The Failed Olympics Bid – Neighborhoods Will Be Better Off

October 28, 2009

Commercial, Residential

An Unpopular Opinion?

chicago-flag-sq1Many Chicagoans are still reeling with disappointment over Chicago?s loss of the 2016 Olympics. But the impact on the near south and South Loop real estate markets may have been less than positive after the flame was extinguished.

While 2016 is a long way off in real estate time, the recent market crash has taught us all to plan further into the future. I have quietly held an unpopular opinion regarding the long term impact of the Olympics on our city. Olympic-based funding and other investments would certainly have fueled infrastructure, commercial, and residential development leading up to and during the events, but the aftermath was a subject rarely discussed in public forums.

A healthy, sustainable real estate market requires a balance between supply and demand. Supply includes commercial and residential units available for sale and rent, as well as funding required to buy or lease these properties. This supply would have undoubtedly increased markedly with the increase in demand prior to and during the events. Olympic-related jobs would have provided income for purchase and rent of these properties, and commercial enterprises would have set up shop to serve workers and visitors at a record pace. Following the closing ceremony, however, visitors return home, jobs end, and demand would have dropped off drastically.

This imbalance would have had a significant negative impact on existing property in and around the Olympic venues. Empty commercial space does not indicate a healthy neighborhood to potential buyers, and I wholeheartedly believe that prices of residential properties in both near south and South Loop neighborhoods would have taken a serious hit in pricing. As we have recently seen, high levels of inventory take years to absorb. Nothing good comes of an oversupply situation.  Post-Olympic buyers would not have benefited either – there wouldn’t be enough of them to take advantage of the situation.

The lessons learned in the past several years should have influenced how we understand supply and demand within the marketplace.  Healthy markets result from slow, consistent activity, not huge, one-time events. I am in this market for the long haul, and still hold my unpopular opinion.

We would like to thank jrjenks for sharing today?s photo via the Creative Commons License.
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About Stacy Braack

Stacy is a seasoned real estate professional with a broad range of hands-on experience including first time buyers, investors, luxury homes, and distressed properties. While this may appear to be a scattered set of expertise, she believes the experience provides maximum effectiveness in today's chaotic market, which requires extensive knowledge of all aspects of the industry. Stacy's educational background includes a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Professionally, Stacy has done everything from operations consulting to city government before she found her passion in real estate almost eleven years ago. It is this passion that drives the most benefit to her buyers and sellers. She is fully committed to your goals - both financial and personal. Her clients describe her as extremely direct, honest, and responsive, and they repeatedly trust her to handle one of the biggest events in their lives. For buyers she works non-stop to find you both a home you will love to live in and one that is a smart investment. Many of her 2008 buyers have realized instant equity in their new homes through 'pit bull' negotiation skills. While the market has been tough for sellers, her listings have sold at a rate above that of the market. Extensive, constant, and extremely high-quality marketing, including both print and internet mediums, support every listing, from investment studios to luxury penthouses. She believes that your goals are her priority and her full-time job. She has built her business on referrals from satisfied clients, and she would love to add you to that list. You can contact her at 773-405-4431 or

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