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AURORA, IL-Liberty Property Trust will break ground today on a $25 million, 464,000-sf distribution facility in the Liberty Business Center. The building will sit on nearly 26 acres at 900 Bilter Rd., and joins nearly 2.5 million-sf of industrial already constructed in the complex. The 150-acre center is 94% leased overall and developers say they have high expectations for speedy leasing of the new building.

“This is our third speculative building in three years, and we’ve leased both of the other ones prior to their completion,” says Donald Schoenheider, VP and city manager with Liberty. “The access to Interstate 88 is very good, and we’re right on a four-way interchange. Tenants have access to a well-priced labor base.”

Liberty owns five of the eight existing buildings in the development, having built four and bought one. The existing buildings range in size from around 200,000 sf to 700,000 sf. Asking lease rates in the complex are around $3.95 per foot, net, Schoenheider says.

The business center is located in the far west Fox Valley submarket, according to Schoenheider. “The market has been rather stable,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “Our vacancy levels are lower than the submarket vacancy rate, which is below 10%. Activity has maintained a level pitch and it’s been relatively busy throughout the summer.”

Schoenheider says the new building has been designed to accommodate up to four tenants, but that Liberty would prefer to lease the building to one or two. He says there has already been interest from tenants in the new building, but would not disclose any names. The new facility is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2009.

Schoenheider says the new building will offer higher ceilings and more truck docks and parking than some older facilities in the area. The facility was also designed to meet LEED standards, Schoenheider says.

Liberty owns one more site in the business center, which Schoenheider says the company expects to develop into a 200,000-sf building sometime next year. He says the company has been in discussion with several possible tenants interested in the space, and that they may consider a build-to-suit arrangement. Also, in nearby North Aurora, Liberty has recently purchased 119 acres, which it plans to eventually develop into three buildings offering another 1.5 million sf of industrial.

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