“It was like someone turned the switch on who came out of nowhere,” Finger Cos. Executive Vice President Hunter Wagner said...
Chicago-area rents are still affordable on most people’s salaries, in contrast to coastal markets across the country, said Vicky Lee, senior vice president of development for Focus. Focus’ newly constructed properties in the Chicago suburbs of Vernon Hills and Fox Valley are leasing up at a pace previously “unheard of in suburbia,” and the company has managed to sustain steady rent growth since its 2022 Fox Valley opening, she said.
Suburban renters are seeking comprehensive live-work-play environments that incorporate retail and public spaces to generate a citylike experience, Lee said. That environment draws young professionals looking to live closer to suburban corporate headquarters and empty nesters who prefer not to live in a retirement community, she said.
“We've seen in the dynamics of suburbia that if you have a really good placemaking story and actually execute well on it … that’s very key to success,” Lee said.