• Chicago

Why Chicago? Downtown & Suburbs Office Guide

By: Vicki Noonan, Managing Principal and Chicago Market Leader

What is the Best Location for Your Business?

Chicago and its surrounding suburbs comprise a growing and vibrant metropolis with a diverse economic base, highly educated labor pool, excellent transportation, abundant capital and cultural and recreational opportunities that make it one of the most attractive commercial centers in the United States.

C&W Chicago’s marketing and research teams have collaborated on a Chicago Downtown & Suburbs Office Guide to help you navigate the seven distinct office submarkets in downtown Chicago and the five in suburban Chicago, as well as emerging hot spots to help determine which factors are most important when choosing the right office location for your business. In addition, the guide provides interesting data, such as the facts below, that shows why the Second City is second to none.

High Quality of Life

The region’s relatively low cost of living contributes to an outstanding quality of life, as do numerous natural and urban amenities such as food, culture, lakefront and city parks. Chicago has 62 museums, 600 parks and 19,000 restaurants. Chicago is home to 6 professional teams and hosted the 2016 World Series, as well as the 2015 and 2016 NFL Draft.

Central Location

Chicago connects you to the world. O’Hare International is the #1 best connected
airport in the U.S. according to MIT’s Airport Connectivity Quality Index and is the busiest
airport in the nation with over 900,000 flights in 2018. Six of the nation’s seven Class I railroads connect in Chicago, and virtually every major data network in the world intersects in Chicago as well.

Economic Strength 

Chicago has the most diversified economy in the U.S. and a $609.2 B economy that rivals nations. No industry accounts for more than 15% GRP. Over the course of 2018, national
unemployment fell from 4.1% to 3.7%. Over that same period, Chicago unemployment outpaced national unemployment decline as it fell from 5.0% to 4.0%.

Talent & Innovation

Chicago is a global hub for top talent and world-changing ideas. 38.5% of residents over age 24 hold a bachelor’s degree, which is the highest out of the five largest U.S. cities. Chicago has 840,000 graduates in the metro area and is the top destination for Midwest and Big Ten talent.

Cost of Doing Business 

Chicago is a hub for thriving companies. These companies attract international recognition every year for their innovation, sustainability, ethical leadership, brand value and corporate citizenship. The region boasts the highest per capita concentration of Fortune 500 public company headquarters in the U.S. with 37 firms based here. Of the top three U.S.
global economies (NYC, L.A. and Chicago), Chicago provides the lowest cost and best value.

For more insights into the Chicago market, visit C&W Chicago’s market research page.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Choose Chicago, Cushman & Wakefield Research, World Business Chicago, Urban Land Institute 

Victoria L. Noonan leads Cushman & Wakefield in metro Chicago. As Managing Principal, Noonan provides strategic leadership to a team of more than 600 professionals who create holistic solutions for the firm’s investor and occupier clients across the region. Additionally, she shapes the firm’s Chicago growth strategies and recruiting efforts.

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