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Research - FEBRUARY 20, 2020

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Big-box industrial demand sets record for Chicago

by Andrea Zander

Demand for big-box industrial buildings in Chicago, as measured by net absorption — or the net change in occupancy — set a new record for the current cycle in 2019, totaling 17.4 million square feet, according to Colliers International. This figure eclipsed the previous record of 16.1 million square feet recorded in 2016 and was bolstered by 20.8 million square feet of new leases and lease expansions signed during the year in the market’s biggest, most modern industrial product — also a record for the cycle.

The vacancy rate correspondingly fell by 54 basis points over the year to 8.53 percent, the lowest it has been since the second quarter of 2017. The record absorption and new leasing volume recorded would have pushed the vacancy rate down even further, but developers delivered 40 new big-box buildings totaling 17.5 million square feet during 2019, the most since 2017 when 20 million square feet of big-

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