Chicago in the Spotlight

Chicago in the Spotlight

Indeed it is. There are 40 high-rises under construction in Chicago, including nearly 30 at least 20 stories and approximately a dozen skyscrapers of at least 400. Since this information was released in March, several towers have been completed and several more begun. Apartment construction is leading the way. Shawn Ursini, data researcher at the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), observes:

“It’s an absolute boom in terms of rental-apartment construction. e market is white-hot. ere are 4,000 apartments completing construction in 2016 and another 4,400 in 2017, with numerous proposals even further out. With more than 90% occupancy, the absorption is there, and the nancing is there. I wouldn’t say veteran developers were totally surprised by it, but it goes perhaps even deeper than they could have imagined.”

Ursini says the market shifted from condominium to rental construction in the latter 2000s, when mortgage lending tightened after the recession. At the time, he stated, there were very few apartment rental options in downtown Chicago. Stricter lending criteria, combined with pent-up demand, converged to “ignite this massive building boom in Chicago,” he observes.

Hotel construction is also hot, Ursini states. The city is in the home stretch of the “biggest hotel-building boom in nearly 30 years,”[2] which includes the 40-story Marriott Marquis hotel that is part of the McCormick Place event center. Otis is providing the vertical transportation for the entire project (ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2016).

There is also significant office construction taking place, including multimillion-dollar modernizations, as property owners strive to stay competitive with all the new property coming online.

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18 Aug 2016


By Kaija Wilkinson
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