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CHICAGO-While construction crews have been kept busy in DuPage and Will counties, the 3.9 million sf of build-to-suit activity across the market in the first half of 2003 is down 36% from the same period last year, according to the Alter Group. That drop comes despite 2.5 million sf of projects in Will County, up 30% from last year, and a rebound in DuPage County to 864,470 sf.

Cook County could hardly keep pace from a record-setting first half of 2002, when 2.8 million sf of build-to-suit activity was under way. That fell to 433,000 sf this year, according to the Alter Group. Build-to-suit activity continues to plummet in Kane County, dropping another 81% to 100,000 sf.

Meanwhile, no build-to-suit activity was seen in Lake County during the first half, the first time since the Alter Group began keeping score 13 years ago. And while McHenry County was shut out, build-to-suit deliveries have been absent there in six of the last 13 first halves, the developer reports.

The industrial sector is claiming 95% of the build-to-suits in terms of square footage, the Alter Group says. Four of the 23 projects are office buildings while one is a flex project.

The average six of the 23 projects is 170,492 sf, down 42%. However, three current projects account for 2.6 million sf, 66% of the total.

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