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The Time Is Right For Alter's Corridors North Development

The Alter Group, which spent the past couple of years scaling back its portfolio and changing its name to simply Alter, is ready to kick-start another project years in the making. 


EVP Richard Gatto tells us Alter's moving forward with Phase 4 of Corridors North, a Downers Grove office development encompassing 50 acres and 1.5M SF. Corridors has been in development for 20 years, and three phases are already on the ground. Phase 4 was ready with a slate of Helmut Jahn-designed spec buildings before the real estate market collapsed. But the bottom fell out of the spec office market, and Alter is repositioning the project as a land development where companies can build-to-suit.


Richard tells us Alter is ready to un-pause Corridors because users have slowly returned to the East-West Corridor. He says the site is unparalleled in location and identity, and provides something unique for office users (that special sauce required in the "office of the future"). Richard says the east end of the corridor has significantly rebounded, with a couple of high-profile acquisitions and teardowns, which he takes as a good sign of the market's future. The market's tight: Build-to-suit projects like the Zurich American and Duchossois Group / Chamberlain Group deals in Oak Brook have hurt the local spec market and there's little new construction. Richard says an end user would have to travel well west of Highway 59 to find available spec product comparable to Corridors North.


So far, the response has been positive. Richard says the East-West Corridor has long been an R&D market, and Alter is receiving interest from R&D and tech firms that can’t meet their needs in a traditional office building

Alter's been repositioning as well, shedding its construction arm and refocusing on strategy within the current market. Richard tells us his team is aggressively pursuing options to bring its land holdings to market here and in Phoenix, so we may be hearing more from Alter soon.