Chicago’s Status as a Tech Hub is on the Rise

“Chicago’s reputation as a tech center is on the rise,” writes Crain’s Chicago Business. “It ranked sixth among cities around the world among executives asked by KPMG to name three locations outside San Francisco/Silicon Valley that will be seen as leading technology innovation hubs in the next four years. Shanghai ranked first, followed by New York, Tokyo, Beijing and London. Also tied with Chicago were Washington, D.C., and Berlin, followed by Tel Aviv and Boston. That’s a big step up from last year’s survey, when Chicago was tied for 18th.”


Employment and Demand Drive Midwest Development

“In an unusual shift, jobs in the Chicago area are moving where the talent is rather than the other way around: companies are relocating from the suburbs to downtown seeking to attract millennial workers and spurring the development of multifamily and office projects in the city,” writes Urban Land, the magazine of the Urban Land Institute. “Real estate activity in America’s heartland is growing at a solid clip, driven by increases in employment, a recovering economy, and pent-up demand for new product.”


Chicago’s Commercial Real Estate Market in 2025

“Chicago’s commercial real estate markets are thriving as educated millennials continue to drive business toward the city’s expanding core, seeking the uniquely urban life of the Windy City,” writes JLL. “Look beyond the CBD, River North and West Loop to see where Chicago will be in one short decade. Learn about the evolving trends that are driving development in top submarkets such as the Clybourn Corridor, Fulton Market, Goose Island and River West. Read all about it in our Chicago 2025: Dynamic Expansion report.”


Commercial Real Estate to Remain Steady in 2017

“The commercial real estate market should remain steady in 2017 as demand grows in smaller markets, according to the quarterly forecast from the National Association of Realtors,” writes Bisnow. “National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said the nation’s economy could see slight improvement through steady hiring and low unemployment leading to higher wages and increased spending — all factors that support CRE demand.”


Gensler Releases 2017 Design Forecast

Gensler released its 2017 Design Forecast exploring trends that will shape the future of design. The forecast focuses on four major themes:  the experience-driven life, liveable cities, everyday impact and responsive design. “Through the lens of these themes we examine how design will shape the human experience in the next year and beyond,” writes Gensler. Visit to view the whole Design Forecast.


Want to Take a Class Taught by Frank Gehry?

“For anyone who has ever been interested in getting a glimpse into the creative process of one of the world’s most famous living architects, a new seminar from the digital education platform MasterClass will allow you to do just that,” writes Building Design+Construction. “Frank Gehry will provide a comprehensive look into his creative process and provide insight into how and why he did things the way he did throughout his career. For $90, those who enroll in the class will hear from Gehry himself about topics ranging in breadth from his design philosophy to his fascination with the fold as a design element to how to deal with a client’s rejection.”


5 Ways Buildings Can Make Us Healthier

“The green building movement—which has been growing over the past few decades—has gradually expanded from a focus on reducing water and energy usage to a holistic approach that incorporates how buildings affect the people in them,” writes National Geographic. “The wide-ranging efforts include improving indoor air quality and even increasing activity levels of building occupants. Allen and colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have defined nine foundations for healthier buildings, such as better water quality, reducing noise, regulating temperature, and maximizing light.”


Top Markets for Mega-Warehouse Construction

“Over the past five years, the industrial sector started seeing million-sq.-ft. warehouses being built by e-commerce giants in their quest to reach more consumers. Now, numbers are emerging to quantify the e-commerce logistics boom,” writes National Real Estate Investor. “Since 2010, approximately 141.2 million sq. ft. in mega-warehouses have been built across the United States, according to a recent report from commercial real estate services firm CBRE. The CBRE study also looked into the top 10 markets for mega-warehouse construction in 2017.” View the results via a slideshow on


The 50 States of Construction: Illinois

“Construction is booming in the state, especially in Chicago, which currently has the second-highest number of tower cranes in operation in any U.S. city (behind Seattle),” writes Construction Dive in the Illinois segment of its 50 States of Construction series. “That surge in development is due largely to companies relocating to the Chicago area and bringing demand for new office and residential space with them, according to Mark Yanik, vice president of strategic business development for Leopardo Construction, one of Chicago’s largest contractors.”


Gensler on Design for Active Aging

“Today’s 50- and 60-year-olds don’t see themselves as ‘old’ and don’t view aging as a time of physical decline,” writes Gensler. “They’re eschewing living and community situations that make them feel otherwise and expect to continue living life to the fullest.” The design firm recently investigated how design can better support today’s active aging population. “As a result, we recognize the US active aging population as a population with discerning tastes and a hunger for good design. We identified four major themes that define our design approach for an actively aging population.”