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The biggest Big Ten football match-up may be Ohio State vs Purdue, but the biggest real estate match-up revolves around the state line to the east. We snapped RE/MAX’s Michael Lunn and Newmark Knight Frank Epic’s John Joyce on Thursday, and Michael told us a lot of businesses have made the move across the border from south suburban towns (like Modern Drop Forge from Blue Island), bringing their real estate with them. He recently brokered the sale of 54 acres for the Franciscan Alliance, which will be the home of the University of St. Francis. John disagrees, saying Chicago will always be a powerhouse because of its technical and specialized workforce, as well as O’Hare Airport's status. He recently signed a 66k SF lease with Multigroup Logistics in Franklin Park, a 15k SF flex space lease in Arlington Heights for MTM Technologies, and a 10k SF flex space lease for BancSource in Addison. They all needed the skilled workforce from Chicago’s 9.5 million-person MSA.
JD Salazar
Champion Realty’s JD Salazar has worked a lot in both states and is leasing the new Logistics Port at Kingsbury in LaPorte County, as well as several buildings in the I-55 and I-80 corridor. He says more companies are considering a move to Northwest Indiana, but it’s unrealistic to think workers will move from places like Cicero or Bedford Park to Gary or Hammond. Transportation and labor costs are a significantly larger proportion of a company's supply chain costs than is real estate, JD tells us. But that might change with his new logistics park, which will be connected directly to South Florida via a new railway.