CHICAGO—By the end of 2014, the vacancy rate in the O’Hare submarket had sunk to just 5.98%, a drop of 240 bps in just one year, according to a report from Colliers International. The market has gotten so tight that credit tenants are filling up once-vacant properties east of the airport, an area with a lot of older, less functional buildings.

But with the help of municipalities like Franklin Park, some local owners have begun to reposition these structures. Elmhurst, IL-based Darwin Realty & Development Corp., for example, just completed 393,000 square feet of transactions for its client TA Associates and brought 3501 Mt. Prospect Rd. in Franklin Park, which had been vacant for several years, to 100% occupancy.

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