Goose Island, New City, Near West Side and Near South Side.

Get it Before it’s Gone

Large corporations – McDonald’s, Wilson Sporting Goods, Mars – have made the jump to the city, shrinking the amount of available space in the West Loop and other downtown areas. The surrounding neighborhoods mentioned above are at the early stages of popularity, and once they begin to trend, you’ll be glad you secured your spot. As with residential real estate, when you find a space you like you should move on it before someone else does.

The Trending Areas

One of the early signs that Goose Island is entering the early stages of popularity is the announcement Amazon will build its 51,900-square-foot Chicago warehouse there. The Clybourn Corridor is also undergoing a large transformation from its previous life as a booming industrial area. The area’s old Finkl Steel Mill site has plans for redevelopment, pushing the transformation of the Clybourn Corridor into the next phase. Warren Baker, a Chicago developer, already has plans to convert an old warehouse into a new, trendy loft office building, which will create an additional 65,000-square-feet of office space.

With Chicago being such an attractive option for corporations, the large amount of incoming developments will act as an additional lure to more businesses that are looking to move their headquarters closer to their employees.

New Developments

With new buildings coming online in the coming years across Chicago, the profiles of many neighborhoods are going to change. Goose Island is reaching the beginning of its post-industrial life with a vibrant future planned. Developers have a vision for the man-made island, and they want to turn it into Chicago’s next top tech neighborhood. Properties are being purchased with plans to renovate the old industrial buildings into brand new, hip office spaces. Multiple large developments are already underway, however these large projects will take a few years to complete and fill-up with tenants. With the predicted facelift that Goose Island is slated to receive, there should be no shortage of tenants.

The downtown area is booming, and the effects of its popularity surge are beginning to spread outward. The fluid nature of neighborhoods will continue to cause shifts in popularity, making the coming year an exciting one to watch.

Suburban Companies Are Still Pushing to Move Into the City


The red hot downtown Chicago commercial real estate market remains a popular destination in 2017 with more top corporations seeking spaces in the city. With a shift in how companies structure themselves internally, the growth of importance on office culture is a driving force behind the downtown exodus. The momentous surge of incoming corporations will continue to roll into the new year.

Evidence of a Hot 2017 Market

The momentum of the downtown craze is rolling into 2017 as Cars.com expands their headquarters in downtown Chicago. They plan to move to the city in mid-July, eating up 140,000 square feet of space. Wilson Sporting Goods will also join the club as a new corporation soaking up additional square footage. With these two corporations already publicly planning to move to Chicago, the writing on the wall says the hot market will stay warm in 2017 — perhaps they’ll even hold down the already low vacancy rates.

New Age Company Culture

Companies such as Google, Zappos and Apple have experienced much fame around their culture of encouraging and nurturing ideas within their company. They promote the entrepreneurial spirit allowing the free expression and pursuit of ideas. They also understand that happy employees work harder. This shift in company culture has changed the way businesses operate, adding a focus onto the care about the lifestyles of their employees. Moving downtown – closer to where their employees want to live – allows corporations to provide a greater range of amenities and a better quality of life for their work force.

Attractive New Properties

Chicago is a bustling commercial real estate market, and there are a slew of attractive new properties coming to market in 2017 and beyond. The repurposing of Coyne college campus will convert it into a trendy office space granting the city an additional 76,000 square feet and another 400,000 feet of space after their plans for a new nine-story building when completed. The new properties will add significant square footage to the Chicago market and help balance out rent and vacancy rates.

With new companies joining the already impressive list of corporations that are moving into downtown Chicago, the commercial real estate market does not have a plan to cool down anytime soon. Add the exciting new properties planned for the upcoming years and the focus on company culture, and the market in Chicago is poised to be an attractive destination for a while.

The South Loop Continues to be Chicago’s Neighborhood to Watch


The Chicago real estate development industry has been buzzing this summer with dozens of innovative new projects aiming to break ground in the next year in the booming South Loop neighborhood. Tenant Advisory Group predicted at the end of 2014 that the South Loop will continue to be a red-hot neighborhood, and it looks like this momentum will last through 2017 and into 2018.

The recovering economy has brought a resurgence of demand for the neighborhood’s urbanized lifestyle. Construction began last month on Prairie Court Townhomes, a luxury development at 18th and Prairie Ave. that consists of nine buildings offering 55 four-story townhomes for interested buyers. Those looking to rent in the South Loop should keep their eye on some of the high-profile towers coming to the area, including an all-glass, multi-tube designed rental apartment tower and retail center proposed for 1326 S. Michigan Ave.

Commercial and medical spaces are popping up as well. Rush University Medical Center announced it will bring an outpatient center to a new development replacing the former National Letter Carriers Association building at 1411 S. Michigan Ave. The building itself – a mixed-used residential development – will break ground this year, and the medical facility will open in 2018. Additionally, the Essex Inn expansion and the Riverline mega-development will bring more business to the South Loop.

There are plenty more proposals in the works that could drastically change the area, including a 62-acre site of former railroad land southwest of Clark Street and Roosevelt Road that could become its own neighborhood. Tenant Advisory Group continues to predict the South Loop is the future River North.