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WEST DUNDEE, IL-Opus North Corp. will begin construction by December on a speculative building, planned to be about 150,000 sf, in its Oakview Corporate Park on Higgins Road, a quarter-mile west of Randall Road. The new building, expected to be completed in spring 2009, will join three others already constructed in the 120-acre corporate park, which combined represent about 265,000 sf. The park, which features 75 acres of buildable land, currently houses the 105,000-sf Leafs Ice Centre, a 154,000-sf building, and a 6,000-sf retail building.

“It’s a smaller submarket so there are opportunities out there to get in the ground for the right prices with decent rents,” Mike Yungerman, senior real estate director at Opus, tells GlobeSt.com. “There are users that don’t need to be in the O’Hare market, and don’t use O’Hare Airport, but have been there for a while. We saw the land prices going up so much in O’Hare, and there are a lot of users looking for something more cost effective, and we can offer that.”

When completed, the park is expected to have a total of 1.2 million sf in eight to 10 buildings. The property is located in the Elgin Interstate 90 submarket, on the border between West Dundee and Elgin, and includes 45 acres set aside for detention and nature preserves. The past six months have seen a good deal of activity on Opus’ previous speculative development, Oakview Building I, which is now about 83% occupied, saysMike Yungerman, senior real estate director at Opus.

In recent weeks, the company has signed leases for 50,000 sf with machine company Maytec and 27,000 sf with construction equipment and systems manufacturer General Technologies. Plastival, a thermoplastic and aluminum products manufacturer, already occupies 50,000 sf within the building. The remaining 26,000-sf unit offers 28-foot clear ceilings, office to suit, five exterior doors and one grade level door. Asking lease rates in the new park range from $4.90 per foot in a building fully occupied by a single user or $5.50 per foot for subdivided space in a multitenant building.

“What Elgin brings is a different dimension to where all the big developers have been focused,” Yungerman says. “Elgin has been a solid market for years, producing smaller spaces, and there’s many family-owned businesses and more entrepreneurial businesses. It’s been a steady stream of those types of users, and the competition hasn’t been as severe. The area presents a real good labor pool, and a good opportunity for smaller tenants to be real close to Interstate 90.”

Oakview Corporate Park is about 30 miles northwest of O’Hare, Yungerman says. Opus bought the property in the summer of 2006, for an undisclosed price. The company delivered its first building, the ice arena, in September 2007. Around that same time last year Opus began construction on its first speculative building.

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