Chicago is not only a transportation hub with numerous logistics and distribution companies, it's also the home of over 12,000 manufacturing companies directly and indirectly responsible for over 1.8 million jobs. As the global economy changes, many manufacturing facilities are shifting their production overseas or going out of business as they continue to conduct business the way they always have. The continuous decline of this industry has left Chicago the #1 city in the country for vacant warehouse and factory space. According to Chicago Business Today, the Chicago area has 140 million square feet of vacant property, roughly the equivalent of all the office space in the downtown area!
With vacant properties come a plethora of issues.
- Theft and Vandalism - Can you think of a better place to break into than a building with no one occupying or watching it? Neither can the burglars looking to steal any scrap metal, piping, or appliances you may have left behind.
- Wintertime Disasters - Freezing temperatures can lead to bursting pipes and water damage, something no one wants to deal with.
- Vagrants - Drug use, prostitution and squatting are all common issues for vacant property owners. Plus, it's a great place for teenagers to throw parties!
- Critters and Creatures - Raccoons, bats, squirrels, cockroaches and mice need homes too, but you don't want to be their landlord. With nobody there to kick them out, your property is the perfect place to set up shop.
Hmmm, what tipped you off that this was a vacant building? Was it the trash all over the premises, the overgrown landscaping, real estate signs, "no trespassing" signs or the constantly empty parking lot? While there are some things beyond your control as a property owner, there are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood that your building becomes a target.
PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY
- Hire a security firm like Securitas to conduct random Security Patrols of your property. These periodic Interior and Exterior Property Inspections of the premises can be used to identify if regular maintenance such as trash removal is being taken care of and if there are any intruders on the property.
- Install an alarm system. There are a variety of products available to meet your needs including wireless systems for properties without access to electricity.
- Install steel window screens and doors