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Taking Retail's Pulse

A retail recovery is still underway in Chicago, with the vacancy rate falling from 9.7% to 9.6% over the last quarter. Taken along with sharper drops over the last 6 quarters, the rate is down from a high of 12.1% in early 2010. All this while rents have risen $1.14/sq. ft. to $15.97 since this time last year. This is still nothing close to the peak of $23.57 three years ago— not too good for the little guy. A wrinkle: increased big-box vacancy is offsetting greater gains in the rest of the market. [Crain's]