CA Ventures launches industrial branch, promises $500M investment in 5 years

The Chicago-based firm is looking to get in on Chicago’s scorching warehouse and distribution market

Aug.August 03, 2018 01:00 PM

Jim McGill, executive vice president of CA Industrial and Sean Spellman, chief development officer for CA Ventures with the rail yard near Chicago’s Southwest Side industrial corridor

A new division of CA Ventures will dedicate half a billion dollars to developing warehouse and distribution facilities all over the midwest by 2023, including in the O’Hare and Interstate 55 corridor submarkets in Chicago.

CA Industrial will become the seventh real estate branch of the Chicago-based company, which began in 2004 as a student housing developer.

Sean Spellman, the firm’s chief development officer, called industrial space an especially “steady and consistent” sector of the market.

“We clearly see the road in industrial has some room left in it … and one that we were missing from the CA verticals,” Spellman said. “All of the investment metrics have been right for a very long time in that space — there’s low vacancy, there’s high demand, there’s consumer growth.”

The company will scout out potential distribution logistics spaces from Chicago to Houston, in cities including Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville and Dallas. It especially will be looking for population clusters near highways, where it can build facilities that help complete “last-mile” deliveries to consumers, Spellman said.

CA has tapped Jim McGill, formerly of McShane Development Company and logistics firm Prologis, to head up the new division.

Industrial rents hit a record high in the Chicago area last quarter, with an 8 percent vacancy rate holding steady in the face of relentless speculative construction.

Demand for industrial space is especially hot around O’Hare Airport, whose ongoing expansion of its cargo capacity is coinciding with a nationwide hunger for e-commerce distribution centers.

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