Retail Vacancy on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile More Than Doubles from Pre-Pandemic Levels

Among the tenants that decided not to re-open their stores along the Mag Mile were Macy’s, Uniqlo, and the Gap.

Reprinted with permission of Commercial Real Estate Direct:

The retail vacancy rate along the Magnificent Mile, a well-known shopping district in downtown Chicago, was 9.3 percent in the fourth quarter, according to CoStar data compiled by Cushman & Wakefield.

That’s up from 5.9 percent a year earlier and nearly triple the 3.3 percent rate in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The skyrocketing vacancy rate in the area compares to Chicago’s overall vacancy rate, which actually has improved, to 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, from 9.3 percent the previous year and 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The retail vacancy rate had increased throughout Chicago, as it did in most cities, as a result of Covid-related restrictions that forced retailers to close their stores – many permanently. But while the overall Chicago market, in terms of vacancy, has rebounded, that hasn’t been the case along the Mag Mile. The culprits: rents and crime.

Retail space along the 2.8 million-square-foot shopping district that sits along North Michigan Avenue averaged $94.14/sf at the end of last year, according to Cushman. The area historically has been a luxury shopping area. Among its tenants: Nordstrom, Patek Philippe, Hugo Boss and Hermes. The area’s rents compare with the $19.15/sf average for the city overall. Most retailers – outside of those in the luxury category – would be reluctant to pay Mag Mile rents.

Among the tenants that decided not to re-open their stores along the Mag Mile were Macy’s, which closed its location at 835 North Michigan, where it had leased 170,000 sf; Uniqlo, which closed its 61,000-sf store at 830 North Michigan; and the Gap, which closed its 49,000-sf store at 555 North Michigan.

The Gap’s departure has had a negative impact on a CMBS transaction that holds a $55.46 million loan against 555 and 545 North Michigan. The loan, securitized through Hamlet Securitization Trust, 2020-CRE1, has been transferred to special servicing because it’s expected to default. When it was underwritten in 2017, the expectation was that rents in the area would climb to $123 and the space void created by Gap’s expected departure would quickly be filled.

The Mag Mile has been plagued by increasing crime and a sharp decline in foot traffic caused by an increasing office vacancy rate. The number of crime complaints in Chicago was 8 percent higher in 2021 than 2020 and the number of crime complaints made during the first few months of this year already was 34 percent greater than all of 2021, according to Chicago Police Department data compiled by BofA Securities’ CMBS research team. So far this year, robbery, for instance, was up 10 percent from last year and thefts were up a staggering 61 percent.

Meanwhile, the area has seen a drop in office workers, which reduces foot traffic. Kastle Systems this week reported that Chicago’s actual office occupancy rate was only 34.6 percent. That’s up 1.1 percentage points from the previous week. And it compares with Chicago’s formal 20.3 percent vacancy rate for the fourth quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield. That was up from 16.4 percent a year earlier.

Community leaders are making efforts to address the issues. A panel formed by Chicago’s Urban Land Institute recently made several proposals to revive the Mag Mile after noting that Chicago’s sales tax revenue for the zip code that includes the shopping district saw a 23 percent decline in 2020. The panel’s proposal was first reported by Crain’s Chicago Business.

It suggested that the Chicago Police Department should increase its presence in the area, recommended the installation of more security cameras and the launching of a media campaign to convince potential shoppers that the area was safe.

The panel also suggested that developing a plaza for entertainment purposes would encourage more traffic to the area. The proposed site for the plaza would be the Department of Water Management’s service yard and the firehouse, south of 835 North Michigan Ave., right along the Chicago River. Reprinted with permission of Commercial Real Estate Direct.

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  92 comments for “Retail Vacancy on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile More Than Doubles from Pre-Pandemic Levels

  1. Richard Greene says:

    Bad news for the smash and grab thieves !

    • Raj says:

      I wonder if there are reliable metrics for vacancy rates of Houses and Condos, just like there are for malls.

      That will help figure out how many houses are owned purely for investment and not for shelter.

    • Anthony A. says:

      They will just move out toward the suburbs.

