Two major distribution centers for national retailers are officially underway in the Chicago suburbs, which will ultimately bolster each company’s regional delivery service while providing hundreds of jobs to local economies.
Developer Duke Realty is constructing the two build-to-suit facilities, one in Romeoville for the online furniture and home goods retailer Wayfair and the other in Bedford Park for an unnamed national home improvement retailer.
The upcoming Wayfair distribution hub will be located at 1040 West Renwick Road in Romeoville on an 81.8-acre site, while the home improvement retailer’s facility will be built at 6600 West 68th Street in Bedford Park. Combined, the two developments will deliver over 1.8 million square feet of new industrial space to the Chicago market.
According to Susan Bergdoll, who oversees Duke Realty’s development and leasing for the Chicago and Minneapolis markets, both projects came together thanks in large part to local support for industrial development and by working with both companies to identify how each site best serves their goals.
But the number one reason Wayfair chose the Romeoville site, Bergdoll says, was access to talent.
“The Wayfair team shared with me that the number one reason that they went to this site is labor,” Bergdoll says. “The longterm labor prospects for this area were stronger than any other location that they checked out.”
Addition factors include Will County’s lower taxes and Romeoville’s favorable attitude towards towards industrial development.
Building new along the I-55 corridor has become more challenging in the last couple of years, Bergdoll adds, as the route has been largely built up and raw greenfield becomes less available.
“These big sites are hard to find,” says Bergdoll. “If you go down to the I-80 market, there are several opportunities for large sites, but finding 80 acres in what’s considered an infill market is really challenging.”
Once the deal came together for the Romeoville site, Wayfair jumped on it, Bergdoll says, adding that the retailer signed the deal just days after the developer was able to assemble the acreage for the facility.
The Bedford Park warehouse was a little more challenging, Bergdoll concedes, as the user required a site that had short line rail service. And as a home improvement retailer, the goods being shuffled in and out of the facility will likely be bulkier and heavier than products delivered by ecommerce companies.
Bergdoll expects that both projects to be completed by May 2022