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MOUNT PLEASANT, WI-HSA Commercial has completed the first phase of its 90-acre Park 94 development, delivering 565,200 square feet in two speculative buildings. Located at the intersection of State Highway 20 and International Drive, the project could house nearly one million square feet in as many as seven buildings when completed.

Being leased up by David Bercu, David Liebman and Brendan Green of Colliers Bennett & Kahnweiler, the park has been seen by more than a dozen companies but neither building has secured a tenant yet.

“It’s part of a large comprehensive plan put together by the village of Mount Pleasant, and there are possibilities in that park that are unique in some ways as compared to other industrial buildings in the area,” Liebman, senior associate with Colliers, tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s only a half-mile easy of a full interchange of Interstate 94, so it’s a fantastic location and certainly the proximity is key. You always talk about location being an important differentiator for properties, especially industrial, and these are fully improved properties with immediate access to the highway.”

HSA acquired the land in the fall of 2007, and began construction on the first phase in March 2008. The larger of the two buildings is 324,000 square feet, expandable to 708,000 square feet, LEED-certified, and offers 30-foot clear ceilings, 40 docks, four drive-in doors, and a 151-car, 80-trailer parking area. The second facility offers 125,000 square feet with 30-foot clear ceilings, 21 docks, two drive-in doors and a 155-car parking lot.

The firm also owns 90 acres on the north side of State Highway 20, which HSA is preparing and marketing for build-to-suits. An additional 23 acres along State Highway 20 has been allocated for commercial development with the possibility of retail, hotel and office space. HSA is not quoting specific asking lease rates for the completed properties, but average asking lease rates in the southeastern Wisconsin submarket are around $4 per square foot net.

“We’re quoting on a case by case basis, and that’s another thing we’re trying to do to separate ourselves from the competition,” Liebman says. “The amount of finishes and kinds of tenants improvement requested seem to vary so much that we counseled the owners not to provide an actual asking lease rate. It’s also part of a TIF district in the village of Mount Pleasant, which creates a significant opportunity for companies that are creating new jobs in the area to take advantage of incentives to locate there.”

The development is located in between Milwaukee and Chicago, just 15 miles north of the Illinois-Wisconsin border, 15 minutes from Mitchell International Field, a half hour from Milwaukee and 45 minutes from O’Hare International Airport. “The Chicago-Milwaukee corridor is bringing both markets essentially closer together over time, and becoming such that it really has a lot of appeal for companies in that area,” Liebman says. “It appeals to a wide variety of users by virtue of its location, and the incentives are really substantial.”

Overall occupancy in the southeastern Wisconsin market is around 88% for manufacturing and distribution space, Liebman says. “Every submarket in the nation – and certainly in Chicago as the second largest industrial market in the country – is suffering the same problems of ever-increasing vacancy, and the numbers are pretty grim,” he says. “The good thing about this park is that HSA is building new product in a time when no speculative development is going on anywhere. As the economy recovers and companies do start to come back into the market with requirement, as the only new product being built in the area in the near future, HSA’s park is going to be placed to meet those needs.”

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