The Grubb & Ellis Quarterly Market Trends are now available for the first quarter of 2011. The year started off well with a drop in the overall vacancy rate for the Chicago metro area to 11.3%, the lowest we have seen since 2009.
In the I-55 corridor submarket the vacancy has plunged 270 basis points from 11.9% to 9.2 %, the sharpest decrease in vacancy in a single quarter since the 4th quarter of 2001. The 9.2 vacancy rate is the lowest the I-55 corridor has seen since the 4th quarter of 2007.
Historically, the vacancy rate for I-55 corridor has been higher than the overall vacancy rate for the Chicago Metro area due to the large amount of speculative construction of large distribution centers. Since the recession hit, speculative development has been halted in the I-55 corridor but the demand for quality distribution centers strategically located near expressways, intermodal centers in the I-55 corridor has remained strong.