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Commercial Real Estate in Chicago, IL - 750 Properties Available

Chicago, IL Economic Overview

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The City of Chicago - also known as the Windy City, the Second City and the City of Big Shoulders - is located along the shores of Lake Michigan and is home to nearly 3 million people, making it the third largest city in the U.S. Add to this the 7 million people that live in the suburbs and you've got an entire MSA ('Chicagoland' to the locals) of about 10 million residents. Chicagoland is a major business hub for almost any business you can think of - transportation, finance, manufacturing, technology, telecommunications, health care, education and more - all contributing to the area's gross annual product of over $640 billion. The Chicago commercial real estate market’s key to success is its diversity.

The Chicago metropolitan business area is the third largest in the U.S. and is recognized as one of the world’s premier business destinations. The area's labor pool of nearly 4.5 million workers support its diverse economy. Chicago is a major world financial center and home to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Chase Bank’s commercial and retail banking headquarters. The city also houses 12 Fortune Global 500 companies, 17 Financial Times 500 companies, and a multitude of businesses in the retail, convention, medical, transportation, food processing, manufacturing, printing and publishing industries.

Chicago, IL Commercial Real Estate Market

Thanks to the city's multi-faceted transportation systems Chicago's business districts are varied and widespread. Also known as The Loop, the central business district (CBD) itself consists of five sub-districts: CBD Central Loop, CBD East Loop, CBD West Loop, CBD South Loop, CBD North Michigan Avenue and CBD River North. Outside of the city-proper there are the suburban Chicago business districts of the East-West Corridor, North Chicago, South Chicago, North Suburban, Northwest Suburban, South Suburban, O'Hare, West Cook County and–while technically not in Illinois but still considered part of the Chicagoland area–the suburban business districts of Kenosha and Indiana.

The Loop and suburban business districts combined encompass 450 million square feet of office space, 500 million square feet of retail space and 1.1 billion square feet of industrial space. Chicago is a major global distribution hub and is one of the major transportation hubs in the U.S. With its combination of expressways, regional and local mass transit systems, passenger and freight rail, multiple airports and the Port Authority, the city has become the third-largest intermodal port in the world, after Hong Kong and Singapore.

Notable businesses with a significant presence in the Chicagoland area include Boeing, Kraft Foods, McDonalds, Caterpillar, Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International, Archer Daniels Midland, General Electric, Walgreens and Ace Hardware.

Chicago, IL Office Sales Volume

Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.

Chicago, IL Office Transactions

Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.

Chicago, IL Commercial Inventory Breakdown

Office Spaces

Total: 195,125,960 SF

Data provided by Yardi Matrix, properties over 50k SF, includes office with retail

By square footage range:

  • 50k to 100k SF: 8,188,658 SF / 4.2% of total office
  • 100k to 500k SF: 48,331,531 SF / 24.77% of total office
  • 500k to 1M SF: 57,834,325 SF / 29.64% of total office
  • > 1M SF: 80,771,446 SF / 41.39% of total office

By class:

  • Class A+: 37,543,017 SF / 19.24% of total office
  • Class A: 89,830,127 SF / 46.04% of total office
  • Class B: 47,765,966 SF / 24.48% of total office
  • Class C: 161,236 SF / 0.08% of total office


Total: 73,595,703 SF

Data provided by Yardi Matrix, properties over 50k SF

By square footage range:

  • 50k to 100k SF: 1,541,555 SF / 2.09% of total industrial
  • 100k to 500k SF: 43,871,817 SF / 59.61% of total industrial
  • 500k to 1M SF: 13,929,071 SF / 18.93% of total industrial
  • > 1M SF: 14,253,260 SF / 19.37% of total industrial

By class:

  • Class A: 9,557,761 SF / 12.99% of total industrial
  • Class B: 57,741,213 SF / 78.46% of total industrial
  • Class C: 4,390,704 SF / 5.97% of total industrial

Employment in Chicago, IL


Total employment in the Chicago MSA is nearly 4.5 million workers and is the third-largest labor pool in the U.S. Chicago's waterfront location along Lake Michigan, renowned public facilities such as Grant Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, championship sports teams such as the Chicago Cubs, the White Sox and the Chicago Bears, and countless theaters and clubs renowned for blues, jazz, ballet and symphony explain why the City of Chicago has no problem attracting an educated employment base that lives, works and plays here.

