Even cities with very active development pipelines, such as Chicago, still have a relatively large amount of vacant space.

CHICAGO—The downtowns of Chicago and other cities across the US have attracted a remarkably diverse mix of new businesses, residents, retail and attractions in just a few years. But even with all this activity, many CBDs still have a relatively large number of vacant lots, according to a new study by COMMERCIALCafé. This could promote urban sprawl and make it more difficult to create the very things, such as affordable housing and new parks, that city residents say they need the most.

COMMERCIALCafé used data from Yardi Matrix and PropertyShark, along with online government records, to inventory all vacant parcels of more than 0.5 acres located in 25 central business districts, along with in-depth research on construction activity and a survey of residents that gauges what developments local urban populations find most desirable.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

More from this author



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.