In the United States, the center of Chicago threatened by the real estate crisis

If the President of the United States Joe Biden and his party chose Chicago as the venue for the Democratic convention in the summer of 2024 (from August 19 to 22), it is because it is also the city where Barack Obama was a social worker and the social struggle of Martin Luther King from 1966, but also the cradle of anarchism and syndicalism in the 19th century.E century. However, companies are leaving the city. The reason? Too much crime and taxes.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers In the United States, real estate on the brink of crisis

“Big Business” is looking for a kinder heaven. In 2022, Boeing transferred its headquarters to Arlington (Virginia), right across from Washington and next to the Pentagon, which provides it with numerous military contracts. In the same year, Caterpillar, a global giant of construction vehicles, moved to Dallas, Texas, where taxes are more favorable.

In 2022, it was the turn of Citadel, the company founded by financial genius Kenneth Griffin, to pack up in Florida. And in 2024, software publisher Salesforce decided to lease 13,000 of the 46,000 square meters it occupied. As a result, the city where the first skyscraper was built in 1885 is feared to become a ghost town.

The office vacancy rate soared to 16.2%, according to CoStar Group data, compared to 11.9% at the start of 2020. The Midwest capital isn’t the only one affected by office desertion caused by teleworking, but it’s frankly in bad shape, the national average the vacancy rate is “only” 13.8%.

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Three-quarters of Chicago’s securitized (publicly traded) mortgage loans are at risk of default, the highest level in the nation, according to KBRA Analytics. The Wall Street Journal, who adds that the premises were sold for four times less than their highest estimate. The 10-story building near Willis Tower, long the world’s tallest skyscraper, was sold in January for $2.5 million (€2.3 million), while it was bought for $22.3 million in 2013.

The city’s current mayor, Brandon Johnson, a former employee of the radical Chicago Teachers Union, was elected to a far-left term in 2023 and said he was concerned about making businesses pay. Now he’s trying to turn things around like other progressive mayors, notably San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

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