      • El Katz says:

        They’ll (smash and grabbers) need the *free* gas debit cards from CONgress so they can drive out to Oak Brook to ply their trade.

  2. Dude says:

    I’m surprised it hasn’t dropped even further… everyone remembers seeing that looting in particular on television & web. Not just once, but several times over.

    Couldn’t pay me enough to go there and a few other major cities without seeing cops on every corner.

    I think they have years before it returns to what it was, if ever.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      I have read and heard similar reports at Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza in Atlanta which comparable shopping district in Atlanta.

      Similar root cause, though I can’t confirm how much of it is actual versus perception. Lenox was “sacked” during the 2020 riots.

      Generically though, it’s another indication of extended social decay.

  3. Absur Ditty says:

    People who are not rich need free places to live. We need to pass a law immediately that anyone who needs a place to live can move into any empty retail space! As a bonus, people living in these spaces can sell stuff since it’s zoned for retail.

  4. Mike Madigan says:

    So they want to launch “a media campaign to convince potential shoppers that the area was safe.” Well, it’s not, and engaging in a propaganda campaign to suggest otherwise won’t make it more safe. The VAT-like 10.25% sales tax in Chicago doesn’t help retail, either.

    • rj not in chicago anymore says:

      Mike –
      I left Chicago a handful of years back before the virus hit due to the onerous taxes and the left’s cause celeb of soft on crime / hating on the cops and the like – What I miss is the food, a couple of local haunts, the Cubs and the symphony – I don’t need to live in the hell hole of Chicago to still enjoy these circuses. I can visit and then leave.
      In re to entertainments on the Mag Mile – maybe Perry Ferrell can move Lollapalooza there from Northerly Island!!!????
      May better days come!!

  5. Anthony says:

    the launching of a media campaign to convince potential shoppers that the area was safe.

    Yeah Right……

    • El Katz says:

      The 10 o’clock news will greatly reduce the effectiveness of their media campaign.

  6. Hal says:

    I have friends that owned a condo on Michigan Avenue. The last time they were there, they said the streets were pretty much empty. The shoppers were no where to be found — and they didn’t want to go out, especially after dark. They had the condo for many years, but recently sold it at a substantial loss.

    Also, during this pandemic/crime spree, Lawry’s The Prime Rib (just off Michigan on Ontario) closed permanently. They blamed the permanent closure on Covid-19, but they’re still open in Beverly Hills, Dallas and Las Vegas.

    I always looked forward to going there when I was in Chicago, but I can’t really say I’ll miss it because I have no plans to visit Chicago again anyway — for the same (real) reason Lawry’s is permanently closed.

    • Petunia says:

      You should lookup spring break in Miami on the news. It looks like a lawless city in the third world.

      • Augustus Frost says:

        Much of Miami looked like the third world when I lived in south Florida from 1992-1994.

        Many places there where if someone blind folded you and left you there without you knowing it, you’d have no idea you are (supposedly) in the US.

      • Hal says:

        Sans spring break, Miami Beach is relatively safe. But, Miami (not to be confused with Miami Beach) is, for the most part… well, like Augustus mentioned.

    • anon says:

      Hal wrote about his friends with a Michigan Avenue condo that sold it at a loss.

      We have friends who were FINALLY able to sell their Northwest Suburban Chicago area condo.

      They would joke:

      Q – What’s the difference between venereal disease and a condo?
      A – You can get rid of a venereal disease.

      As a life long resident of Chicagoland … I can tell you it does have its issues.

  7. Petunia says:

    Retail crime has reached the level where consumers are opting out of luxury goods because it is dangerous to wear nice clothes or jewelry, or shop in the more expensive stores. This crime spree has been evolving and has relocated from the now closed malls to the luxury stores.

    I’m not surprised by any of this and could see it coming for years. Stopped going to the malls alone a few years ago, it was scary, and that included the employees. The landlords wanted to squeeze out the last dime and they squeezed out the customers instead.

    I expect luxury brands to take a big hit while the chaos continues. It’s not just the American infrastructure that looks bad now, it’s Americans too.

