While Chicago’s offices are still mostly quiet, landlords are noting an uptick in inquiries as tenants have started to ask what protocols will be taken to make offices safe.
North Wells Capital and its partner Urban Innovations are preparing strategies to help tenants make come back to the office safely according to Tony Lindsay, principal at NWC.
The partners signed a lease with Workbox Coworking Company for over 15,000 square feet on West Erie Street.
According to Lindsay, this deal was viewed as more than just an office deal. They hope to create an easier, less stressful transition back into the workplace.
At Workbox, tenants can occupy a desk or two, while businesses who decide to permanently cut down on their real estate footprint can use Workbox as an alternative workspace solution.
Colliers International has reported that the vacancy rate in River North grew from 7.8% in the last quarter of 2019 to 13.4% during the last quarter in 2020.
As vaccines begin to be distributed worldwide, tenants’ confidence is slowly growing. However, they are still unsure of how much space they will need in the long-term, and how remote working will continue to play a role in their operations.
“Our business depends on people feeling good about long-term decisions, but right now, tenants are not sure whether they can sign leases, or what kind of leases they can sign,” said Andy Davidson, Managing Director at MBRE. “So there is a big shift toward flex office space.”