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chi-EastParkSRO1 (2) The Habitat Co. has managed this affordable community in Chicago’s East Garfield Park for more than 20 years and acquired it this year.

CHICAGO—By most metrics, the US economy is doing very well, and across many sectors, the commercial real estate industry has profited. Construction starts are up, vacancy rates are headed down, and rental rates are on a steady march upward. At NAIOP’s CRE.Converge 2017 conference, held in Chicago last week, more than 1,500 participants heard about these hopeful trends, and how their businesses could benefit. But just as certain regions and metro areas still struggle to take part in the economic boom, portions of the real estate industry are perhaps not receiving the attention they should, and NAIOP also wanted to shine a light on these problems.

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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.

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