Our Chicago office is experiencing continued momentum as we have recently announced multiple new project starts and significant pursuit activity in the industrial, residential, student housing, office and retail sectors. To help manage our growing pipeline of projects, we have hired new development and construction associates who will assist in perfecting our existing backlog of work heading into 2015. Here’s a snapshot of activity in the Chicago market.
Over the past 18 months, most Chicago sub-markets have experienced a significant decrease in industrial vacancy and an increase in rental rates, creating a positive environment for new industrial developments. Recognizing this opportunity, our team recently delivered the 605,000-square-foot I-88 Gateway Logistics Center in North Aurora and unveiled plans to construct two speculative industrial buildings in the Paragon Business Park in Romeoville. Combined, these projects bring more than 860,000 square feet to the greater Chicago market.
In addition, we are under construction on a 44,000-square-foot build-to-suit expansion for King Shan in Oakview Business Center and expect to announce an additional build-to-suit project in the near future.
Our residential development team has uncovered a number of market leading opportunities, including ArborBLU in Ann Arbor, Mich. This 13-story student housing complex is being constructed on top of the popular Pizza House restaurant and will offer students luxury living just steps from the University of Michigan campus. Completion is expected in time for the 2015/2016 academic year.
We continue to explore multifamily opportunities throughout the Chicagoland area. We have secured control of several strategic transit-oriented multi-family development sites in the most attractive suburban communities. We are currently working through the lengthy entitlement processes and expect to formally announce plans for two exciting residential projects in the coming months.
Our office delivered a 32,000-square-foot redevelopment in early 2015, anchored by The Fresh Market, in Glen Ellyn. The development was delivered on time and on budget thanks to a great effort by our construction team.
Our construction team has been extremely busy completing two significant projects—tenant improvements for Cook County in a 260,000-square-foot facility in Cicero and a new 52,000-square-foot Gander Mountain retail store in Algonquin.
We credit our recent momentum to the collaborative efforts and diligence of our entire team. From start to finish, everyone who touches the transaction adds significant value. A rising economy certainly doesn’t hurt either!