Let’s take one more look at the bigger picture for Chicago industrial before we officially enter 2022. We’ve recently taken a look at the biggest industrial deals and the largest construction completions of 2021, as well as the biggest deals during Q2. But we now have even more data to pour over and analyze for the last quarter, which not only highlights the biggest leases and construction projects in recent months, but offers some other valuable information about the Chicago-area industrial market.
The Q3 Big Box Industrial report from Colliers highlights a number of metrics measuring the region’s industrial supply and demand, but one number that sticks out is the total inventory in terms of volume. In this last quarter, the Chicago area surpassed a notable threshold in terms of overall inventory by passing 300 million square feet of total industrial space. Not only is the number itself worthy of attention, but the pace in which the region is adding to the total inventory number in the last year is equally significant.
Just in the last year, the region has jumped from 284 million square feet of total big box industrial space over 647 buildings to 306 million square feet in 680 buildings. Over 22 million square feet of new industrial space has been added to the metro area’s inventory, representing a nearly 10% gain in just one year. And the pace at which developers are pushing to add even more inventory remains elevated.
In terms of the biggest lease deals during Q3 2021, there are some familiar names. Not surprisingly, Amazon had the biggest lease deal last quarter, claiming 1.16 million square feet in Huntley. Not totally dissimilar from Q2, third-party logistics firms also maintained a major presence on the list of biggest deals, taking four spots in the top-ten list of biggest Q3 deals.
The list of largest active construction sites in Q3 isn’t all that different from the list at the end of Q2. Duke Realty’s new Romeoville facility for Wayfair was the biggest industrial project under construction at the end of Q3. And at 1.2 million square feet, this deal is also the biggest industrial lease in all of 2021 at the time of writing. Proctor & Gamble, Costco, Lion Electric, Home Depot, and Haribo are other companies waiting to move into large facilities in the coming months.
And with so much demand for new industrial product, 12 of the top 20 largest active construction projects are spec developments. Duke Realty has three of the 24 largest active industrial projects underway. CenterPoint Properties and North Point Development each have two projects on the list of the 24 biggest developments under construction.