James has formed his own private development and investmentcompany, J4 Investments LLC, but says he felt his work with DPwould offer benefits for both his new venture and his career. "DPhas a great national reputation and they were committed to growingin Chicago," James says. "I was committed to doing something on myown, but after spending time with these guys, it just felt like anatural fit."

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James comes to DP after seven years as an SVP with the Chicagooffice of Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. "At Duke, I was ableto increase the Duke brand in Chicago from two million to sevenmillion sf," James says.

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DP entered the Chicago market in 2003, when it purchased 300acres for an industrial park in Rochelle, IL, and where a yearlater it built a 580,000-sf spec distribution center. The property,along with the rest of a 24.7-million-sf portfolio held by DP andthe California State Teachers Retirement System, was sold to aProLogis fund in July 2007 for about $1.8 billion, James says. "Itwas an unbelievable deal," he says, freeing up capital that willallow the company to reallocate more of its assets into Chicagomarket investments.

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James says DP Partners, which has become known primarily as anindustrial development firm, may look into expanding into otherproperty types in the Chicago market. "We're reaching out to thebrokerage community to find out what the opportunities here are,"James says. "We'd also go into retail or office if it's the rightopportunity." James also says he sees great potential in theChicago area for sale-leaseback arrangements.

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The company maintains its industrial development atLogistiCenter at Sauk Village, in partnership with the Village ofSauk Village, where it completed earlier this year its thirdspeculative building. The new 496,260-sf distribution center, whichremains vacant, is expandable up to 1.2 million sf and could housemultiple tenants or a single user. Asking lease rates for the spaceare around $2.75 per foot, net, James says. "It's pretty convenientto anywhere, because it's so close to the interstate systems,"James says. The development is located within six miles ofInterstates 80, 94 and 294, and within 14 miles of Interstate 65,he says. "It's also rail-served by EJ&E, which provides accessto all of the rails," he says. James says the company has seen agood amount of interest in the space. The company has constructedmore than 1.5 million sf in three buildings in the 325-acre parksince its development began in March 2005. The industrial park is20 miles south of Chicago, and has the ability to accommodate asmuch as five million sf of industrial space.

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The company also owns an industrial building at 4000 W. 40th St.in Chicago, which it acquired from a private investor over thesummer for $4 million. The property was vacant when they purchasedit, but has since been fully leased to M&J Distribution SystemsInc. for its corporate headquarters. The lease rate at the facilityin Crawford Industrial Park is about $5 per foot, net.

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