Chicago – According to locally based Northern Realty Group Ltd.’s 12th annual survey of retail space in downtown Chicago’s State Street/Wabash Avenue shopping district, the vacancy rate for specialty store space rose to 4.5% from last fall’s 4.3%.

Meanwhile, the average asking rent climbed 8.8% to $56.34 per sq. ft. from $51.76 a year ago. Specialty store space currently available for lease in the district now stands at 39,592 sq. ft. out of a total inventory of 864,675 sq. ft.