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      Petunia I see what you’re saying regarding ostentatious luxury and shopping for luxury goods in malls or other high-risk environments.

      But some people are always wired with a need to feel superior to others, so Luxury won’t go away – it can still be bought online and used at home.

      From some things I’ve read, it sounds like Luxury also went underground in 1950s-1970s Western Europe, when socialism was all the rage (more so than today even) and wealth had to be enjoyed privately lest it be a target of public outrage or government confiscation… (Also true in Communist Europe as well?)

    • Depth Charge says:

      Yep. From here on out, driving a nice vehicle or wearing jewelry, expensive clothing, etc. will make you a target that stands out like Bambi to a hungry mountain lion. One of the most dangerous places which people cannot avoid are fuel stations, which is, to me, one of the advantages for people with EVs who can charge at home. Standing at the pump next to your brand new BMW screams “ROB ME!”

      Just look how brazen thieves have become. They are smashing and grabbing from other vehicles in broad daylight during traffic jams, much of this caught on video. They DO NOT CARE. And there is a massive push to decriminalize this behavior because these poor young folks just can’t get a leg up because of this racisss country.

      • Dan Romig says:

        D C,

        My BMW hit the road for the first time today in four months, and I did stand at the pump to pay $4.62 a gallon for 91 octane & non-ethanol fuel. My expression was more, “Yeah, maybe I’m packin’.”

        It is smart to be aware at all times, but especially in a newer luxury ride. Car jacking has cooled off in the Twin Cities lately, which is nice as I prefer to grocery shop unarmed.

        Only a mile west-southwest of the Miracle Mile, is the McClaren dealership. I’m just sayin’ …

        • Hal says:

          2A is a CC permit in my state. Lots of folks packing at the gas station and everywhere else. I never worry at the gas station. We just make small talk and pump gas.

        • Dan Romig says:

          Correction on non-oxygenated 91 at my station: $4.36 a gallon.

          This station also sells a 60% ethanol blend that’s popular with the “after-market engine mods” customers.

  8. historicus says:

    The leaders of these cities just DON’T SEE the non enforcement of the law and the ramifications.
    Great cities built by engineers, tradesmen, great architects……..are flirting with vast vacancies and decay. Imagine the upkeep required of these structures, and now the money is shut off….the necessary repairs and upkeep postponed.
    Shame on the “leaders” who did the easy thing for them…..and the WRONG thing for the cities, the people in the cities, and the nation.

    • SpencerG says:

      Yeah… I have watched the City Council of New Orleans focus their attentions on non-smoking bars, restaurants, and casinos… and then on Confederate statues. Meanwhile the crime is getting so out of control that criminals are shooting up parades.

      New Orleans has exactly two industries worth mentioning… shipping and tourism. Ship owners could care less about crime… but tourists???

      • Petunia says:

        I read the NOLA news and it is even worse than a few years ago. Now it seems to have migrated north to Baton Rouge as well.

        • Apple says:

          New Orleans has the most corrupt police department in the country.

          Remember when they stole 200 cars during Hurricane Katrina? Made the Detroit cops look like amateurs.

      • Mike Madigan says:

        The City of St. Louis competes with New Orleans for the murder capital of the US, and for the top 25 in the world. Of course it has a mayor who wants to defund the police and a Circuit Attorney who won’t prosecute violent crime. However, with much fanfare the Board of Aldermen just passed a groundbreaking ordinance requiring restaurants to list water, milk and juice above sugary soda on their beverage menus, supposedly to encourage people to make healthier drink choices. Nevermind that milk and juice aren’t exactly healthy choices. Meanwhile while you’re drinking your healthy beverages you can watch the carjackings and drive-by shootings through the restaurant window.

        • Depth Charge says:

          I was running low on fuel in a Ryder truck while traveling across the country and had to stop in East St. Louis. It was dusk, and I had to go inside the stop and rob to pay for the fuel. I remember the vibe was screaming ***DANGER***. I had never even heard of the place before that day. I was happy once the tank was filled and I was back in the truck with it running again.

      • Augustus Frost says:

        I have been to New Orleans several times for work though last time in 2016. I consider the place a dump and don’t get why it has the perception it does even as a tourist destination.

