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UNIVERSITY PARK, IL-USAA Real Estate Co. has chosen Lee & Associates of Illinois LLC, headquartered in Chicago, to market and lease up Commerce Center at University Park. The 258-acre industrial park, located to the west of Dralle Road between Central and Cicero avenues, is being developed by San Antonio-based USAA. When fully built out, the park will have up to seven buildings with a total of nearly 5.1 million sf.

The estimated cost of the project, when completed, is approximately $178 million, says Brian Vanosky, a principal with Lee & Associates of Illinois, which is a member of the Lee & Associates Group of Cos. Vanosky, Jeff Janda and Justin Fierz will be the marketing agents for the industrial park.

USAA started developing the park in 2002, Vanosky says. There are currently two buildings constructed with a total of more than 2.2 million sf of industrial space. The company completed a 907,920-sf build-to-suit facility for Solo Cup, which has since been expanded to more than 1.5 million sf. A 696,540-sf speculative building was completed in June 2006. Solo Cup also leases about 300,000 sf in the speculative building as well, although the company is not using the space and is seeking to sublease it, Vanosky says. The speculative building has 30-foot ceilings, 70 docks that are expandable to 130 docks, and parking for more than 355 cars and 90 trailers. The building can be expanded up to nearly 1.4 million sf. The asking lease rate for the building is $3.15 per sf, net, Vanosky tells GlobeSt.com.

Five additional buildings are planned with sizes ranging from 100,000 sf to 800,000 sf. The majority of the buildings will be distribution buildings with 30-foot to 32-foot clear ceiling heights and heavy docks. Once the first speculative building is substantially leased, USAA is expected to start construction on a second speculative facility to “continue to have some product up at all time,” Vanosky says. The company also expects additional build-to-suit facilities in the park. “We have a large enough land site that we accommodate any trailer [parking] requirements,” he says. The industrial park is located in a TIF district in Will County. Through 2023, there would be a rebate of 75% of real estate taxes because of the TIF district making the effective tax rate approximately 32 cents per sf. “There is no area as close to Chicago that has the same low, overall occupancy costs,” he says. Even without the rebate and TIF district, Will County has some of the lowest taxes in the Chicago metropolitan area, he says.

The park is near I-80 which “is probably the fastest growing regional distribution market,” Vanosky says. The park is also near I-57, the CN Intermodal Yard in Homewood, IL and the CSX Intermodal Yard in Bedford Park.

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