CRE Midwest

Tracking down the emerging Chicago tech markets: These 5 made the list

chicagotech

The rising Chicago technology industry has taken full advantage of converting existing stale commercial real estate into highly modernized tech hubs. Colliers International experts dug up the latest data on the city's quickly emerging tech submarkets that have caught the eye of major companies like Google, Groupon, 1871, Motorola Mobility, and other tech firms.

The rising Chicago technology industry has taken full advantage of converting existing stale commercial real estate into highly modernized tech hubs. Colliers International experts dug up the latest data on the city's quickly emerging tech submarkets that have caught the eye of major companies like Google, Groupon, 1871, Motorola Mobility, and other tech firms.

Stephanie Bujwit, senior financial analyst at Colliers Chicago, explained that developers in markets like Chicago’s Fulton Market and Goose Island as well as other parts of the city are seeking and acquiring existing buildings and land in an attempt to stimulate these rapidly emerging submarket.

“The proposed new and repositioned assets are abundant enough that it wouldn’t be illogical to consider each of them their own emerging submarket,” she said.

The following five submarkets are ones Colliers experts pointed to, along with their findings:

  • The Fields, formerly the home of Marshall Field & Company, is currently under construction being converted for high-tech loft office users. The development, owned by Merit Partners, contains 175,000 square foot floor plates, a 50,000 square foot rooftop terrace and amenities such as private dog runs and event space.  The current rendering shows 450,000 square feet being utilized for office space and another 200,000 square feet for retail.  The building is scheduled to be completed by February 2016.
 
  • Finkl Steel Site, formerly A. Finkl & Sons, was purchased by Sterling Bay. The site is 3.24 acres and recently signed a new build-to-suit lease with CH Robinson for 200,000 square feet. The highlight of this development is that the building would not need to be rezoned if a tech office user were to occupy it.
 
  • R2 Goose Island, formerly the Goose Island site, is being redeveloped into loft offices or warehouse space by R2 Companies. The currently building is 53,000 square feet, but can be rebuilt to have up to 375,000 square feet.  It sits on 3.2 acres of land and is in close proximity to North Side neighborhoods.  The development currently has no leases in place.
 
  • Fulton West, available April of 2017, has already secured two leases. Owner/developer, Sterling Bay, has leased 40,000 square feet and Skender Construction signed a lease for 30,000 square feet.  The development will house 290,000 square feet of office and offer such amenities as 34,000-40,000 square foot floor plates, 610 on-site parking spaces, a private roof deck, balconies and shuttle service.
 
  • The old Chicago Tribune distribution center at 700 W. Chicago is being redeveloped to a 4 building office, residential and retail campus. The development sits on a 5 acre site and has an 115,000 square foot existing building on it.  The amenities for this site is sure to draw a high-end user.  They include a fitness center, Riverwalk, on-site parking taxi, Uber stand, Water taxi landing, shuttle, restaurant and bar, child day care, pet day care and a rooftop pool and hot tub.