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ELWOOD, IL-Bissell Homecare Inc., based in Grand Rapids, MI, is relocating its Midwest distribution center to a 500,000-sf facility at the intersection of Route 53 and Walter Strawn Road in the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, here. CenterPoint Properties, based in Oak Brook, IL, is developing the build-to-suit facility, and Morgan Harbor, based in Woodridge, IL, is the general contractor for the project, says Michael Murphy, EVP for development for CenterPoint.

The facility will be constructed on a nearly 35.9-acre parcel. Both the facility and the land will be owned by Bissell, says Richard Plonsker, executive vice president and managing director for Biswanger’s Midwest operations. Representatives from Bissell were not available for comment. The project is similar to Ikea’s reported $111 million plans to build a 650,000-sf distribution center in nearby Joliet.

Binswanger, headquartered in Philadelphia, negotiated the deal for Bissell. Bissell’s current Midwest distribution center is in Joliet, IL where the company is leasing approximately 250,000 sf, Plonsker says. Bissell was unable to expand at its current location and is doubling its size due to the “growth of their business,” he says. Binswanger looked at sites in three states before choosing the site in Elwood. “They looked at a multiple of states,” Plonsker said, but would not disclose the other areas that were considered for the new center. “We did an extensive evaluation of the marketplace and talked to a significant number of major national developers for this project,” he says. Biswanger “selected CenterPoint Properties because of their proven expertise, the location of the site and the proximity to the intermodal center,” Plonsker added.

Construction has started on the pad with the facility expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, Murphy says. The site has “the benefit of being very close to the Burlington Northern intermodal facility,” he says. Bissell brings a lot of containers through the intermodal. “Their ability to pick those up quickly and, then, cost-effectively get them to their building, I am sure was a big driver” in Bissell’s decision, Murphy says. The park is also near Interstate 55, with access to Interstate 80.

The CenterPoint Intermodal Center has about 1,500 acres and will have about eight million sf when fully built out, Murphy tells GlobeSt.com. Wal-Mart has two facilities, totaling 3.4 million sf, located across the street from where the build-to-suit for Bissell is being constructed, a CenterPoint spokeswoman says. The two facilities for Wal-Mart were constructed in 2005 on 168 acres in a $168 million deal, as previously reported by GlobeSt.com. Georgia Pacific and DSC Logistics occupy one million sf each in the park, the spokeswoman says. The park is about 75% built out, Murphy says.

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