FACT: There are 3400+ new Chicago apartments coming to market in 2016.
FACT: Appraisal Research Counselors has projected total absorption for the Class-A apartment market in 2015 will be around 2,500 total units (absorption is the total number at which available apartments are rented in a specific time period).
QUESTION: If only 2,500 apartments were absorbed in 2015, and there another 3,400+ coming in 2016, who is going to rent all of these new apartments?
ANSWER: The companies relocating their headquarters to downtown Chicago and the new opportunities they are bringing with them to the market.
Here are the key players who will be instrumental in filling new downtown Chicago apartments with renters:
Crain’s recently reported GE Healthcare will move their headquarters to Chicago from England.
It is rumored about 200 jobs will ultimately come to Chicago over time, but the executive leadership team will be the first to make the transfer.
GE Healthcare has deep roots in Chicago and significant operations already established here and in the Milwaukee area. Luxury Living Chicago has worked with many GE employees relocating to Chicago.
ConAgra is saying goodbye to its headquarters in Omaha, NE and moving to Chicago’s trendy River North neighborhood. The food giant will settle into new office space in the Merchandise Mart (also home to Yelp’s new and expanding corporate headquarters). Additionally, the company is relocating employees from their Naperville offices downtown which will bring everyone under one roof.
Luxury Living Chicago has begun working with ConAgra employees getting ready to make the move to the area.
Northfield, IL-based Kraft Heinz recently signed a 169,696-square-foot lease at the Aon Center. You may catch a glimpse of the famous Wiener Mobile zipping around the Lakeshore East neighborhood, as Kraft Heinz is also moving the Madison-based Oscar Mayer unit, and most of the employees in its U.S. meats business, to Chicago early this year.
MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS & GOOGLE
Motorola Solutions is relocating its headquarters from the suburb of Schaumburg to 500 West Monroe in the very hot West Loop neighborhood.
Additionally, the new Google offices at 1K Fulton debuted at the end of 2015, bringing 650 new people to the area. Googlers snatched up in-demand West Loop apartments near Google quickly during the initial relocation phase in the fall of 2015, many of which Luxury Living Chicago helped them find. This 650 number is the tip of the iceberg as thousands more are expected to relocate to Chicago in the coming months.
In 2015, McDonald’s briefly intended to lease office space at Prudential Plaza but put the move on hold. It’s unclear whether this will ever come to fruition. The company has been making changes to attract younger talent and a Chicago corporate headquarters would be appealing. However, the company did open a marketing and technology office in 2015, which may be the testing ground for expanding to a larger city office.
UPDATE: In June 2016, McDonald’s announced it will be moving to the former Harpo Studios campus at 1045 W. Randolph St. in the West Loop. The company is expected to relocate its headquarters by spring 2018.
If you are relocating, download our comprehensive relocation guide which offers valuable information about moving to Chicago.