• Clybourn Corridor is growing.
  • Now at 2.6 million square feet, it's closing in on the Magnificent Mile.
  • Spread of this and other shopping areas portends a positive 2016.

The Clybourn Corridor is it’s own kind of magnificent on the Near North Side.

But an interesting thing has happened since Clybourn added another 400,000 square feet of retail space in 2015– the retail vacancy rate jumped, but net asking rents jumped.

The North Side’s massive shopping area now encompasses more than 2.6 million square feet, eclipsed by no other retail area in Chicago except for the Magnificent Mile, at 3.1 million square feet.

According to recent research from Chicago-based retail brokerage Stone Real Estate, the expansion of the Clybourn Corridor shopping district increased overall vacancy to 10.1 percent, from 6.4 percent in late 2014.

Stone’s report also mentioned that that increased supply has not dented the asking rent. In fact, they’ve gone up. Asking rents climbed to $46.64 in 2015, a 6.5 percent increase from 2014.

But, there just may be good reasons for the blip: Much of the vacancy increase was because of the New City development, which opened late in 2015 at Halsted Street and Clybourn and North avenues. That ribbon-cutting added a big chunk of about 360,000 square feet of retail space, as well as 199 apartments.

It was just a matter of some of the signed tenants completing their move-ins by the time that the numbers were pulled for the report.

Near North Side development seems to have no end in sight

The firm had begun compiling numbers on Clybourn in 2014, in a nod to the tremendous growth and popularity of the shopping area. One day, if it continues to grow, it could become the largest retail area in Chicagoland.

Clybourn Commons draws affluent shoppers who call Lincoln Park, Old Town and Bucktown home.

Shoppers can just make a day of it, taking advantage of a Mariano’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and a 14-screen ArcLight movie theater.

And New City’s developer, Chicago-based Structured Development, is ready to build even more. Structured’s future plans include a retail-centric 213,000-square-foot building at Kingsbury and Blackhawk streets.

Fellow Chicagoans Sterling Bay have plans for the former A. Finkl & Sons steel plant as they assemble parcels along the Chicago River west of Clybourn.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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