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HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL-McShane Development Co. has completed the $12 million Mori Seiki build-to-suit on 7.5 acres at 2400 Huntington Blvd. The 104,000-square-foot building was built as the precision tooling machine company’s new North, South and Central Americas corporate headquarters. Construction began a year ago on the building, the first to be developed in McShane Development’s 70-acre Huntington Woods Corporate Center business park at the intersection of West Central Road and Huntington Boulevard.

“It’s an extremely unique facility because it has office and university space, and they train employees, customers and clients who buy machines there,” Daniel E. Fogarty, Jr., VP of McShane Development, tells GlobeSt.com. “If you’re going to an existing facility, it’s basically impossible to find something this specialized, so you basically have to start from scratch. It was really the only way for them to get this kind of building.”

Previously based in Rolling Meadows, Mori Seiki will have 60,000 square feet of office space in the new facility, out of which it will operate its American headquarters, the Chicago Technical Center, Machining Technology Laboratory and Mori Seiki University. The build-to-suit facility will also offer Mori Seiki space for a showroom, and allow the company to realize a planned expansion of its American operations. McShane Construction Co. and Cornerstone Architects provided design and build construction services for the project.

“A quarter of a million cars drive by each day on Interstate 90 so they have high corporate visibility,” Fogarty says. “Being at a full interchange at Interstate 90 and Barrington Road and close to O’Hare airport just 10 minutes west was a huge driver, because they’re constantly flying clients in from across the country and outside the country. They wanted high identity and high image in a tranquil, green environment.”

McShane Development purchased the Huntington Woods property from AT&T in June 2008 for about $23.2 million. Mori Seiki’s site represents about 10% of the total business park. McShane plans to develop the rest of the land with similar build-to-suit facilities, ideally ranging in size from 50,000 to 200,000 square feet.

The park is located in the northwest Cook County submarket. “Out of all of the submarkets from an industrial basis, it’s doing better than most,” Fogarty says. “Historically, vacancy rates are higher than in robust times, but this is one of the densest submarkets and in comparison to others, has been strong because it’s more of a service-oriented type of submarket.”

Big Kaiser Precision Tool Inc. also has plans for a 33,000-square-foot building to house its US headquarters in the park. The precision tools company will relocate its offices to 2600 Huntington Blvd., which will also include training space and a showroom, when the two-story building is completed in early November. The firm purchased the three-acre parcel within Huntington Woods for $2.2 million from McShane Development.

“Build-to-suits are very rare right now, and only a half a dozen have gotten off the ground in the past year,” Fogarty says. “In the economic downturn, a lot of companies have shied away from making these decisions. Even if they want to, they can’t because financing is so hard and no one with lend money for them.”

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