While the downtown apartment boom will redefine the look of the Loop, a wave of retail, restaurant and commercial development coming in its wake may have just as strong an effect. According to Crain's, Walgreen's is taking over the old Sears space on 2 North State, opening up a 5,400-square-foot retail space near the apartment units coming in above Block 37. While it'll be two block from the company's flagship location at State and Randolph, continued growth in the Loop suggests there will be plenty of customers moving in over the next few years (still waiting to see if the Millennium Mile concept takes off). It's another symbol in the Loop's continued development into a neighborhood that attracts people beyond weekday work hours.
The story adds that the Loop retail vacancy rate has decreased sharply since 2004, dropping from 18.2 to 10.8 percent. Along with the big numbers being put up by commercial real estate firms in 2015, especially in high-end office towers, the trend towards more downtown retail will only build more momentum for the neighborhood.