Industrial developer Logistics Property Company bought a 6.4-acre lot on the city’s Near South Side, where it plans to break ground this summer on a speculative 137,000-square-foot “last mile” shipping warehouse, the company announced.
The Chicago-based firm paid $3.6 million to acquire the site at 3711 South Ashland Avenue from Matthew Joyce, a Hinsdale-based businessman who collects salvaged business remains, according to Cook County property records. Joyce sold the property under the name Ice Fire LLC, a reference to a massive January 2013 fire on that block whose response from firefighters left a vacant warehouse adorned with a layer of ice.
The warehouse was later demolished, leaving the whole block vacant.
Logistics Property Company bought the site about six weeks after it acquired a 102-acre tract in south suburban Country Club Hills, one of the largest undeveloped stretches in Cook County, where it plans to build multiple logistics warehouses totalling about 900,000 square feet.
Combining the sprawling suburban facility with a smaller foothold in the city’s McKinley Park neighborhood supports the developer’s “hub-and-spoke strategy, from mega warehouses to last mile infill connections,” according to a company press release. Aaron Martell, the firm’s executive vice president for the Midwest, said the smaller warehouse could enable “one-hour delivery” service.
Industrial builders usually locate shipping warehouses close to highways to give delivery truck drivers quick access, but Logistics Property Company touted the Ashland Avenue warehouse’s proximity to nearby bus and train lines, saying they would make it easier for the building owners to find available workers. The site is about a mile south of the Stevenson Expressway, and two miles west of the Dan Ryan Expressway.
The facility will include 26 loading docks with two “drive-in doors,” according to a marketing brochure. A 130-space parking lot is also planned on the site.
Construction is expected to complete by early 2020. The developer hired Tim McCahill and Terry Grapenthin of Lee & Associates to lease the property.
More than 11 million square feet of speculative industrial space was being built toward the end of last year, as industrial developers rush to meet insatiable demand for e-commerce logistics space. The region’s industrial vacancy rate has approached record lows, and Chicago-area landlords leased more than 10 million square feet of new or expanded industrial space during the third quarter alone last year.
As potential sites for campus-size distribution hubs become more scarce, warehouse developers have increasingly sought out smaller “infill” sites closer to the city.