Sizing up Chicago’s ailing office market

Net absorption rebounded in 2022 but vacancy remains high

Chicago office buildings

Chicago’s office market began to show signs of life last year after a devastating 2021. But its vitals indicate it isn’t healthy yet.

In the city’s central business district, net absorption — which plunged by nearly 24 percent in 2021 — actually rose by nearly 43 percent last year, reaching -2,800,000 square feet. In the suburbs, where net absorption crashed by nearly 69 percent in 2021, that figure bounced back by nearly that much, ending 2022 at -908,000 square feet.

The office vacancy rate increased by nearly 10 percent in the central business district, but dropped by more than 4 percent in the suburbs — though the city still had a lower rate overall at 22.3 percent, versus 24.1 outside city limits.

Here’s the breakdown:

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