J.F. McKinney & Associates Ltd. is building the first speculative office project in the suburbs in years. The project will be in Northbrook, where the firm is hoping to capitalize on a lack of Class A office space.
The project will be a four-building, 54,000-square-foot office development about a half-mile north of Willow Road and about a quarter-mile west Waukegan Road in Northbrook, according to Jack McKinney, president and founder of J.F. McKinney & Associates.
McKinney said even though the vacancy rate in the submarket is about 15 percent, users still are looking for good quality, Class A property.
“There’s been no new construction for a long time and there happens to be very little vacant A space,” he said. “There’s a lot of B, B-minus and C-plus space, but the users we’re looking for aren’t satisfied with those kinds of arrangements. They want something that’s going to be progressive and inspiring to their employees, just like they think their companies are.”
The first phase of the project will consist of two buildings, one of about 13,000 square feet, which will be leased to a Bright Horizons daycare center. The second building will be about 16,000 square feet, according to McKinney. The second phase will include two similar-sized spec buildings.
McKinney said his firm plans to begin construction in the fall on the project, which will be called MeadowPark and cost about $7 million. McKinney said the project will be built on 7 acres of land leased from Techny Land Corp., an affiliate of the Society of the Divine Word.
McKinney added that he is hoping the new project will attract tenants who are looking for modern space at a reasonable price. Rents at the development will be in the mid-20s per square foot, he said.
“We think there’s a demand out there. We’ve interviewed several potential tenants and there’s a need for special-purpose buildings or people would like to have a new facility that is modern,” he said. “Some businesses don’t need to be in a mid- or high-rise suburban office building. Rather than have the office building be an iconic place to go to, they want their firm to be iconic and the DNA of their firm will be expressed in how they develop the space inside.”