Major employment sectors in Chicago include:

  • Financial services The city is home to the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade, and is headquarters for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago;
  • Health services Baxter International, Abbott Laboratories and GE Healthcare all have their headquarters in the MSA. The Chicago metropolitan area has several highly-ranked hospitals including Rush University Medical Center and the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago; and the country's premier academic medical centers of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Medical associations based in Chicago include the American Medical Association, American Dental Association, American College of Surgeons and the American Hospital Association;
  • Manufacturing, Transportation and Food Processing United Airlines, Boeing, Kraft Foods, McDonalds, Caterpillar Inc., ThyssenKrupp, Archer Daniels Midland and Armour and Company all call the Chicagoland area home;
  • Retail From its very beginning Chicago has been a nexus of retail development. Walgreens, Ace Hardware, ULTA Beauty and Crate & Barrel are all based in Chicago.

Chicagoland's diverse mixture of business combined with its world-renowned mass transit systems and reputation as a regional, national and international business hub help to ensure that the demand for commercial space in Chicago and residential housing grow year after year.

Education in Chicago, IL

The Chicago Public School system is made up of over 600 primary and secondary schools, and 11 selective admission magnet schools. Complementing the public system are faith-based and secular schools including the Latin School of Chicago, the Francis W. Parker School in Lincoln Park and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Hyde Park.

For over 150 years, Chicago has been recognized worldwide as a leading center of post-secondary education. Notable universities include the University of Chicago, Loyola University, DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University and the Illinois Institute of Art.

Commuting Time in Chicago, IL

Chicago is one of the metropolitan areas where a five-minute difference getting on the expressway can make a 30-minute commute turn into a 90-minute commute. Not only is there congestion from suburban commuters coming into the city and going back out at the end of the work day, but traffic will also back up commuting from one suburb to another. That's one reason why over 25% of the daily commuters in Chicagoland use some form of mass transit.

Chicago's Regional Transportation System oversees the operation of the three local mass transit systems:

  • The CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) manages public transportation within Chicago and a few of the adjoining suburbs, in addition to handling the rapid transit lines from Midway and O'Hare airports;
  • Metra is an 11-line commuter rail system that operates between Chicago and the suburbs and is the second-most used passenger rail system in the U.S;
  • Pace is a bus service operating among the 200 suburbs of Chicago with some service into the city as well.

Chicago Demographics


  • Total Population2,717,534
  • Male Population(48.5 %) 1,318,494
  • Female Population(51.5 %) 1,399,040
  • Median Age33.70


  • Average Household Income$74,003
  • Median Household Income$48,522
  • Median Income Under 25$25,664
  • Median Income 25-44$57,801
  • Median Income 45-64$51,808
  • Median Income Over 65$30,347

Residential Rents in Chicago, IL

When choosing the best place for a business, location research is very important – not only for the office, but also for the employees’ convenience.

The residential rental market in Chicago is all about location. This is a town that has something for everyone, from renovated duplex lofts in Printers Row to luxury condominiums along Michigan Avenue, to more traditional single, two-flat and three-flat rentals further away from the CBD. Monthly rents for a two-bedroom dwelling range anywhere from $1300 to over $3500, while suburban rents average closer to $1700 per month.


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CommercialCafé is your first and only stop when it comes to commercial real estate leasings in Chicago, IL. Search through our extensive selection of commercial properties for lease with current space availability in the area ranging between 614 square feet and 15000 square feet. Discover the right property from our 750 listings by using our advanced search function, which includes search by property type, space availability, management company, lease rates, and more.