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Q&A: Strong Activity for West Cook New Construction

By Meredith Lefley, Senior Marketing Coordinator

West Cook, the industrial market just south and east of O’Hare Airport totaling over 100 msf, continues to provide several attractive features to both investors and tenants due to its proximity to O’Hare, access to major expressways, and a strong labor force. A number of speculative projects recently delivered in West Cook, increasing investor confidence and tenant demand for this area.

Tenant activity remains strong in new construction buildings. Traditionally, tenants look at 100,000-150,000 sf buildings on the high-end; however, some groups are testing the market within the 300,000-500,000 sf range. Due to these larger prospects, investors are hesitant to divide large spec buildings until deals are made.

We anticipate that West Cook will see a decline in vacancy over the year and investors will start to push rents as tenant demand remains steady.

Matt Cowie offers further insight on West Cook.

Q: If I am an investor or developer, which building features are important to current tenants in the market?

Matt: Parking has become a major factor in a tenant’s requirement. Not just trailer parking, but box truck, sprinter vans, and car parking. Clear height remains an important factor as many groups expanding or coming into West Cook for the first time are looking for 30’ clear or higher.

Q: How could potential changes to the popular Class 6, 8, and 9 Property Tax Incentive Program affect West Cook?

Matt: In its current state the program helps investors redevelop distressed properties across Cook County. Implementation of the proposed changes would reduce the number of program applicants and restrict property owners and employers from hiring local contractors.

Q: I’m a user with an existing lease expiring in 18 months. If I’m considering a relocation, when should I start this process?

Matt: The relocation timeline varies on the specifics your business needs to effectively operate. It’s important to start the process at least 12 months prior to your lease expiration date. This timeframe allows you opportunity to tour potential relocation options and request proposals to review terms. Keep in mind, a build-out completion can take up to six months due to permitting and construction.

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