Ken Witkowski

March 2021 View more

Back to the office? While mass telecommuting or working remotely makes sense right now, for many companies I really don’t believe it’s sustainable beyond COVID. So companies will still need office space, but their needs will be smaller. And the suburban Chicago market may be pleasantly surprised by companies looking for options outside of the city: wanting a Chicago-area presence but without the challenges that big buildings present.
Pressure points and pivots Hospitality and retail can expect challenges in 2021. Travel restrictions and infection fears have reduced year-over-year hotel occupancies by roughly 70 percent, and restaurants have been equally hard hit with seating and capacity restrictions. Here at CityGate Centre (Hotel Arista, Che Figata, and CityGate Grille), our operations have gone far beyond maintaining service standards and operating margins—hospitality now is about enhancing safety and taking care of employees and patrons.

Better days ahead The western suburbs have done a great job in developing a commercial real estate market that has reached global prominence, with cities such as Oak Brook and Naperville referenced immediately behind the city of Chicago. I hope that the various governmental entities within DuPage County and Naperville and other municipalities continue to attract opportunities that will complement current developments and businesses, and help maintain local property values everywhere. The worst of times can bring out the best in people. We all have the opportunity to let this moment be something that defines the best of our community.

Photo by Starr McCaffery