$100M Business Park Planned for Suburban Chicago

A 50-acre site in St. Charles, Ill., has been designated for the development of what will ultimately be a mixed-use business complex less than an hour outside of Chicago. JCF Real Estate is behind the the Corporate Reserve of St. Charles, and expects to invest $100 million to realize the project, which has been designed to offer an aggregate 600,000 square feet of Class A office space. JCF recently wrapped up the acquisition of the land that will become home to the Corporate Reserve, having paid seller Cardinal Industries just under $12 million for the property, which sits in a prosperous and growing community. The company plans to erect buildings in phases, with the initial phase involving the construction of three speculative properties, including two single-story office structures containing 15,000 square feet each, and a three-story office facility featuring 45,000 square feet. The substantially sized parcel also leaves open the possibility for build-to-suit facilities that can occupy sites ranging from two to 19 acres with the capacity to accommodate over 200,000 square feet. And it’s the acreage that has been set aside that will also give rise to other users, including restaurants, and perhaps a full-service hotel. While the premier office-centric campus will eventually be mixed-use, residential offerings will not be part of that mix, and for good reason. “Kane County is one of the fastest growing counties in the Chicagoland area, so just about every residential developer has a subdivision going up there,” John Fitzmaurice, JCF founder & principal, told CPN today. Upscale housing options, high-end retail and restaurants abound. “But what has been lacking is office space,” he said. “Everybody is there, but office never popped up; and the existing 2 million square feet of office in and around the St. Charles area is predominantly antiquated. So there will be nothing like the Corporate Reserve within a 10 to 15 mile radius.” And if you build it, they will come–especially to avoid the commute to the big city office market. “There is a heavy executive base living in the community,” Fitzmaurice said. “I’ve been talking to a lot of them, and they will move their office there.” The Wright Heerema Architects has been tapped to oversee design of the office segment of the Corporate Reserve. Work on the three spec office buildings is on target to commence right away, and reach completion by the second quarter of 2009. Headquartered in Chicago, JCF is a commercial real estate investment and management firm that provides an array of real estate services. Its management responsibilities to clients extend to both investment grade and distressed properties, with the majority of assets involving office and retail space.