Chicago 2019 Q1 Office Market Report

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Market dynamics still favor landlords; asking rents surge in Fulton Market, River North

While rental rate growth has moderated, the fundamentals of the downtown Chicago market have yet to turn favorable to tenants. The overall availability rate in Chicago finished the first quarter at 15.9%, declining by 70 basis points quarter-over-quarter. Class A availability declined by 180 basis points from the previous quarter, falling to 14.8%. Two-thirds of all leasing this quarter took place in the West Loop, largely due to United Airlines’ 850,000-square-foot (sf) extension at Willis Tower, and USG’s 220,000-sf renewal at 550 W. Adams Street. Overall asking rents averaged $41.01 per square foot (psf) gross, a 4.1% increase year-over-year. However, rents ticked up just 0.6% from last quarter. Class A asking rents increased 2.7% quarter-over-quarter to $46.52 psf gross.