(To read more on the net lease market, click here.)

CHICAGO-Led by large deals like Beam Global Spirits and Wine Inc. leasing 130,500 sf at Corporate 500 Centre in Deerfield, the north suburban office submarket has seen vacancy drop 1.6 percentage points in the first quarter to 13.5%, according to CB Richard Ellis. However, it is smaller tenants who have helped overall vacancy across the suburbs drop more than a full point to 16.6%, according to managing director Chris Connelly.

“Brisk leasing activity from tenants in 40,000-sf or below size range, hefty lease renewals and anticipated corporate occupancies combined to significantly shift the market in a positive way during the first quarter,” Connelly says.

Further north, the Lake County vacancy rate dropped 2.4 points to 11.1%, 4.5 points lower than the first quarter 2005. The submarket has seen deals such as CDW Corp. taking the entire 75,444 sf at 300 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Vernon Hills.

The largest suburban submarket, the East/West Corridor, saw a 2-point improvement in the first quarter, with vacancy dropping to 16.7%. At the other end of the spectrum, though, vacancy jumped two full percentage points in the western Cook County suburbs to 18.7%, topping the O’Hare area (18.5%) for the highest suburban vacancy rate.

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