Pritzker maps out path to broader retail and office reopenings, but it’s long

The governor said “recovery” phase was still in distance; Lightfoot will offer additional steps to Chicago business owners

Chicago /
May.May 06, 2020 10:07 AM
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s five-point plan to reopen the state’s economy includes a broader range of businesses in Phase 3. (Credit: Pritzker by Tyler LaRiviere - Pool/Getty Images; iStock)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s five-point plan to reopen the state’s economy includes a broader range of businesses in Phase 3. (Credit: Pritzker by Tyler LaRiviere – Pool/Getty Images; iStock)

In Phase 3 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s five-phase plan to reopen the state, offices, retailers, barbershops and manufacturing plants would unlock their doors, allowing for a broader range of business activity.

That would be the “recovery” stage, the governor said on Tuesday, when he outlined the path toward an eventual “Illinois restored” designation, according to the Chicago Tribune. He divided the state into four regions and said each would be gauged separately, according to their progress.

But Illinois isn’t there yet. It’s still on Phase 2: “Flattening.”

The state remains under a modified stay-at-home order through May 29, in which some nonessential retail shops have been allowed to open in order to operate phone and online order for pickup and delivery.

The governor’s announcement comes as an increasing number of less populated states have begun larger reopenings, while New York and California have laid out plans for limited restarts. But even those states have included caveats for cities like Los Angeles and New York City.

Chicago’s compliance with the state’s stay-at-home order slipped a few points to 77 percent from 82 percent, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said recently. On Monday, the mayor did say she would outline steps for how and when businesses could begin to reopen, including how many people could be allowed inside stores at one time. She said the plan would complement the governor’s strategy.

As of May 5, there have been 26,611 cases of Covid-19 and 1,096 deaths in Chicago, accounting for more than a third of the state’s death total.

At the Tuesday press conference, Pritzker said in order for the state to begin widespread business reopenings, it would have to meet prescribed thresholds for the share of population testing positive for the coronavirus and those admitted to the hospital for the virus over a two-week period, the Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, real estate agents have mostly shifted to virtual home showings, but business has suffered. More broadly, Chicago-based JLL reported on Tuesday its net operating income had plummeted in first quarter earnings compared to the same period last year, and that global leasing fell 22 percent, while investment in commercial real estate slipped 5 percent. CEO Christian Ulbrich said the global health crisis will have “significant repercussions” on the economy and real estate that “will go beyond this year.” [Tribune] — Alexi Friedman 


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