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chi-RidgePort (2) RidgePort Logistics Center in Wilmington, IL. Ridge Property Trust has developed a 1.5M square foot BTS here, the largest new project in the Chicago region.

CHICAGO—The North American big-box sector just finished another historic year, largely due to a healthy US economy that continued to expand, and the seemingly unstoppable rise of e-commerce, which now accounts for 10% of non-auto retail sales.

Overall net absorption hit an all-time high of 116 million square feet in 2017, 2.4% higher than the previous year, according to Colliers International’s latest Big Box Market Report, a series of studies that track the sector, comprised of distribution buildings with more than 200,000 square feet and clear heights of 28’ or greater. Record amounts of absorption kept the overall vacancy rate at an all-time low of 6.9% despite developers creating 128 million square feet of new space, a new record for the sector.

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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.

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