Construction has begun on a second building at the Gateway TradePort industrial park in Pontoon Beach, Illinois, in the St Louis region. NorthPoint Development developed the industrial park.
The announcement of a new 543,227-square-foot warehouse building comes as NorthPoint completes leasing out the first building in the development. Gateway TradePort Building 1, which delivered in January, is now fully leased by a large e-commerce company.
The surge of e-commerce has fueled growth in developments like Gateway TradePort in the St. Louis area, said David Branding, managing director at JLL, the real estate firm that is handling leasing for the industrial park.
“As long as consumers continue to buy products online, and as long as we continue to expect delivery in a day or less, we’re going to see e-commerce continue to grow well into the future,” said Branding. “Even more so, COVID increased the velocity and volume of deliveries, and now e-commerce companies are looking for even more space to safely store their stock and within a short distance from the final delivery destination.”
Branding noted that up to a half-dozen national companies are looking for warehouse and distribution space in the St. Louis metro area. With consumers demanding fast, reliable delivery of goods ordered online, e-commerce companies are investing heavily in final-mile delivery infrastructure — where to locate distribution centers so that the greatest number of customers can be served most quickly.
This type of strategy puts a premium on easy access to major transportations routes. The 600-acre Gateway TradePort, located at the intersection of I-270 and I-255, is well positioned to meet those needs, also offering fast access to Interstates 55, 70 and 64.
Prologis, a real estate investment trust firm, estimates that as e-commerce continues to grow, it will spur demand nationally for an additional 400 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space in the next two to three years. Based on current growth rates, that could mean an additional 8 million square feet of space in the St. Louis area, in developments such as Gateway TradePort, over that time period.
The new building at Gateway TradePort has all the amenities needed for this type of use. Building 2 in the park will feature cross-docking capability, up to 92 dock doors and parking for more than 150 trailers and nearly 200 cars. Eventual plans for Gateway TradePort call for a total of 11 industrial buildings totaling 7.5 million square feet.
The Metro East region is currently one of the fastest growing parts of the St. Louis metro area, both because of its proximity to major highways and its high concentration of transportation and warehouse workers, as well as a lower average hourly starting wage than comparable industrial parks in the metro area. A 23-year real-estate tax abatement period provides long-term value for tenants.