The industrial market in the Chicago area has been on a hot streak in the last couple of years, but there’s always the debate about whether the midwestern metropolis’ market is the best place to invest and grow. The usual murmurs tend to highlight the city, county and state’s less-than-business-friendly reputation, steep property taxes, and challenged leadership.
However, time and time again, reports reveal the reality, which is that big real estate investment is happening right now.
Just to put things in perspective, of the 10 largest industrial construction completions across the nation, three of the projects were in the Chicago area, a report from CommercialEdge shows. The largest of the three is a sprawling 1.445 million square-foot facility in Grayslake to serve as a new distribution center for Medline. After that was the 1.326 million square-foot Exchange 55 project developed by Hilco in Chicago. And then there’s also the ChicagoWest Business Park in DeKalb which spans 1.222 million square feet.
These three deliveries alone account for nearly 4 million square feet of new industrial space for the region just in the first half of this year. And there’s still much more on the way. There are at least another seven projects underway in the Chicago area at or greater than 1 million square feet.
The nation’s single largest industrial completion during the first half of 2021 was actually in the greater Philadelphia market. The LogistiCenter at I-95 Wilmington built by Dermody Properties stands at a massive 3.833 million square feet on the former GM Boxwood Road plant in Newport, Delaware. The new facility is leased to Amazon.
The following two largest industrial deliveries are owned by Amazon, which combined, equal 7 million square feet. The larger of the two is a 3.6 million square-foot facility in the Nashville area and the other is a 3.4 million square-foot property in the Houston area. When totaling the volume of the three properties, it equates to 10.8 million square feet — just for the first half of 2021.
It’s perhaps no surprise as the logistics industry is currently witnessing a once-in-a-generation boom. The expansion and evolution of distribution and supply chain has created huge opportunities for developers, and investors continue to jump into the increasingly-competitive field to get a piece of the pie. Distribution’s big moment is leading to exponential growth and returns for both owners and operators, and is expected to continue well into the coming years.