Chicago Retail Market Report
Suburban Retail Performance Strengthens as Core
City Stores Follow Divergent Paths
Demand disparity continues downtown. Since the onset of the health crisis, retailers within the city of Chicago have weathered the storm to an uneven degree. Retail demand in locales, such as The Loop and Gold Coast-Old Town, have recovered from the pandemic shock, as tourism and residential foot traffic pick back up. Local vacancies have dropped below the pre-pandemic marks, while asking rents exceed year-end 2019 averages by at least 10 percent. Other nearby neighborhoods, such as the Magnificent Mile and River North, are experiencing weaker fundamentals with lighter weekday foot traffic amid a slow return to office, both reporting double-digit vacancy rates in the second quarter. Employees are expected to resume working in person more frequently in the near future, however, helping to improve operations with business district retailers.