EDR Insight Releases Market Confidence Index for CHICAGO

Local EPs paint a picture of a cautious, but growing, Chicago due diligence market

As part of this fall’s Due Diligence at Dawn tour, EDR Insight is compiling an Environmental Due Diligence Market Confidence Index that characterizes each metro’s state of the market, risk tolerance, top challenges and near-term forecast.

cubsIn a fortunate coincidence, we hosted the Chicago DDD the morning after The Cubs’ Game 7 nail-biting win. Needless to say, we had a happy—albeit tired—audience, some of whom were sporting Cubs jerseys.

In addition to their first World Series win since 1908, Chicago has a number of other factors working in its favor right now. Commercial real estate conditions that bode well for the market—and for any environmental consultants working there—include:

  • Chicago is ranked among the Top 20 U.S. Metros to Watch for Commercial Real Estate Investment/Development—and was also the highest-ranked metro in the Midwest (ULI/PwC Emerging Trends in Commercial Real Estate).
  • The city’s urban core continues to benefit from an influx of millennials, as well as a long list of companies that are returning their headquarters from the suburbs to downtown Chicago.
  • Chicago is extremely attractive to the next generation of tech firms, a strong driver of office space demand.
  • Chicago, along with DC and Atlanta, is a target for the explosive growth in demand for data centers, up by 15 percent YonY.
  • The metro is the 3rd most popular U.S destination for foreign investment.
  • According to the EDR ScoreKeeper 3Q16 report, Phase I ESA activity in the Chicago MSA was up 6 percent over last year’s third quarter, outperforming Illinois’ total activity, which was down by two percent.

The results of our Chicago Market Confidence Survey, conducted the week prior to DDD characterize the market as follows:

  • Three out of five environmental professionals are experiencing growth.
  • The risk tolerance of lenders and investors is still cautious.
  • Clients are equally sensitive to Phase I ESA pricing and turnaround time.
  • There is guarded optimism for the coming year.


EDR Insight would like to thank all of the Chicago area consultants who participated in the survey. The next metro in this Market Confidence Series will be another city with a baseball team that made World Series history: Boston.

The week of December 6th, the DDD tour will be visiting the West Coast so if you work in the Irvine, Oakland or Seattle areas, sign up here.