Author Archives: Neil Bouhan

CRE Pulse 009: Chicago’s Resilient Suburban Office Market

Chicago’s suburban office market is undergoing a period of intense transformation. But are the headlines about its unending struggles justified? Our latest report challenges the prevailing narrative, revealing a market filled with opportunities. Dive deeper to uncover insights that redefine the competitive landscape—insights the headlines have overlooked.

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Q1/24 Downtown Chicago Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in Chicago’s downtown office market:

  • Absorption remained negative with -1.4 million square feet absorbed through Q1/24.
  • The direct vacancy rate surpassed 21% in the CBD.
  • Demand is increasing for move-in ready office suites which accounted for more than 38% of deals in Q1/24.
  • The average gross asking rate in Chicago’s CBD remained at $43 per square foot.

 

Year-End 23 Suburban Chicago Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

The second half of the year in the suburban office market:

  • Leasing activity remained above pre-pandemic levels with more than 5.2 million s.f. leased through 2023.
  • Absorption remained negative with -930,000 s.f. absorbed through the back half of 2023, resulting in -1.2 million s.f. of net absorption through the year.
  • The direct vacancy rate increased to 28.3%.
  • The average gross asking rate for the market is $27 per s.f.

 

Q4/23 Downtown Chicago Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in the downtown office market:

  • Absorption remained negative with -530,000 s.f. absorbed through Q4/23, resulting in a total of -1.6 million s.f. of net absorption through 2023.
  • The direct vacancy rate surpassed 20% in the CBD.
  • Available sublease space on the market remained steady, sitting at 7.7 million s.f.
  • The average gross asking rate for the CBD declined to $43 per s.f.

 

Q3/23 Downtown Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in the downtown office market:

  • Absorption turned negative with -431,000 s.f. of net absorption through Q3/23, resulting in year-to-date levels of -933,000 s.f.
  • The direct vacancy rate remained steady, sitting at 19.8% for the CBD.
  • Available sublease space ticked down to 7.6 million s.f.
  • The gross asking rate for the market remained at $44 p.s.f.

 

Q2/23 Downtown Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in the downtown office market:

  • Absorption levels turned positive in Q2/23, as more than 64,000 square feet of office space was absorbed this quarter—a significant improvement compared to the negative 1.8 million square feet of absorption in Q1.
  • Direct vacancy rate remained steady, sitting at 19.2%.
  • The gross asking rate for the market is $44.25 p.s.f.
  • Available sublease space increased to 7.8 million square feet in Q2/23.

 

Mid-Year 2023 Suburban Chicago Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This half in the suburban office market:

  • Leasing activity surpassed pre-pandemic levels, as nearly 2.6 million square feet of office space has been leased year-to-date.
  • Absorption levels remained negative at -332,000 s.f. through mid-year 2023.
  • Direct vacancy rate decreased to 26.9%.
  • The gross asking rate for the market is $26.67 p.s.f.
  • Sublet availability slightly declined to 3.9% in Q4/22.
 

CRE Office Pulse 008: Tracking Chicagoland’s Return to the Office

While hybrid and remote work are here to stay, the benefits of in-person collaboration are compelling. Both employers and employees increasingly see the value of returning to the office, and tracking these trends reveals important insights, like the relative success of the suburban office markets. Still, for Chicago’s CBD, the long-term fundamentals remain strong and are moving in the right direction.

Read the full article now

 

Q1/23 Downtown Chicago Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in the downtown office market:

  • Absorption levels turned negative to start the year, posting -1.8 million s.f. in Q1/23
  • Direct vacancy increased to 19.8%
  • The gross asking rate for the market is $42.89 p.s.f.
  • Sublet availability remained steady at 4.5% in Q1/23

 

Year-End 2022 Chicago Suburbs Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This half in the suburban office market:

  • Absorption levels improved but remained negative at -250,000 s.f. in the back half of 2022
  • Direct vacancy rate remained steady at 28.9%
  • The gross asking rate for the market is $26.22 p.s.f.
  • Sublet availability slightly decreased to 4.1%

 

Q4/22 Downtown Chicago Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in the downtown office market:

  • Absorption levels turned negative to end the year, posting -600,000 s.f. in Q4/22
  • Direct vacancy increased to 18.9%
  • The gross asking rate for the market is $42.64 p.s.f.
  • Sublet availability remained relatively unchanged at 4.2%

 

CRE Office Pulse 007: Chicago Remains a Top Prospect

For corporate headquarters decisions, Chicago ranks well among its competitors, and the reasons companies chose the city prior to the pandemic have remained relatively unchanged. The diverse talent pool, favorable location, extensive transit options and relatively less expensive cost-of-living creates an ideal situation for employers and employees. Even though the pandemic created a structural shift in the office market, companies continue to reaffirm their commitment to city, helping the long-term stability of Chicago’s CBD.

