CHICAGO-Count Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. among those not ready to give up on the local suburban office market. Instead, the office and industrial REIT has the market high on its priority list for acquisitions, even if it involves acquiring a suburban property with a vacancy hole, within reason.

“We’d be hard-pressed to buy a vacant building in the East-West Corridor right now,” says co-chief operating officer Dennis Oklak, referring to the once tech-heavy submarket. US Equities Realty pegs the third-quarter vacancy rate there at 18.1%, but with 1.98 million sf of sublease space on the market, more than 25% of the office inventory is available.

However, Duke Realty officials conceded Tuesday in an investor forum for analysts and institutional investors that they have acquired 850,000 sf this year for $37 million, but hope to hit $100 million in a flurry of end-of-the-year deals. Next year, the target is $100 million to $200 million, Oklak says.

Keeping an eye on potential Chicago area acquisitions is part of the REIT’s reallocation strategy, Duke Realty officials indicate. Focusing on the Midwest and Southeast regions of the US, more than half of Duke Realty’s portfolio is concentrated in five of its 15 markets:Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Minneapolis. They suggest the portfolio is overweight with industrial holdings in Atlanta, Indianapolis and Minneapolis.

Only 5.9% Duke Realty’s holdings are in the Chicago market. Among those assets here are Executive Towers, a 651,307-sf property spread over three buildings in the 1400 block of Opus Dr. in Downers Grove. However, nearly 38% of the space there is available. Another DuPage County asset is Central Park of Lisle, a 648,446-sf, two-building property along the East-West Tollway. Vacancy at the property is an enviable 7.1%.

Duke Realty officials, though, are hardly alone in searching for assets, especially those that make sense in a market that sees lofty prices in spite of high vacancies.

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 All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper



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 © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.