As Companies Downsize in the Loop Bargain Rates Draw a New Group of Tenants
It’s no secret that companies have been downsizing their spaces in the wake of the pandemic and, in many cases, leaving the Loop for trendier digs in Fulton Market.
But a budding trend is unfolding in the wake of those moves. The Loop spaces companies are leaving behind are available for lease at bargain rates, making it possible for smaller firms and nonprofits to move into nicer spaces than they would otherwise be able to afford.
Companies are still calculating how much space they need post-pandemic, and many that are signing new leases have decided they need less space.
“Everybody’s a little cautious, I don’t care if you’re a nonprofit or a company,” said Gregg Witt, a principal with commercial real estate firm Cresa. “You don’t want to overcorrect. If you rent 20,000 square feet and decide to go down to 5,000, you don’t want to later realize that you needed 9,000.”
JCFS Chicago, a social service agency that works with refugees, children, people with disabilities and others, has decided to shrink its downtown footprint, President and CEO Stacey Shor said. Many staff members work remotely several days per week, and the group no longer needs the 33,000 square feet it now rents at 216 W. Jackson Blvd., a Class C building constructed in 1899. This week the agency moves into 11,000 square feet at 230 W. Monroe St., a 1970s-era Class B property. Its new lease, which Witt helped put together, will save it $400,000 each year in rent.
“We are a nonprofit and those who invest in us expect their money will help someone get counseling and improve their mental health, or help a refugee resettle in Chicago, so we have to be good stewards,” Shor