Read on to find out more

 

Bradford Allen expands Downtown Agency Leasing practice

CHICAGO, IL — Senior Managing Director Andy DeMoss is pleased to announce Craig Nadborne has been named the loft division leader on the downtown agency team.

“Loft has always been a focus at Bradford Allen, but as our downtown agency practice has grown, launching a dedicated team of loft specialists was the best way to continue delivering first-class service to our agency clients,” said Andy DeMoss, the downtown agency team lead. “Craig was the obvious choice to run it,” Andy continued, “with over three decades in the business, including the past 15 years with Bradford Allen, Craig has an outstanding track record representing loft buildings.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to step into this role and continue to build BA’s loft agency business, “Nadborne said. “I’ll bring the same customer-first approach and value-add market insights that have helped me close over 1,000 transactions in my career.”

“Our goal is to continue to grow our entire CBD agency business,” continued DeMoss. “We believe our street-level reconnaissance culture and focus on direct canvassing for tenants is advantageous to all building owners, especially in this leasing environment.”

Craig’s current assignments include 162 W Hubbard, 314 W Institute, 415 N Dearborn and 808 N Cleveland. With this new role, he will add these properties to his portfolio: 626 W Jackson, 900 N Franklin, 224 N Des Plaines 404 S Wells and 412 S Wells. Recent associate-level hires Lanie Trotter and Grace Garza will assist Craig, providing full-service coverage to BA’s agency relationships.


About Bradford Allen
Bradford Allen is a national commercial real estate firm based in the heart of downtown Chicago. The company offers a full array of brokerage services and expertise to entrepreneurial, corporate, and not-for-profit clients. Services include strategy, marketing, and transaction execution for occupiers, investors, and owners of commercial real estate. Bradford Allen is the brand name of Bradford Allen Realty Services.

 

Bradford Allen Represents the Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates in 15,000 SF Renewal

CHICAGO, IL — Jeffrey A. Bernstein and Laurence B. Elbaum, Principals and Co-Founders of Bradford Allen, are pleased to announce that Ben Azulay, Principal, along with Riley Schleifer, Associate, completed a 15,000-square-foot-lease renewal for Ahlgren Law at 33 N LaSalle, a renovated and amenitized vintage art deco tower in the Central Loop.

“In a volatile leasing market like this, tenants have multiple opportunities to negotiate and improve their space. But there are also more risks, like historically high rents in some submarkets and potentially distressed buildings in others. We were able to work closely with Ahlgren, understand their needs, navigate the risks, and maximize their leverage in negotiating a renewal,” said Azulay.

Ahlgren Law is a Chicago-based immigration law firm. Since 1973, they have worked tirelessly to meet clients’ needs on the path to legal status. A full-service firm, Ahlgren’s passionate attorneys and dedicated staff represent individuals and families in a variety of immigration matters, including family cases, removal (deportation) defense, U.S. citizenship and naturalization, and appeals.

About Bradford Allen
Bradford Allen is a national commercial real estate firm based in the heart of downtown Chicago. The company offers a full array of brokerage services and expertise to entrepreneurial, corporate, and not-for-profit clients. Services include strategy, marketing, and transaction execution for occupiers, investors, and owners of commercial real estate. Bradford Allen is the brand name of Bradford Allen Realty Services.

 

Q3/22 Downtown Chicago Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in the downtown office market:

  • Absorption levels turned positive for the first time this year at 221,780 s.f. for Q3
  • Direct vacancy remained relatively unchanged at 18.3%
  • The gross asking rate for the market is $43.94 p.s.f.
  • Sublet availability remained steady at 4.3%

 

CRE Office Pulse 006: Chicago Office Supply Growth Screeches to a Halt

In Chicago’s CBD, new office construction has come to a screeching halt, only a couple years after hitting record highs. And even as the effects of the pandemic dissipate, new development continues slowing. What’s behind this deceleration in supply growth? We identify four primary factors weighing on the office construction market and discuss long-run implications for the CBD.

Read on to find out more

 

Mid-Year 2022 Chicago Suburbs Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This half in the suburban office market:

  • Absorption levels improved but remained negative at -350,000 s.f. for Q2
  • Direct vacancy increased to 28.6%
  • The gross asking rate for the market is $25.42 p.s.f.
  • Sublet availability remained steady at 4.3%

 

Q2/22 Downtown Chicago Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market report.

