(Chicago, IL) – Focus joined industry peers for the 16th Annual, REJournals Commercial Real Estate Forecast Conference to discuss the future of real estate in Chicago and nationwide.
With a spotlight on 2020 and beyond, experts discussed industry trends across commercial real estate. Significant attention was given to a shifting downtown office market, with large projects moving from the downtown loop to less traditional neighborhoods like Fulton Market as well as the booming state of industrial markets across the nation as a result of shifting retail habits with a consumer preference for ecommerce. In general, the consensus was that the immediate future would bring more of the same for Chicago while the future beyond the next 1-2 years may bring major changes to real estate with supply satiating demand and an economy due for a correction.
Focus’ Justin Pelej, VP of Development participated as a panelist during the late morning break-out sessions where he joined various industry experts such as Marcus & Millichap, Berkadia, and Skender Construction to discuss the future of the multifamily commercial real estate market. The discussion spanned across several topics like a shift in aim to the suburban markets, the potential impact of recent tax reform on home buyers and the potential for co-living multifamily as a new breakout to emerge. Overall the experts predicted that many of the same obstacles that exist today will remain constant in the future; like rising construction costs, a lack of applicable rent/sale comps in the suburbs, changing generational habits, and unpredictability in the market. “I’ll quote Mile’s Davis, ‘It’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play’” – said Pelej when discussing his next big move, “In today’s world and beyond, it is more important to know when to walk away from a deal.”
Focus has remained relatively sheltered from market swings, largely by being early to trends like the recent Chicagoland apartment cycle. By staying a step ahead of these cycles, Focus has recently broken sales-records with deals in both the downtown Chicago market as well as in the suburbs.