        I stayed in the French Quarter (Marriott) and while it’s “quaint”, I’d never spend a dime of my own money or a minute of my personal time to go there.

        The rest of the city outside the tourist areas I’d call an “arm pit”.

    • JWB says:


    • info says:

      It’s because it doesn’t personally impact the leaders themselves in their safe gated communities.

      When was the last time any of them got mugged and knifed?

      • Jeremy Wolff says:

        Knifed, maybe not common. But several (at least three) congressmen or state representatives have been mugged in the last two years. People usually leave there gated communities 9-5… But your point is taken- many leaders openly say how little they interact with the general population and go to public areas. There are a lot of embarrassing out-of-touch comments out there. But these people still face danger. Be it not the same level as living in a high-crime area.

        Mary Gay Scanlon
        Curtis Tarver
        Kimbery Lightford
        Barbara Boxer

  9. Up North says:

    Man, the whole Western World is dissolving. Up here in frigid Canada we have many strip malls showing brown paper behind windows as well (the Smart Centres). It’s hard not to be anticipating some more bad news when you see the rate at which these news are coming down the pike… Locking our mortgage to fixed on another note…

    • Depth Charge says:

      But the cost of living is skyrocketing. Something’s not adding up, is it?

    • Ben Sargent says:

      Solutions mean tough consequences for crime and stop the enabling neither of which are on the table by politicians.

      • info says:

        Long prison sentences isn’t tough on crime. Capital punishment, caning and fines is.

        • GSH says:

          What we really need is a better place to put habitual criminals. Like what Australia used to be for Britain. Mars sounds like a nice place for a penal colony.

        • phleep says:

          In the second half of the 20th century, there was a huge move to share the USA’s prosperity and enlightened permissive life with those it had not reached. Now we see the results of that experiment. But the problem is at such a scale, what is the needed medicine?

  10. Ed C says:

    This is what pandering and soft-on-crime DA’s leads to.
    Thanks smash-and-grabbers. You ruined a nice thing and no, insurance companies don’t pay for it all.

  11. Wisdom Seeker says:

    This is but one of many examples of today’s economic DIS-equilibrium.

    Technology enabled online shopping and work-from-home. Inertia kept most people living “the old way”, but COVID triggered a rapid cascade out of the old ways.

    Downtown Chicago, like a lot of other legacy infrastructure, is now partly obsolete or at least in need of re-purposing. Consider how much changed when horses became automobiles: it wasn’t just gasoline vs. hay, or mechanics vs. farriers, but also the rise of suburbs, tract housing, shopping malls, superhighways, a whole mindset of personal freedom-to-roam… Pre-Automotive cities became obsolete and had to reinvent themselves. Some did, some didn’t, and new cities grew from near-nothing.

    We’re far from equilibrium so we can’t see what the future will look like, yet. But it won’t look like the past. And none of it is well captured in economic models – nearly all of which assume equilibrium or near-equilibrium as a starting point. It is a time for visionaries and change.

    Love to hear if anyone else sees other areas of disequilibrium? Monetary Inflation, Supply Chains, Commodities are on my list.

    There are also areas ripe for sudden change, which haven’t hit their tipping points yet…

    • John H. says:

      I’ll lob a couple out there:

      – K-12 school spending, especially when measured as a percent of my county tax bill (spoiler: it’s over 50%!)

      – percent of mortgages subsidized through FHA

      I’ll leave systemic debt stats for somebody else…

      • John H. says:

        The above post was in response to Wisdom Seeker: “ Love to hear if anyone else sees other areas of disequilibrium? Monetary Inflation, Supply Chains, Commodities are on my list.”

    • Augustus Frost says:

      It’s more than economic problem. It’s a slippery slope toward a descent into modern day barbarism.

      Look at how it’s being described now in this topic. Just wait until the asset mania collapses and there is genuine economic hardship. It won’t be immediate but it’s coming.

  12. Zark Muckerberg says:

    Crime went up and they want to launch a media campaign that the area is safe 💀💀💀

    You can’t fix stupid

    • Anthony A. says:

      Re-fund the Police?

