Chicago doesn't crack top 10 in new office development

Posted on September 27, 2018

If Jeff Bezos and his Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) business are interested in building HQ2 where new office development is in high gear, the online behemoth might well be headed to a rumored frontrunner for the company’s second headquarters, the Washington, D.C./suburban Maryland region.

Among 40 markets ranked in a new report from CommercialCafe, a site for commercial real estate listings, the Maryland/D.C. area ranked fifth in total office space square footage slated to be available by the end of 2018.

Despite the number of building cranes that have dotted the landscape in the Windy City over the past year, Chicago did not crack the top 10 in the ranking of the top 40 markets for new office space in 2018. Chicago could do no better than 12th on the list, with 2.7 million square feet of office space slated to come online in 2018.

The report showed the Washington, D.C./Maryland region getting 6.3 million square feet of new office space by the end of 2018, ranking behind first place San Francisco Bay Area, with 11.1 million square feet of new office build-out.

New York City, Dallas/Ft. Worth and the City of San Francisco were second, third and fourth respectively on the CommericalCafe list.

Still Chicago did get recognized in the report for having two of the top 10 largest office complexes that came on line in the first half of 2018, including the structure at 151 N. Franklin owned by the John Buck Co., and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) new corporate headquarters in the West Loop that is own by developer Sterling Bay.

The CommercialCafe report cautioned that new office construction going forward could be negatively affected by President Donald Trump’s new tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum.

The report also noted: “Uncertainty regarding how the commercial real estate industry will work around changes in building costs makes it difficult to draw reliable longer-term pipeline estimates at present.”

The report said that, nationwide, roughly 101 million square feet of new office space are on track to be ready by the end of 2018.