As the demand for industrial space continues to outpace supply, the rise in speculative developments also continues at a steady pace. And while Chicago and its immediate surroundings can be highly competitive and pricey, Northwest Indiana remains attractive to developers for its lower cost via taxes and close proximity to the Chicago’s core population center and downtown business district.
Developer Missner Group has at least a couple of spec projects underway, and more details have emerged for one being planned for East Chicago, Indiana. According to a report from the Times of Northwest Indiana, the $20 million deal would see the construction of a 250,000-square-foot facility at 4400 Homerlee.
The 14-acre site, which is currently a large vacant parcel near a residential area, is located less than 40 miles from O’Hare Airport. Ed Wabick of TCN Worldwide is the broker for the listing. Other details highlighted in the marketing brochure reveal that the facility will feature a 32-foot clear height, 44 trailer parking spaces, 302 car parking spaces, and upwards of 41 exterior docks.
In a recent conversation with Ed Wabick discussing cold storage for Chicago Industrial Properties, the TCN principal broker highlighted the demand for new development in Indiana, particularly due to the cost of doing business is a bit more predictable.
“The business atmosphere in Indiana is very positive,” Wabick says. “Unlike Cook County and other places, real estate taxes are mandated by the state of Indiana, which means that they remain pretty consistent and don’t go from one extreme to the other.”
And despite the costs of developing cold storage, the predictability of building in Indiana could help offset some of the innate risk, particularly with spec construction. Wabick had briefly mentioned the planned development in East Chicago, indicating that it would be a cold storage facility.
“I’ve always worked with developers and institutional groups to make more of an investment in Northwest Indiana and I can tell you that over the last six months, my phone is ringing off the hook with developers and institutional money that want to get into Northwest Indiana,” Wabick says.
Missner is also working on another spec development at 3900 S. Normal in Chicago working in tandem with CBRE. For the same Chicago Industrial Properties story on cold storage, CBRE SVP Steve Livaditis offered some insight into the proposal and had discussed the theme of flexibility.
“We have a project at 3900 S. Normal that we’re developing with the Missner Group — it’s a great location, the marketing is food focused, and we could build a 172,000 square foot facility,” Livaditis said of the development. “We have plans to build either an entire freezer, a freezer with cooler, or even a tri-temp building. [A user could] bring some cold storage in-house, some refrigeration if they want, some production, and then a dry area so you can private label and package your goods all in the same location and distribute.”
A rep with the Missner Group indicated that more details for the East Chicago development could be expected in the coming weeks. Until then, the marketing brochure offers information on the site plan, the immediate area’s labor market, and key transportation assets.