      That’s what these big cities have all said quietly needs to happen. But, the problem with that is the police won’t stop much crime due to possible legal repercussions on them personally and the Police Departments can’t find new recruits worth a damn.

      • Zark Muckerberg says:

        I’m not sure what the solution should be to resolve the problem.

        But it is a disservice to trick people into visiting an unsafe area.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          It’s a culture issue.

          Years ago, I was working with two colleagues, one from the UK and the other from Singapore.

          The one from the UK surmised that maybe if the police had less lethal weapons, the criminals would too and wouldn’t be so violent.

          I told him he had it backwards. Due to violent American culture, if his proposal became reality, the criminals would be running the asylum.

          This was back in 2006.

        • Jeremy Wolff says:

          “unsafe” is relative. Crime is still <1 per 10,000 people. When crime goes up 30%, we are talking very low basis numbers. It is not that much of an increase in terms of the overall number compared to the population.

          If you go shopping on Michigan Ave, it feels very safe. I drive this street every day as an Uber driver, and trust me, there are thousands and thousands of people walking and shopping. You see police constantly.

          Numbers and stats can be misleading if you don't look at them very carefully.

      • Dan Romig says:

        My next door neighbor is a Minneapolis Council member, and today he cast one of the eight yes votes, out of thirteen members, to approve a new contract with the MPD Union. The mayor will sign it, and it should go through.

        Anthony, you’re right about the conflicting forces that are pushing at policing in cities in general. My neighbor is a good man doing a good job, but the stress of his work is pushing hard on him — because he truly wants what’s best for the city, and it ain’t easy to make it happen.

        Again, all things considered, life is good in Minneapolis. Rode the Bianchi along the Mississippi today for the first time in four months. It felt great. That was after taking my M4 to the gas station and grocery store (unarmed).

      • KWHPete says:

        For those that have never worked in Law Enforcement there is a perception that “police stop crime”.

        The reality is different.

        The first and foremost goal of police departments in many countries and especially in the USA is revenue raising.

        They raise money through issuing tickets for such things as speeding, parking tickets, a busted tail light or not having your windows all the way rolled up while the car is parked and vacant.

        These form the overall number of interactions between police and people.

        Second in the USA is the enforcement of drug violations especially minor ones such as the possession of pot. This is another cash cow for the law enforcement complex which also includes the super cash cow of civil asset forfeiture.

        None of the above are designed to “stop crime”, but rather raise revenue.

        The third function of law enforcement is to investigate crimes AFTER they have been committed. And here the record for most law enforcement agencies across the USA is pathetic. The cop shows on TV are just plain BS. Homicides are rarely prevented by police.

        (And even the US Supreme Court has stated that the police have no legal obligation to even prevent a crime in progress including murder.)

        The number of solved serious crimes has fallen year after year and is worse in the big cities as these types of crimes takes a lot of manpower and money.

        it is a lot easier to issue a speeding ticket or bust somebody for smoking pot than to solve a homicide.

        Then maybe at number four is stopping crime before it happens and by this I mean active police presence and patrolling.

        But the problem in preventing crime in the USA is that the while police may arrest a suspect the prosecution and incarceration rate is low or the penalties are meaningless so why even bother.

        This last is a common theme here with regard to the bunch of idiot DA’s in the USA. I can not even fathom while in world such an important legal function would be held by an elected official.

        • SwissBrit says:

          “They raise money through issuing tickets for such things as… not having your windows all the way rolled up while the car is parked and vacant.” – why on earth is this a ticket-able offence ?

          You often see cars parked with their windows slightly open here in Europe on a hot day; yes it’s slightly less secure, but that’s the owner’s choice, surely?

        • Sams says:

          One of the most, or maybe the most important to the police is to protect the establishment. Dissolve demonstrations, pacify dissidents that are not quieted by other means and make sure the money flow. Petty crime is low on the priority list, activist hindering a new oil pipeline is high on the priority list.

          The incarnation rate in the USA is one of or the highest in the world. Not even China get to that level even if all political prisoners are counted too. The problem is then probably not a low incarnation rate.

