Lowe’s is taking over a big, vacant Chicagoland distribution center that once was occupied by Sears.
At 1.4 million square feet, the deal for 1600 North Boudreau Road in Manento is the largest industrial lease that the Chicago market has ever seen, not including build-to-suit warehouses, Crain’s reported.
Sears’ logistics unit, Innovel, closed the 31-acre property in October, a year after the retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Sears opened the distribution center, which was originally 1 million square feet, in 1990 and then added 400,000 additional square feet to it in the late 1990s. Kin Properties, based in Boca Raton, Florida, bought the warehouse for $24 million in 2013, according to Crain’s.
Industrial properties have been in high demand in the Chicago area and other markets across the U.S. thanks to the strong economy and rise of e-commerce.
Amazon has been especially active across Illinois, most recently inking a deal for more than 650,000 square feet of space across two warehouses in suburban Downers Grove.
Another big player in Chicago’s industrial market, Target, also just signed on to occupy a massive under-construction warehouse development in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
New York-based financial titan Blackstone Group is paying about $400 million for a 5.9 million-square-foot portfolio of 16 warehouses in the northern Chicago suburbs and 11 in southeast Wisconsin.
In the Chicago area, the industrial vacancy rate was 9.25 percent in the fourth quarter, a slight increase from 9.15 percent in the third quarter, the lowest level since 2001, according to Colliers International, which represented Kin Properties in the lease deal. [Crain’s] — Brianna Kelly