Sep 27, 2022 - Real Estate

Housing coming to LaSalle Street

Data: Kastle; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Expressway traffic, lunchtime lines and downtown congestion might make you think that Loop office occupancy has returned to 2019 levels.

Reality check: It's probably not even close.

Driving the news: A new report from Kastle card swipe systems suggests office occupancy rates are climbing but still lag way behind pre-pandemic levels.

  • These new realities have city leaders thinking differently about downtown office space. The Department of Planning announced an initiative yesterday to redevelop the financial district along LaSalle Street.
  • The new project would develop 1,000 new homes and 300 affordable housing units while offering relocation incentives for storefront businesses.

What they're saying: "There is nearly 5 million square feet of vacant commercial space on the LaSalle Street corridor, but not a single unit of affordable housing," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a press release.

Of note: The LaSalle Street corridor has historically been lined with banks and other financial institutions but reports the highest post-pandemic vacancy rates in the Loop.

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