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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

Apr 21, 2022

2022 Q1 Chicago Downtown Office Report

Two years removed from the initial global COVID outbreak, high vacancy continues in Chicago CBD office with leasing terms leaning tenant favorable. In the first quarter of 2022, total office vacancy jumped to 19.7% from 17.9% at year-end 2021. Some of this vacancy was due to the 2.2 million square feet new construction delivered this quarter, of which 1.3 million square feet (62%) was vacant and available at delivery. This 2022 delivery of new inventory adds to the new developments delivered in 2021 that are still collectively 35% vacant.
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Jan 24, 2022

2021 Q4 Chicago Downtown Office Report

Twenty-two months out from the initial global COVID-19 outbreak, the City of Chicago moved into its “Reopening Phase” at the beginning of January 2022, thus allowing all businesses with stringent vaccination proof and mask requirements in place to reopen to the public. Though extensive office re-entry expectations in 2021 were delayed with the emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants, user activity in the Chicago office market is expected to pick up pace in 2022. With significant decreases in negative absorption in the final quarter of 2021, economic signs indicate a tipping point has been reached.
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Oct 18, 2021

2021 Q3 Chicago Downtown Office Report

The current market downturn has not followed the typical recovery trends of previous downturns where recovery happened within four quarters of their onset. Six quarters into the pandemic, vacancy increases and additional negative absorption will continue to the end of 2021. The office market is beginning to show signs of life with new deals and expansion signings, but those deals will not reverse the downward trend until mid-2022. Most positive activity is focused primarily on Class A assets.
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