CHICAGO—Darwin Realty & Development has just completed three long-term lease transactions within the 1 million-square-foot DCT Business Center Elgin, each between 30,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet, and company officials say it’s another sign of the local industrial market’s recovery.
“We’re finally seeing some of the medium-sized spaces get leased,” Noel S. Liston, a principal of Darwin, tells GlobeSt.com, primarily by mid-sized companies or the local satellites of national firms. In the early days of the recovery, big companies were the first to start expanding. But the recovery has now gathered enough strength that smaller firms feel comfortable making plans for growth.
Wisdom Adhesives, for example, just signed a long-term lease for 39,131 square feet at 350 River Ridge Rd. And Printpack, Inc. renewed its lease and expanded into a total of 49,134 square feet at 300 Corporate Dr. Finally, CentiMark Corp. signed a long-term lease of 34,449 square feet at 200 Corporate Dr.
DCT Industrial Trust Inc. bought the six-building northwestern suburban campus in late 2013 as a long-term investment, brought Darwin on board to handle the leasing, and subsequently spent more than $2 million updating the structures. “Initially, it was somewhat slow in these small- to medium-sized spaces,” Liston says, meaning those with less than 50,000 square feet. But the larger spaces went relatively quickly. In fact, just after the closing, Weber-Stephen Products Co. agreed to occupy more than 100,000 square feet.
That brought the park’s occupancy up to 71%, he adds, and Darwin has since raised it to 88%. “We wanted to get it into the low 90s in the first 24 months after DCT bought the property.” Although he can’t provide details, Darwin is “close to terms on another 30,000 square foot transaction.”
Liston and associate Brendan Sheahan are the exclusive agents for the park and represented DCT Industrial in the transactions. Printpack, Inc. was represented by Jason Talanian and Ed Lowenbaum of Lowenbaum REP; CentiMark was represented by John Whitehead of NAI Hiffman; and Wisdom Adhesives was represented by Bruce Granger of NAI Hiffman.