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.
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.
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.
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.
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.