        • KWHPete says:

          “The incarnation rate in the USA is one of or the highest in the world.”

          That is because the majority of those in the klink in the USA are in for minor drug offenses.

          They should be in rehab or some other program and not in jail.

  13. TheRustyLM says:

    Mayor Lightfoot will lead the way! hahahahah!

  14. historicus says:

    “Blackstone looking for NYC office space as it plans major expansion.”

    Winners and losers. And look who did so well.
    Fed fails to stand to their post and do their duties…
    Cui sciebant?
    Cui bono?

  15. MiTurn says:

    “thefts were up a staggering 61 percent.”

    I wonder how many of those thefts were ‘smash and grab.’ We’re heading back to a pre-Piggly Wiggly model (Piggy Wiggly innovated the ability for customers to do their own shopping and then pay at an exit cashier). Soon, the customer will have to ask a clerk for a sample an item before purchasing, because of not having direct access. Just like the ‘old days.’

    We’re returning to the wild west (save for online shopping). I wonder if some vendors will go strictly online. Think of it.

    Our local Ace Hardware has now locked up the public bathrooms because of theft and bans hoodies and sunglasses! And I live in a very rural area.

    • El Katz says:

      The public restrooms have been locked at our Ace Hardware for 5 years – and that’s in Scottsdale, AZ (not exactly a high crime area).

    • Augustus Frost says:

      “Our local Ace Hardware….bans hoodies and sunglasses! And I live in a very rural area.”

      Until they get sued by some non-profit legal services organization for discrimination.

    • Jeremy Wolff says:

      For the most part, I have found that things have trended the opposite way.

      We now have self-checkout, instead of cashiers. You can just pay for what you want.

      You can return pretty much anything in any condition no questions asked.

      Doesn’t seem too strict at most places. I don’t even think Walmart requires shoes or shirts.

  16. KWHPete says:

    Japan, anyone?


    Unfortunately I hope things get so bad in the USA that people have to take real action to solve the problems by kicking out worthless politicians and DA’s that are more interested in pushing their perverted political bent and never, ever let them back in again, but that assumes people in the USA are smart enough and willing enough to take the time and effort to do so.

    How many times have you heard about”Japan’s lost decade”?

    How about “America’s lost forever year?” Is there anything in the USA that has improved over the past year?

    Well compared to the USA, Japan is doing quite well thank you.

    And Australia?

    Australia is heaven compared to the crap going on in the USA despite our high prices and previous strict lock downs.

    Just stay away though. We don’t want you or need you.

    • Hal says:

      I would find that last remark deeply hurtful if I had any feelings.

      • KWHPete says:


        Australia has enough problems of its own without importing idiotic ideas and people from the USA.

        We imported so many people from so many countries for so many years that our population exploded, our cities became crowded and expensive, and crime increased.

        Even though GDP went up, the average person was not better off.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          Sounds like Australia should also send some of those who came as recent immigrants packing back where they came from.

          Increasing GDP for its own sake isn’t a reason for lax immigration, except for those who want cheap labor. It’s completely idiotic.

          Australia had the benefit of a large sparsely populated land mass and inherited British culture.

          No country (such as Switzerland) has any responsibility to compensate for any other’s over population, economic problems, or political dysfunction.

        • TheAltonRoute says:

          I’ve never been in Australia, but I bet it doesn’t have anything like East St. Louis, Cairo (Ill), Detroit, etc.

        • KWHPete says:

          “I bet it doesn’t have anything like East St. Louis, Cairo (Ill), Detroit…..”

          No we don’t and we probably never will.

          We have areas that are prone to higher crime rates and there are places you probably wouldn’t want to walk around alone at night type areas, but nothing like you have in the USA.

          As the population has grown here the crime rates have increased more than the population growth and are generally higher in low income areas.

          IIRC the biggest increase in crime rates are directly connected to increases in drug activity. You know the people need money for dope so they undertake activities to support their habit.

          Several years ago in Melbourne we had a spate of car jackings and smash and grab type activities that were a result of a certain immigrant minority engaged in those type of activities.

