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Sandy McDonald | Colliers | Chicago - Downtown

Sandy McDonald

Senior Director of Research

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Professional Summary

I am the senior director of research at Colliers | Chicago and lead the Office Advisory Group’s market research initiative. I am responsible for building and maintaining competitive market intelligence which includes the office properties database of property sales and leases, tenant information and comparable transactions.

I also manage daily operations including the collection and analysis of market and economic-related statistics, providing clients with customized reports and in-depth interpretation of underlying trends in the market. In addition, I compile proprietary quarterly office market statistics and reports for business development and client support purposes. I am considered an expert in the field and am frequently featured in industry newspapers and publications. 

I have 13 years’ experience in commercial real estate research. Prior to joining Colliers, I served as director of market research at Transwestern. Prior to Transwestern, I spent three years at DTZ (now Cushman & Wakefield) as the senior research analyst for Chicago. Prior to joining DTZ, I spent four years with Grubb & Ellis (now Newmark Knight Frank) in Chicago as an office research analyst and support for the industrial services team.

In addition to commercial real estate experience, I've had extensive experience in the mortgage industry as a mortgage sales executive with Option One Mortgage. I not only researched, marketed, brokered and sold mortgage products to clients but also managed a team of account managers, handling account issues and client resolutions. I also developed training, introduced new products to clients and streamlined procedures in company offices.

Memberships & Involvements

  • BFA, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Licensed Real Estate Broker for 11+ years

Featured Research

Jan 23, 2023

2022 Q4 Chicago Downtown Office Report

With just under three years since the Great Pandemic Pause shut down offices across the nation, Chicago CBD business owners work to balance office space needs, taking into consideration hybrid policies and the return to physical office occupation. Reeling from a few low business years and the anticipation of economic downturn, some companies have announced layoffs while others are taking the opportunity to secure better office space at better rates. With Chicago CBD office vacancy historically high and lease asking rates the most competitive, 2023 may be the year in which companies pivot away from the pause on decision making and begin to look at long term office occupation solutions.
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Oct 17, 2022

2022 Q3 Chicago Downtown Office Report

As the Chicago office market continues to witness record breaking office availability, some landlords are delaying the marketing of known future vacancies. The market’s negative perception of an unprecedented amount of available space in any one single building worries landlords. This is troubling in a market where 25.1% of tracked office space is available. The potential of additional availability existing untracked is a cause for concern for landlords but is a golden opportunity for tenants.
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Jul 22, 2022

2022 Q2 Chicago Downtown Office Report

As office workers start to return to their routines, we are seeing more clearly the repercussions of the pandemic and its effect on each submarket. Two separate patterns are emerging in the office asset classes as we transition away from defining the market by the pandemic: Class A buildings, particularly in Fulton Market and the West Loop, have increased activity and interest, while Class B assets, specifically in the Central Loop, continue to feel the full weight of the downturn with lower rates and higher vacancy. Further, the draw of new class A constructions and recently renovated, amenity rich assets in other submarkets puts existing Class B buildings at a disadvantage. It will be some time before Class B assets trend in positive absorption overall.
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