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FRANKLIN PARK, IL-R&M Trucking has signed an 11-year lease for 195,000 square feet at the O’Hare East Business Center. The trucking company will become the first tenant to occupy the entirety of the recently completed 3720 River Rd. Building owner KTR Capital Partners was represented in the deal by Matthew Mulvihill, SVP with Grubb & Ellis’ industrial group, while R&M was represented by Thomas Barbera, principal of Interstate Realty Inc.

“The quality of the facility is super-high, and its proximity just east of O’Hare Airport had to do with it as well because R&M’s customers are primarily related to the air freight industry,” Barbera tells GlobeSt.com. “That combined with all the loading and trailer parking, which accommodates virtually all of R&M’s 220-piece fleet of equipment. The location also has great access to the interstate systems, near interstates 294, 90 and 190.”

Expected to move in this October, R&M is the first tenant to sign on for space at the two-building, 394,000-square-foot O’Hare East Business Center complex, which KTR completed in late 2007. The other building offers 199,000 square feet and remains vacant. Asking lease rates in the complex are around $7.95 per square foot net.

“The building has the best dock count and ratio for the O’Hare market per square footage, with one dock for every 2,700 square feet,” Mulvihill tells GlobeSt.com. “They were in an older building that was 30-years-old, with 20-foot clear ceilings and brick construction, which was a good building, but the new building will make their business more functional and efficient to get product in and out faster.” The new property offers 77 docks, 87 trailer spots, 30-foot clear ceilings, new precast construction, and high energy-efficiency lighting and HVAC systems.

The new lease represents a significant expansion for R&M, who previously occupied a 100,000-square-foot building at 600 Thomas Dr. in Bensenville and a 65,000-square-foot overflow property. “Their business is sustaining, with a small amount of growth even in this down economy,” Barbera says. “Some of their smaller competitors have closed up and that’s created an opportunity for them to take some more market share. KTR was also absolutely phenomenal and wonderful to work with; very responsive and aggressive, and they really understand the market dynamics in this struggling economy.”

The property is located in the O’Hare submarket, where overall occupancy is around 89%, according Cushman & Wakefield’s Q1 industrial market report. Asking lease rates in the submarket range from $5 to $8 per square foot net, according to Cushman’s research.

“The O’Hare submarket has been hit a little bit, and there’s a lot of new development that’s been going on in the market in the last 24 to 36 months,” Mulvihill says. “Developers built these spec buildings for tenants to fill at higher rents, but that was harder to come by because the market started to slip, tenants couldn’t pay higher rent and there became a lot of vacancy for new construction. It’s starting to pick up for this type of product though, but the only reason why is because the landlords are starting to get more aggressive with their lease rates.”

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