Chicago – According to a survey conducted by Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Inc., the vacancy rate for Chicago-area shopping centers increased nearly one point during the first quarter to 9 percent.

This vacancy rate is up from 8.2 percent at the close of 2000 and up from a record low of 7.3 percent one year ago. The survey included properties of 50,000 sq. ft. and greater (excluding regional malls). The vacancy rate peaked at 10.3 percent in 1997.