East North Central Regional Forecast

Illinois • Indiana • Michigan • Ohio • Wisconsin

The region’s commercial construction scene is not a pretty picture, as office construction is already soft and expected to get worse in 2009. Detroit (29%); South Bend (20.3%); Cleveland (19.6%); Cincinnati (17.9%); and Milwaukee (17.2%) already had some of the nation’s highest downtown vacancy rates, according to Grubb & Ellis. Chicago is faring slightly better at 13.1 percent, but its landmark 150-story Chicago Spire project is on hold due to financial concerns. The region could also suffer if large financial firms vacate big blocks of office space. Outside of downtown Chicago, the I-88 West Corridor is bracing for the day when Lucent/Alcatel vacates its 1.2-million-square foot campus. Indianapolis appears to be in better shape than other cities in the region with a low downtown office vacancy rate (10.3%) for the third quarter and a 1,623-room JW Marriott Hotel under construction. Two large ethanol plants also broke ground in Indiana this year.

Back to the 2009 Market Planning Guide