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2020 Q2 Chicago Downtown Office Report

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CBD Office Vacancy Increases as Pandemic Caution continues into Second Quarter

In the second quarter of 2020, office users in Chicago and across the nation take into account the COVID-19 pandemic as their foremost concern in making decisions regarding their use of office space.

Chicago’s CBD vacancy rate increased dramatically by 100 basis points to 13.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020. This is the third consecutive quarter of increases in CBD overall vacancy and the highest quarter to quarter jump since 2009. Current overall vacancy now stands as the highest vacancy in over 8 years.

Class A vacancy increased by 80 basis points from last quarter to 12.2 percent. Class A vacancy is now the highest it has been in the past two years when a flood of new vacant development had hit the market. Delivery of several developments currently under construction is expected to continue to edge vacancy upward in the Class A asset class into 2021.


Office Report Chicago Downtown

2020 Q2 Chicago Downtown Office Report

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Sandy McDonald

Senior Director of Research

Chicago - Downtown

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.

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