"Anecdotal but... I worked on converting old loft buildings on Milwaukee [Avenue] in the late '90s dot.com frenzy. Every property owner was going to be the next incubator tech space billionaire. In their minds, stripping the building to the exposed bare brick walls and refinishing an old strip floor was all it took to make a tech space. Then they asked for ridiculous rents and waited, and waited, and kept on waiting — for some — until at least 2005 and 2006 before throwing in the towel and either condo-ing the spaces or getting a yoga/spin studio in there."
"How could they wait so long against their own interest? Surely they were losing money, right? No, these properties go so far back in some families or bought so cheap in the '70s they had massive equity gains built in so they could afford to ask for higher rents and wait a half decade for them to materialize and leave the storefronts vacant. This is actually a problem all over Chicago, the impetus to get a space leased quickly just isn't there if its not costing you a fortune because you have a nice job in Northbrook and inherited this building from your dead grandma, taxes paid." — marko [Small Businesses Are Struggling to Stay Afloat in Wicker Park]