Walgreens just became the latest occupier in the I-55 Corridor to sign up for a big lease expansion, and developers have taken notice of the activity. The retailer had occupied all of 370 Crossroads Parkway in suburban Bolingbrook except for 146,000-square-feet, but decided to take over all the rest and bring the 258,560-square-foot facility to 100% occupancy.
Duke Realty owns and manages the building. Dan Leahy and Adam Roth, executive vice presidents with NAI Hiffman’s industrial services team, represented Duke in the transaction. Kris Bjorson of JLL represented Walgreens.
All of the submarket’s leasing activity “is very encouraging,” Roth tells GlobeSt.com. Tenants signed agreements to lease 2.1-million-square-feet in the first quarter, nearly four times the amount leased in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a recent report by Colliers. Ferrara Pan Candy and Midwest Warehouse & Distribution System, Inc. signed two of the most significant leases, both in Bolingbrook, for, respectively, 747,200-square-feet at 901 Carlow Dr. and 650,500-square-feet at 1450 Remington Blvd.
“A number of developers are now looking to build speculative projects in the corridor,” Roth adds. In fact, he estimates that developers will complete about 3-million-square-feet of speculative space over the next ten months. “Spec is back in the I-55 Corridor.”
Duke, for example, plans to complete, on a speculative basis, the Enterprise Distribution Center at 1341 Enterprise Dr. in Romeoville by December. The 324,115-square-foot facility will have 32’ clear ceiling height and 36 docks.
The economy’s steady recovery has released a lot of pent-up demand, Roth concludes, and has made “conversations between landlords and tenants much more real. A lot of corporations are now moving forward with space requirements, and most developers see it the same way.”