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WILMINGTON, IL-ProLogis, headquartered in Denver, has acquired 184 acres from the Joliet Arsenal Development Authority. The property is in the former Joliet Arsenal site, approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago on Interstate 55. The purchase price was reportedly $5.1 million. ProLogis plans to build a distribution park with more than 3.2 million sf at the site to be called ProLogis Park Arsenal. The total investment for the park at full build-out is expected to be more than $120 million, says Dave Riefe, ProLogis senior vice president and Chicago market officer.

The former Joliet Arsenal was an army munitions plant that closed in the early 1990s. The park will be four miles from the BNSF Railway Co.’s intermodal facility, which opened in 2002. Additionally, the companies in the park will benefit from “the proximity of the intersection of I-55 and I-80, which is a key interchange for both north-south and east-west distribution in the US,” Riefe says.

The first phase of the development will include build-to-suit facilities, for both lease and sale, in addition to speculative buildings, Riefe says. Construction will begin late this summer or early this fall on an 800,000 sf speculative warehouse building. Before construction can start on the warehouse facility, ProLogis “will undertake comprehensive infrastructure work,” such as the construction of a 1 million gallon water tower, he says. The first distribution facilities are expected to be completed in the first half of 2008.

The development is inside a state-designated enterprise zone and businesses will receive tax abatements, sales tax exemptions and tax credits. Companies could receive real estate tax abatements for up to eight years, Riefe says. “We worked very closely with the city of Wilmington on an incentive package for the property,” he says. ProLogis has the option to purchase an additional 591 acres at the location. There could be an additional 6.8 million sf of warehouse space in future phases for the park.

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