"We were triggered to do a number of improvements, and now Ithink we're more prepared than ever for when the market turnsaround, in having build-to-suit pads ready," Gunther Lubben,director of development with Ryan, tells GlobeSt.com. "We shaved alot of time off putting power and gas in the park in the future,and we're ready to go now."

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Work on the development, at Route 53 and Laraway Road, began in2000. When completed, the park could offer as much as six millionsf, to become one of the largest industrial parks in the Chicagometropolitan area, the company said. The park currently houses twobuildings representing a combined 850,000 sf: 401 E. Laraway Road,a 475,104-sf building fully leased by confectionery and beveragescompany Cadbury plc, and a now-vacant, 374,400-sf facility onceleased by third-party logistics firm Arnold Logistics. The vacantbuilding, which was built on spec five years ago, is expandable to750,000 sf. "Vacancies in the Interstate 80-Joliet corridor aregetting up there," Lubben says. "The submarket has 12 million sf ofinventory."

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In August, after nearly a year-and-a-half of work, RyanCompanies closed on a deal with Ikea to purchase 72 acres in thebusiness park. The Swedish retailer will build a 1.3-million-sfMidwest distribution center on the site. The sales price was notdisclosed.Lubben says Ryan's focus at Laraway is on buildingfacilities for one to three tenants, ranging in size from 300,000to 750,000 sf. "There will be projects with million sf specs, but Ithink Laraway is better positioned to do the smallerbuild-to-suits," Lubben says.

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"There is a lot of demand down there for fully-securedfacilities of that size."Lubben says while waiting forbuild-to-suit arrangements to come in, the company will work onleasing up the 374,400-sf facility before looking to build any morespec buildings. "Our temperament is we're not going to build specright now, and we'll just hold tight," Lubben says. "I think you'reseeing the downstream effect of a number of buildings that werebuilt, and then we saw a real quick change in the market."

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Lubben says the Interstate 355 extension will make LarawayCrossings even more accessible than it was before. "Available rentsin this submarket are competitive, and the access to theinterstates and rail system is phenomenal," Lubben says. "It's awin-win. Closer to the city, it gets more challenging to find land,but here there's land available to do buildings."

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