CHICAGO—As reported in GlobeSt.com, Michelinrecently entered into a build-to-suit agreement to lease1.7-million-square-feet of distribution space from RidgeDevelopment at the RidgePort LogisticsCenter in Wilmington, IL, about 40 miles southwest ofChicago. And this Wednesday, Ridge, the industrial arm ofTranswestern Development Company, will breakground on the project, the largest development of its kind thisyear. The developers expect to deliver the project for the tiremanufacturer in mid-2015.

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The ceremony will take place at 10:15 AM at 24593 Lorenzo Rd.,one mile west of I-55 in Wilmington. Participants will include:Dan Seals, deputy director of the state's Dept. ofCommerce and Economic Development; J. Martin Orr,the mayor of Wilmington; Jim Martell, chiefexecutive officer of Ridge; Pete Gasparini,regional manager, Ledcor Construction, the generalcontractor; executives from JLL, who brokered thelease; and other executives from CornerstoneArchitects and Manhard Consulting.

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RidgePort is a 1,500-acre, rail-served intermodal park with roomfor 14-million-square-feet of industrial, warehousing and logisticsbuildings. It sits about three miles south of the I-55 Arsenal Rd.exit that leads to the BNSF Logistics Park-Chicagoin Elwood and the Union Pacific-Joliet IntermodalTerminal in Joliet. Located in the Will CountyInland Port region, the largest inland container port inNorth America, RidgePort provides economic incentive packages toqualified companies, has an Enterprise Zonedesignation and qualifies for a Foreign Trade Zonedesignation.

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A joint venture between Ridge Development and a state pensionfund advised by Heitman Financial owns thefacilities. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. is providingfinancing for the construction.

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“As one of the largest US distribution complexes when fullybuilt out,” said Martell, “this project should boost RidgePort toone of the most significant logistics parks in the country.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.