          In that case it took the police about six months to get the problem sorted and a big part of it was to get the judges to stop releasing the habitual offenders on bail. They were released did the same crime and were repeatedly arrested.

          I haven’t heard of a car jacking for a long, long time.

          We do have a lot car thefts and theft from cars (see above) and break ins with those types trying to get the keys for the cars. A lot of those are following people home to see where they live type activities. Usually those involve nice BMW, Mercs, and that sort of car.

          Another area where we have a problem is rape. A lot never get reported and have been increasing year after year:

          “There were 27,505 victims of sexual assault recorded by police in 2020. This was an increase of 2% (645 victims) from 2019 to the highest number recorded across the twenty-eight year time series.

          Accounting for population growth, the sexual assault victimisation rate increased from 69 victims per 100,000 persons in 1993 to 107 victims per 100,000 persons in 2020.”

          And finally many of you may know we had some strict, severe, and long lockdowns here in Australia. And yes, those lockdowns had a huge impact on theft of all types with some decreasing by over 20% year on year.

          Sexual assaults and homicides weren’t really affected though.

          Australia is heaven compared to the USA as far as most crime is concerned.

  17. ru82 says:

    Retail stores closing is partly due to the online shopping effect

    My wife almost never goes out shopping anymore. She buys 90% of everything online. Even groceries now. We signed up with free shipping from Amazon, Walmart, and shoprunner. When Walmart groceries delivery is out of something is when she actually goes will go to a competing store to find the item.

    Seriously….we have 1 to 3 packages or delivery boxes at our house everyday. Our recycle bin, which is big, is not big enough. It is full by day 5 of each week.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Finally! I wondered how long it would take before someone finally pointed it out directly. Well, Wisdom Seeker also alluded to it. I’ve been documenting it since 2017 — the infamous brick-and-mortar meltdown brought on by ecommerce, with a gazillion big chain stores, from Sears on down, having gone bankrupt and having been liquidated, leaving the country strewn with shuttered stores, zombie malls, and yes, fancy zombie shopping streets.

      • Petunia says:

        As a known sellout to consumerism, I miss brick & mortar shopping.

        But since this country is in serious decline, I don’t expect a resurgence in the near future.

        Which leads me back to real estate values in upscale areas, why are the prices still so high, when nothing around them justifies the prices. Yes, I mean CA.

        • tom15 says:

          The past 2 years changed our habits.
          Live in flyover/small town. We now do more local shopping
          for business & personal. Shook us out of our lazy ways
          and put $$$ in our community.

          Love all the youngsters trying to make a go out of it.

      • ru82 says:

        LOL….I am sure my opinion has been influenced by your many articles on this topic. ;)

  18. Implicit says:

    All these people working remotlely will require lots of yotabytes of internet data and transmission.
    Perhaps some of these shut down buildings in the middle of the country could become internet/storage centers deploying enterprise-level data services on-premises and cloud storage environments.
    They would need clean controled humidity and temperture, IT people, and security to take care of things.
    Ya gotta roll with the punches.
    Data clouds require real estate too 🥸

  19. unamused says:

    Crime is increasing because poverty is increasing, except at the top where crime is increasing because wealth is increasing. Those Who Have Power in the World are fine with it, not only because it enriches them but because it contributes to the transition to what promises to be a profitable authoritarianism. It will not be long now.

  20. unamused says:

    I’ve been looking forward to a discussion on the retreat from globalization, and will continue to look forward to it.

    • Petunia says:

      Globalization is dead. Financialization is dying as we speak/comment.

      • unamused says:

        It won’t matter. Alea iacta est.

      • joe2 says:

        Globalization is dead? You are looking at it wrong. The globalist elite and their minions have moved on from financialization – not efficient enough anymore even when manipulated – to direct international theft. Theft of yachts, national bank reserves, national gold holdings, misc assets, whatever. Nothing is safe, from your yacht to the change in your car cup holder.

        • Petunia says:

          Most Americans don’t understand the sanctions our govt imposes on others is a test run which will shortly be rolled out at home.

          It’s a global smash and grab.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          The local smash and grab are asset forfeitures which has bene in place for years.

