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A delicate balance for Chicago commercial real estate

Chicago has not been immune from the trickle-down effect of recent retail struggles. As large retailers close or downsize the brick-and-mortar sides of their corporations, commercial real estate owners across the country are left with vacancies. However, savvy investors are finding success by planning the right ventures in the best locations.

Property owners in areas with lower population are not succeeding like those in more densely populated areas. Likewise, those shopping centers that lease to retail establishments like clothing stores and electronics may struggle more than those with grocery stores or restaurants, which continue to thrive. Those with property to lease downtown or on the North Side may find themselves with fewer vacancies than those in the west suburbs.

In fact, many retailers are closing stores in weaker locations, and the bankruptcy of giant retailers is blamed for the demise of malls across the country. Owners of massive square footage vacated by bankrupt retailers in Chicago are now considering reimagining the space for use other than retail, for example, office space or residential rentals. Nevertheless, the forecast is not altogether bleak for those interested in retail business. Some chains — like Dollar General, TJ Maxx and Aldi — continue to thrive and expand.

Finding the right commercial real estate requires careful investigation and consideration. It also entails complex legal exchanges that often mean the difference between a successful transaction and a missed opportunity. An experienced attorney can provide assistance, not only throughout the investment process, but whenever legal issues arise between the property owner and the lessee.   

Source:, “As more stores close, retail vacancies rise again“, Alby Gallun, Aug. 7, 2017

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