Barber scores $57M construction loan for Plainfield industrial

Bank OZK provided financing for Texas-based firm’s 390,000 sf development

Barber Nets $57M Industrial Construction Loan from Bank OZK
Chill Storage's Nicholas Barber; render of new cold storage warehouse will be built in Plainfield, Illinois (Getty, Chill Storage)

Nicholas Barber’s development firm specializing in industrial refrigeration is entering Chicagoland with big plans and financial partners.

His firm, Dallas-based Barber Partners, landed a $57 million construction loan from Arkansas-based Bank OZK to build a 390,000-square-foot industrial complex in the southwest Chicago suburb of Plainfield, public records show.

With the financing in hand from one of the nation’s most bullish lenders for large commercial developments, Barber Partners is ready to build on the land, at West 143rd Street and South Steiner Road.

An LLC connected to New Jersey-based DSV paid $21 million for the land and is a partner in the development, public records show. DSV provides professional services to logistics and hauling companies. It bought the assemblage from an LLC tied to Stewart Farms, an agricultural enterprise of a longtime grain farming family.

It appears that DSV bought enough land to support a second development in the area, which has been getting built out as a business park. DSV did not return a voicemail seeking comment.

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The project’s construction is starting as a record amount of industrial space is entering the Chicago-area market, pushing vacancy rates slightly up, after record lows at the turn of the decade. 

Supply for big-box industrial properties — considered 200,000 square feet or larger — is starting to outpace demand, according to Colliers. Vacancy rates for those spaces jumped to 7.6 percent in the third quarter of last year, compared to 3.5 percent in the same period of 2022, largely as a result of buildings being completed and hitting the market.

Barber sought the development site to capitalize on its proximity to the Interstate 55 corridor, a major thoroughfare that provides quick access to Chicago, as well Interstate 80 and railway parks.

“This strategic placement makes this cold-storage facility a game-changer for businesses engaged in national, regional and local distribution,” Barber’s Scott McGarity said.

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