        • KWHPete says:

          Wonder how long before the ticked off oligarchs start to fight back as a result the sanctions and illegal theft of their property.

          If you have nothing to lose then you don’t care what you do or what happens………………

        • Anthony A. says:

          “Wonder how long before the ticked off oligarchs start to fight back as a result the sanctions and illegal theft of their property.”

          And how exactly are they going to fight back?

        • KWHPete says:

          “And how exactly are they going to fight back?”

          Let’s see $100 million buys a lot of personnel security people or former military that need jobs and a lot of hardware on the black market.

          These people have a lot of experience in persuading people to agree to their conditions and have implemented various solutions to get their way.

          Use your imagination.

  21. DR DOOM says:

    “Community leaders” will need to go to Texas and other southern states and kidnap the abused taxpayer’s that escaped because of ” community leaders”

  22. DR DOOM says:

    “Community leaders” may have to go to the sun belt and kidnap their taxpayers that fled from the good work of the”Community Leaders”. ” Community Leaders” may have to pull themselves up by their boot straps. The Taxpayer and the bail-outs voted with their feet .Adios Amigo.

  23. Softtail Rider says:

    Just watched NOLA TV about the tornado in Arabi, LA last night. This is an area that was almost totally destroyed during Katrina many years ago. It was amazing to see home owners who had rebuilt only to have a tornado destroy everything again. I cannot comprehend anyone living through such destruction.

    Last night I watched the whole situation on a NOAA national website. As it approached I saw it split going both north and south of us. We are in south Mississippi not very far from the LA/MS state line. Our cell phones attuned to the national weather service were constantly blaring emergency warnings.

    The NOLA area is getting national attention but one of those tornados went a few miles east of us and a friend’s NSA coworker was killed when his home was demolished.

    Off topic I know but when bad things happen good people pull together and work to correct the problems. I have seen this happen during natural disasters and I believe we will see the same happen when our politicians lose their grip. Which I believe is beginning to happen. I’m not happy to see this but am prepared.

    Someone above mentioned the old days where the customer would have a clerk gather all they needed to purchase and then set it on the counter. We may need to return to those days until out legal folks learn coddling criminals doesn’t pay.

  24. dd says:

    State Street that onetime great street was once a shopping mecca: Wieboldt’s, Carson’s, Lyttons, Goldblatts, Sears etc. By the mid nineties only Marshall Fields remained. The cause was mega suburban and Michigan Ave. malls. Many department store buildings were converted to higher ed dorms, offices, performing arts venues and classrooms. UofI law school, Depaul, The Art Institute, Harold Washington and Roosevelt make up this corridor.
    The same transformation is underway near Michigan Ave. Northwestern owns a huge swath just east; Loyola owns much land just west; UofC has a B school along the river. Education and Medicine along with the tech structures to support it are the future.
    Lots of college and graduate students here. They’re resilient and able to deal with the challenges.
    Education, Medicine and Tech are the “new” tourism and shopping. How that plays out is anyone’s guess.

    • Anthony A. says:

      I hope the students are well armed.

      • dd says:

        They don’t need to be. Loyola, Northwestern et. al. have police forces with real police powers carrying guns and huge security systems; complete with patrolling cars, video and interconnectedness to the CPD.

      • NBay says:

        “Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”

        -Adam Smith

        A constitutional maximum net wealth of $10-15M is what we need, along with a militarized and well regulated IRS to enforce it.
        Then everyone has plenty of “incentive”, and any excessively driven capitalists can play all the evil games they want without crushing the rest too badly, those who can’t or don’t want to take “other people’s money”…….through a process called flippantly called “business”.

        • NBay says:

          Those who far exceed the limits, anyway, may have a wall of fame or even a statue as super “job creators” in DC and be looked up to (since we aren’t likely to drop our Christian/Calvinist worldview).
          But if we continue to play mindless capitalism…a warning….growth for growth’s sake is the ideology of a cancer cell.

        • NBay says:

          I meant to say, “flippantly called busy-ness”.

          BTW, great discussion on how and why to crush the “losers” without actually saying it.

          Pat each other on the back.

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