Cawley Chicago Principal, Joshua Hearne spoke at the 18th Annual REjournals Commercial Real Estate Forecast Conference on January 19, 2020.
This event is the largest, longest running commercial real estate forecast conference in the Midwest, if not the entire U.S. This year, the conference, hosted at the Hyatt Regency Center in Chicago, gathered over 1,000 industry professionals to set the tone for the upcoming year.
Hearne spoke in an industrial asset class-specific breakout session. In this session, they discussed how the high taxes and uncertain political environment are affecting investors’ confidence in Cook County. Because of Cook County’s fundamentals – like infrastructure and labor – the panelists agreed that users will still have to locate there despite investors’ hesitation.
“I have a client in south Cook County that wants to relocate, but they have to stay within a small circumference to maintain their employment,” Hearne said. “They could go to Will County where they might get a space that’s more functional, but they would lose their labor and that’s way more important than saving pennies on the balance sheet.”
The overall consensus of the conference seemed to be hopeful for Chicago commercial real estate in 2020.
“The 2020 market looks to continue to be strong for Chicago, even amongst uncertainty on taxes. Chicago is a transportation hub coupled with a strong labor pool. Expect more broken records in 2020 as we continue the shift from brick and mortar to industrial,” Hearne said.