CenterPoint: Industrial Delivers
One of the nation’s largest industrial warehouse/distribution complexes—the 6000-plus-acre CenterPoint Intermodal Center Joliet/Elwood—is about to get bigger. CenterPoint chief investment officer Jim Clewlow, here with COO Sean Maher, tells us the Oak Brook-based company recently closed on the $134M Benderson portfolio that includes two buildings in Elwood, adjacent to its complex. The new assets total 1.6M SF and CenterPoint plans to expand one at the intermodal center by 250k SF this year, perhaps on spec, according to VP of development Brian McKiernan.
|This facility at 21561 Mississippi St in Elwood was part of the Benderson portfolio, which appealed to CenterPoint because all the properties are 100% leased. In part, that points to the milestone that Chicago’s 1.2B SF industrial market reached by mid-year: its vacancy rate fell to 9.4%, from 11% a year earlier, according to Cushman & Wakefield.|
CenterPoint VP of investments Chris Tecu, with SVP Todd Vezza, says despite the recession and weak recovery, industrial properties have appreciated strongly. (And we apperciate industrial properties, when our Amazon Prime toys begin there.) Values have climbed and cap rates fallen nationwide to 5% to 8%, with Chicago area assets landing right in the middle. Jim says the company made $350M in acquisitions over the past 12 months. Chicago, and US industrial CRE overall, he notes, are strong because in the sluggish economy companies are trying to reorganize their supply chains to make them more efficient and closer to container transportation networks.