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AURORA, IL-Bridge Development Partners LLC has finished work and signed its first lease for space within the $27-million Park Butterfield. The product of a joint venture with Wrightwood Capital, the two-building project offers 412,117 square feet of industrial space. Completed in late 2008, the development has secured its first tenant, a company Bridge declined to name which took 32,000 square feet in the smaller of the two buildings.

“What really intrigued us about developing us in this area is the fact that the Eola Road interchange to Interstate 88 is scheduled for construction this year,” Mark Christensen, principal with Bridge, tells GlobeSt.com. “That is going to open up this area profoundly and make this already attractive area even better. We already had proximity to other interchanges, but now we’ll have our own.”

The development sits on 21.5 acres Bridge acquired in 2007, and brings two buildings of 176,098 and 236,079 square feet, at 3565 and 3557 Butterfield road respectively. Both buildings are divisible for multiple tenants, and Bridge is marketing the space to users needing sizes ranging from 20,000 to 236,000 square feet. Asking lease rates for the space are around $4.95 per square foot net, Christensen says.

“We are pursuing leases by offering very aggressive deals, like the rest of the market,” he says. “We’re offering class A space for class B pricing. This is top of the line space and we’re trying to be very aggressive by reflecting it in our quotes.”

Christensen says bringing the project online now, given market conditions, has been challenging, but he is optimistic about the future. “The timing could have been better,” he says. “What’s interesting is that while the end of 2008 and very beginning of 2009 were slow, reflective of the uncertainty in the economy, for the past month we have been inundated with showings and requests for proposals. Activity has definitely picked up and we’ve been extremely busy.”

The buildings offer 30-foot clear ceilings, multiple drive-in docks, up to 43 dock doors, up to 30 truck parking spaces and 393 car parking spaces. The development, which was recently refinanced through Bank of America, is located in the far west industrial submarket in southwestern DuPage County, Christensen says. Occupancy rates in that area are around 93%, with asking lease rates ranging from $6 to $9 per square foot net, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s year-end industrial market report.

“It’s a unique market in that it’s very much focused on Aurora and Naperville users,” he says. “It’s not a big bulk distribution market, like interstates 55 or 80, and the users there generally stays within that market. We see some relocation opportunities from northern or central DuPage County, but as a practical matter, that market generally grows internally with users.

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