Chicago’s tech footprint has expanded considerably in the last few years, as the city now hosts 11.5 million square feet of tech firms, which accounts for 10.6 percent of total occupied space in the CBD. According to CBRE’s latest Tech Book, this now makes tech users the city’s third largest office segment, behind only financial and legal services.
Submarkets like River North and Fulton Market have become synonymous with Chicago’s tech scene, but on a square-foot basis, the West Loop actually hosts the largest supply of tech users.
While tech users take up 9.4 percent of its available space, that still equates to nearly 4 million square feet of space, more than any other market.
River North may be seen as the most mature tech market, as it boasts a high percentage of tech tenants—26.8 percent of its market—for a total of 2,762,819 square feet of users.
However, as Fulton Market continues to develop it may take that mantle, as tech firms mainly drive its office activity. Fulton Market has the lowest supply of office space available in the CBD with only four million square feet, but of that supply, 45.2 percent is occupied by tech tenants, making it a true tech market.
“Digital media and technology tenants are very interested in Fulton Market, and at this point demand outweighs supply,” said Jarrett Annenberg, first vice president with CBRE. “As such, we are seeing an increasing influx of developers buying in the area and converting warehouse space to office to accommodate the increased demand. Retail amenities and hotels are also being created at a rapid pace to serve the increased office population.”