Soaring industrial demand turns Minooka into a development hotspot

Town of 12,000, 55 miles from Chicago, may soon have a $700 million industrial park

Ridgeline's plans for 5 warehouses in Minooka (Ridgeline, iStock)
Ridgeline's plans for 5 warehouses in Minooka (Ridgeline, iStock)

Chicago’s industrial real estate boom has reached Minooka, a city of 12,000 people some 55 miles to the southwest.

Atlanta’s Ridgeline Property plans to begin construction in April of the I-80 Logistics Park, a five-warehouse development of 7 million square feet on a 416-acre property, Crain’s reported. The park is currently projected to cost at least $700 million, Ridgeline CEO Greg Thurman said.

Developers such as Ridgeline are scrambling to build warehouses as demand for industrial space in Chicago grows, pushing developments further from the city center as a growing number of companies seek buildings of a million square feet or more. Trader Joe’s, Kellogg and Macy’s have distribution centers in the Minooka area and Walmart is planning one.

Logistics Park buildings will range from 1.1 million to more than 2 million square feet. Construction on the smallest warehouse, set for April, will begin without Ridgeline securing a tenant in advance and will cost $95 million, according to Crain’s. While that may seem risky, the industrial vacancy rate along I-80 is about 4 percent, and no other development has a warehouse of 1 million square feet, Ridgeline’s Ben Harris told Crain’s.

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The industrial park is located at the intersection of I-80 and I-55, providing access to locations across the Midwest and South. The park also provides access to a CSX rail line.


[Crain’s] – Harrison Connery