Liberty Property Trust Leases Sizeable Industrial Space in Illinois

Liberty Business Center has finally filled its most massive industrial vacancy in Romeoville, Ill.
neil driscoll

Neil Driscoll, Liberty Property Trust

PAE has signed a 723,291-square-foot lease at Liberty Business Center Windham, an industrial space located in the I-55 submarket of Romeoville, Ill., with building owner Liberty Property Trust.

PAE leased the space as part of its most recent contract award to operate the Chicago Mail Transport Equipment Service Center, and will occupy the entire building when it moves in this May.

“For a large part of 2014, this was the company’s largest vacancy, so it’s significant,” Neal Driscoll, Liberty Property Trust’s vice president & city manager, told Commercial Property Executive. “The building was a former center for Home Depot and we were really excited about the building because it has a tremendous trailer parking count, which is important in the I-55 market. So, when a number of companies like PAE were chasing this particular piece of business, our building stood out quite quickly near the top because of the trailer count.

With the lease, Liberty Property Trust’s occupancy rate has now risen above 95 percent in the Illinois/Wisconsin Corridor.

The building features 150 loading docks, a 30-foot clear height, plentiful auto and trailer parking, plus excellent visibility on Interstate 55.

“The access in and out of the city, along with that visibility is significant as well,” Driscoll added.

According to Driscoll, the I-55 submarket has seen a big upswing in demand this year after a somewhat turbulent 2014.

“The I-55 submarket is almost 78 million square feet, and we’ve seen it tighten with big box activity,” he said. “It took until the end of the year and some deals that trickled in the first quarter of 2015 to tighten the market dramatically. For the next wave of big-box prospects looking for space, the options are extremely limited.”

Liberty Property Trust originally acquired the building from Home Depot in 2012. In total, the company owns 50 buildings offering approximately 13 million square feet of space in the Chicago/Milwaukee corridor.

Liberty Property Trust was represented by Colliers International in the transaction. PAE was represented by Cresa.