Ready, set…Chicago details office, retail, real estate services reopenings. But when?

No specific date has been set for its Phase 3 plan, which would see workers could return to offices, though resi agents would still be encouraged to conduct virtual tours

TRD CHICAGO /
May.May 27, 2020 10:11 AM
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has detailed plans to reopen offices and real estate services but the specific date remains in question. (Getty, iStock)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has detailed plans to reopen offices and real estate services but the specific date remains in question. (Getty, iStock)

Under Chicago’s detailed Phase 3 reopening plan, workers would return to real estate services and other office-based jobs that have been closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new guidelines, hotels and other lodgings would widely reopen, along with nonessential retailers like hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, city services, childcare centers, recreation areas and a host of others, the city announced, according to Crain’s.

The question remains, when will these guidelines take effect? That has not been answered.

Chicago’s newly-released Phase 3 is meant to align with Gov. J.B. Pritkzer’s five-phase plan outlined for the state earlier this month. But Chicago is behind much of the state in those measures — Pritzker’s Phase 3 would be the “Recovery” stage — that would allow for a broader range of business activity.

Chicago’s Phase 3, which it named “Cautiously Reopen,” would see around 130,000 people return to work, according to Crain’s. In a statement, the city noted that “the industry-specific guidelines were driven by health activity requirements and developed in coordination with 10 industry working groups, representing more than 200 individuals.”

For retailers and restaurants, more specific measures detailing capacity crowds and what is considered outdoor dining were also released.
Commercial buildings would open but workspaces would be required to have barriers or be configured for social distancing, masks would be mandatory and fitness centers in office buildings would be closed, Crain’s reported.

Owners of residential buildings would be encouraged to close or limit lounges to 10 or fewer people. For prospective renters or buyers, the city is still encouraging virtual tours or self-guided tours at vacant model units. Most agents in the city shifted to virtual tours in March.

Hotel rooms would also have cleanings only on request, and non-single use items would be discouraged. The city’s hotel industry has been decimated by the virus, though the situation is slowly improving. The occupancy rate at Downtown hotels climbed to 16.2 percent for the week ending May 16, according to the latest figures from hospitality data firm STR. That’s up from 13.9 percent over the previous week.

Overall, the Chicago hotel occupancy rate was up to 26.8 percent last week, the seventh straight week it had gained ground. [Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman


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