This quarter in the downtown office market:

  • Absorption levels improved but remained negative at -300,000 s.f. for Q2
  • Direct vacancy increased to 18.4%
  • The gross asking rate for the market is $42.87 p.s.f.
  • Sublet availability slightly increased from 3.9% in Q1 to 4.1% in Q2

 

Q1/22 Downtown Chicago Office Market Report

Bradford Allen is pleased to share with you our latest office market reports.
Chicago’s downtown office market remained dynamic amid distress in Q1/22 as the flight-to-quality trend continued. With a direct vacancy rate above 18%, rising sublet availability, high-profile properties in distress and ample new deliveries, tenants are finding enticing concessions. Digging beneath the headline statistics, we note:

  • The direct vacant and available rate was slightly lower (14.9%) than last quarter (15.2%).
  • Net absorption turned negative after a positive Q4/21, but demand is robust for Class A space in red-hot submarkets
  • Sublet availability is skewed toward Class B buildings.
  • Class B buildings comprise the majority of properties with troubled loans.

 

 

BA Assists American Blues Theater in Purchase of Near Northwest Property

CHICAGO, IL — Jeffrey A. Bernstein and Laurence B. Elbaum are pleased to announce that Managing Director Jonathan Seeley successfully assisted American Blues Theater with the purchase of their new location at 5627 N. Lincoln Avenue after vacating their former home at 4809 N. Ravenswood Avenue. Previous ownership was represented in the transaction by Mark Kishtow and Mark Jones of Jameson Commercial Real Estate.

Built in 1985, the 10,844-square-foot property sits on an 18,000-square-foot lot in a densely populated section of Chicago’s Near Northwest neighborhood. The all-masonry construction features a single-story open floorplan with 12-foot clear height, essential for accommodating the theater’s performances. Additionally, the property offers an attractive 168 feet of frontage along Lincoln Avenue, a main traffic artery serving the Lincoln Square and Andersonville neighborhoods.

“After performing a full search of the market to determine alternate options, it was clear that 5627 N. Lincoln was the best fit for the unique use case of American Blues Theater. We pursued the purchase of the building with earnest and closed within 90 days of going under contract,” said Seeley.

Winner of American Theatre Wing’s prestigious National Theatre Company Award, American Blues Theater is a premier arts organization exploring the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves. American Blues Theater follows three guiding values both on and off its stages–to be accessible, responsible, and true. Chicago’s second-oldest AEA Ensemble theater, the American Blues Theater and its artists have received 221 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and 40 Black Theater Alliance Awards.


About Bradford Allen
Bradford Allen is a national commercial real estate firm based in the heart of downtown Chicago. The company offers a full array of brokerage services and expertise to entrepreneurial, corporate, and not-for-profit clients. Services include strategy, marketing, and transaction execution for occupiers, investors, and owners of commercial real estate. Bradford Allen is the brand name of Bradford Allen Realty Services.

 

Over 38,000 SF Leased at Edens Corporate Center 6 Months After Purchase

CHICAGO, IL — Jeffrey A. Bernstein and Laurence B. Elbaum, Principals and Co-Founders of Bradford Allen, are pleased to announce that Senior Managing Director Joel Berger and Associate Jake Blesi have leased over 38,000 SF at Edens Corporate Center, 630 & 650 Dundee Road in Northbrook, IL, just six months after being named the exclusive leasing agent.

In addition to the prime location and best-in-class amenities, Berger attributes the robust leasing momentum to a dedicated focus on tenant needs, creative thinking, and deep knowledge of the North Suburban market.

“We have only represented Edens Corporate Center since the fall of 2021, and our goal was to be known as the nicest, most responsive, and most creative building in the market. Most of the I-94 North Suburban market is institutional landlords who are slow to respond to changing tenant needs and tend to think linearly. We listen, are highly responsive to tenants, and like to think creatively to find solutions. Our immediate success shows our approach works. There is certainly a tenant need in the area for responsive and dynamic landlords and landlords’ agents.”

Bradford Allen’s successful leasing program has meant growing economic opportunities and job creation for the North Suburban market. In addition to an 18,000-SF renewal for marketing firm Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide, and a 3,700-SF renewal for law firm Mason, Wenk & Berman, L.L.C., there were three new leases at the property: RHM Staffing Solutions, 7,800 SF; Velos Wealth Management, 2,600 SF; and Phase3 Capital Management, 3,500 SF. Additionally, existing tenant TriGran Investments, Inc., 2,800 SF, extended and expanded its lease.

About Bradford Allen
Bradford Allen is a national commercial real estate firm based in the heart of downtown Chicago. The company offers a full array of brokerage services and expertise to entrepreneurial, corporate, and not-for-profit clients. Services include strategy, marketing, and transaction execution for occupiers, investors, and owners of commercial real estate. Bradford Allen is the brand name of Bradford Allen Realty Services.