CHICAGO-There’s three times as many firms out looking to redesign office and retail space in downtown Chicago as there were two-three years ago, according to Rick DuPraw, SVP with Leopardo. The interior construction firm took on 500,000 square feet of new work in the second quarter, he says, thanks to corporations finally spending again.

DuPraw tells that whereas companies had to cut back on staff during the recession, with Leopardo itself laying off 25% of its employees, now companies are looking to pull the trigger on new space. “That’s been the biggest trend this year more than anything,” he says. “We see three times as much opportunity, though that doesn’t mean we win all of that.”

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