Despite challenges, deals still happening on Chicago's Mag Mile

August 21, 2023

Related PeopleKevin M. Coyne

Practice AreasReal Estate

The historic Mag Mile in Chicago has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years. The pandemic, competition from online and the ever slow return of office workers to their Loop employers have combined to create a very challenging leasing environment for landlords on this world renowned retail strip. Crain’s Chicago Business has reported that retail vacancy on the Mag Mile is currently 29% — the highest rate ever recorded for the Mag Mile. The departures of high-profile tenants such as Apple, Verizon, Banana Republic, Uniqlo, Macy’s, Gap, AT&T and others have all helped contribute to this painfully high vacancy figure.

Despite these many challenges, there may be some light ahead.

Deals are still happening. There is a trend of businesses looking to stay on the Mag Mile, though maybe with smaller footprints. H&M, the clothing retailer, did not renew its lease for its current Mag Mile location, but it did stay in the area by moving into the former Apple store location. Women’s clothier, Aritza, is moving to the Mag Mile and is taking the former Gap location. Alo Yoga is also moving to the Mag Mile and will occupy high profile Michigan Avenue space. It is further hoped that the very significant amount of residential development planned for the Loop will provide a boost to Mag Mile retailers.

By any metric, the Mag Mile has been one of the most successful retail strips in the world. It plays a critical role to Chicago tourism and to Chicago’s local economy. This iconic commercial corridor still sees massive foot traffic and is home to some of the most famous buildings and brands in America. While going through this period of great change, there is still significant deal activity taking place on the Mag Mile. A Mag Mile return to glory is not only possible, it is critical to the future of the City of Chicago.

If you are interested in discussing any Real Estate matters, including leasing or sales of properties, please reach out to one of Chuhak & Tecson’s experienced real estate attorneys.

Client alert authored by Kevin M. Coyne (312 855 5441), principal.

This Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. communication is intended only to provide information regarding developments in the law and information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute advice regarding legal problems and should not be relied upon as such.