While it’s still too early to know for certain how the downtown office market will react to the post-pandemic workplace, new figures are showing that the Chicago area’s industrial real estate market has continued to make headway despite the widespread economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And those following commercial real estate over the last year may not be surprised as the pandemic has led a surge in demand for shipping, distribution and warehousing, largely spurred by ecommerce and data center leasing.
According to a recent report from Colliers, industrial leasing in the Chicago market increased three quarters in a row between Q3 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Net absorption in the first three months of this year was a whopping 7.2 million square feet — the same number as Q1 2020. The overall vacancy rate for the Chicago area was just 6.88% in the first quarter of this year, while vacancies figures in eight of the 22 submarkets tracked continue to hover near all-time lows.