chi-Medline-HQ (2) Kraft Heinz left this Northfield complex last year, but Medline quickly agreed to fill it.

CHICAGO—Corporate moves from the suburbs into the CBD typically generate headlines, but all that attention may be obscuring some of the good news happening outside the urban core. It’s true that many suburban submarkets have elevated rates of vacancy, but some areas, such as the O’Hare submarket, have recovered quite well from the recession, and many tenants have begun expanding. That energy is most noticeable within the best class A properties, and developers say suburban buildings that they can bring up to those standards have a bright future.

“Very few people have focused on the numbers,” Michael Klein, co-founder of GlenStar Properties, tells Last year, for example, there was nearly 4.5 million square feet of absorption in the suburban market, versus about 4.1 million in the city, according to CBRE. And in the previous four years, the gap was wider. In total, from 2012 through the end of 2015, office users in the suburbs absorbed nearly 11 million square feet, and city users absorbed nearly 4.7 million.

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?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from 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 now!

  • Free unlimited access to'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 and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.