NAI Hiffman has been retained by Karis Industrial and Stonemont Financial Group to lease South Branch Commerce Center at 3535 S. Ashland Avenue in Chicago’s South Side Bridgeport neighborhood. Ground will break this spring on a 260,000-square-foot speculative warehouse/distribution building at the 16-acre site that formerly housed the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. gum factory.
The speculative development in Bridgeport, a neighborhood that has seen little industrial development in decades, will be within three miles of the Loop. It has been designed to meet the rising demand for fulfillment and distribution of online orders in the city, according to NAI Hiffman’s senior vice president John Basile and executive vice president Chris Gary, leasing brokers for the property.
“We advised the developer on the site plan and market dynamics during the acquisition of the site, so it’s an honor to continue the relationship with the assignment to market this one-of-a-kind property,” said Basile. “The surge of e-commerce activity in recent years has lured developers to well-located, urban sites. This rare last-mile opportunity offers the largest new-construction distribution center within three miles of downtown Chicago.”
Located on the southeast corner of 35th Street and Ashland Avenue, the 259,862-square-foot warehouse/distribution building will offer a build-to-suit office area, 32-foot clear ceiling heights, a 395-foot-by-650-foot dimension, 60 exterior docks (expandable by 20), four drive-in doors and a speed bay. The site’s truck court will measure 130 feet by 150 feet with a 60-foot concrete apron. The property will provide 113 trailer spots and 458 vehicle parking spots in a secured auxiliary lot. The flexible site plan includes drive-through capabilities with multiple entry and exit points, which is ideal for highly efficient loading in a densely populated area.
“The demand is high for same-day deliveries, but the supply of urban infill distribution centers to meet this demand is constrained,” said Gary. “This large site allows the developer to include the truck-maneuvering capabilities found in suburban sites, but at a city location only 10 minutes from downtown, the thriving West Loop and the Fulton Market District.”
“An infill property of this magnitude is very rare in the city of Chicago,” said Jeff Berryhill, principal, Stonemont Financial Group. “This state-of-the-art facility will help meet the growing demand from a variety of different users and industries in the market. We look forward to starting construction and partnering with Karis Industrial and NAI Hiffman on this project.”
In addition to its position along the wide, four-lane Ashland Avenue arterial for easy truck access, the I-55 Expressway is one mile from the property and the full interchange at 35th Street and the I-94 Expressway is 1.7 miles from the property. South Branch Commerce Center is also located near the largest industrial labor force in Chicago, providing access to 23,749 employees within a one-mile radius and 133,133 employees within a three-mile radius. Employees will also have several choices of public transportation to the site, including a CTA bus along 35th Street, a CTA Express bus along Ashland Avenue, and the CTA’s Orange Line.