Big Box Breaks Another Leasing Record - Now What?
During the first three months of 2020, new leasing volume surged in Chicago's big box industrial buildings. A record 24 new leases and lease expansions totaling 8.5 million square feet were signed.
Towards the end of the first quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic response took hold of the country and altered our daily lives. In the months since, U.S. unemployment has skyrocketed, with more than 30 million Americans filing unemployment claims through early May, pushing the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent, well above the 10 percent peak recorded during the Great Recession in 2009.
Of the new leases and lease expansions completed in big box buildings during the first quarter, 62 percent were signed by users that are considered "low-exposure" to the COVID-19 situation and economic turmoil, including e-commerce, logistics and packaging tenants. Another 13 percent were "moderate-exposure" users like manufacturers, while the remaining 25 percent were considered "high-exposure" tenants, like apparel companies and users that produce or distribute consumer durables.