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CHICAGO-The industrial market around Chicago saw only a slight increase in vacancy levels during the third quarter. Vacancy rose from 11.6% to 11.8% due to 773,800 square feet of negative absorption, according to a recent Grubb & Ellis regional report.

“The Chicago industrial vacancy rate increased for the ninth straight quarter to the highest rate the Chicagoland area has witnessed in over a decade,” according to Grubb & Ellis officials. “Company consolidations, downsizing and businesses focused on mere survival have all contributed to the rise in vacant space and downward pressure on asking rates.”

Local experts see a “bright spot” in the research and development space. In this area there was more than 308,000 square feet of positive net absorption.

“For the remainder of the year, the only construction the region is likely to see is build-to-suit projects. Landlords will remain flexible and offer increased incentives, while on the investment side, investors will remain cautious as the 2012 due date for more than $150 billion of CMBS and regular bank loans approaches,” Grubb & Ellis officials say.

The Central Will County submarket posted the worst Q3 vacancy rate at 25.1% which is unchanged from the previous quarter. The market did however see 16,500 square feet of positive absorption, although that wasn’t enough to impact the vacancy rate. The researchers expect these numbers to remain stable through the end of the year as no new product is expected to come online.

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