Courtesy of REjournals.com
The I-39 Corridor, primarily known for being a major transportation and logistics hub, has seen an undeniable rush of activity across the interstate this year.
One major project includes 3M’s new distribution center, which will take up approximately 879,000 square feet when delivered in third quarter 2016 in DeKalb, Illinois.
A recent JLL Chicago industrial report shows that although leasing in the area had remained slow during the first half of the year, 3M’s new property will have a positive impact on DeKalb’s net absorption. Rents spiked to $3.35 per-square-foot, a fairly significant jump from the $3.21 per-square-foot recorded in the first quarter 2016. But that’s not halting sales or rentals–tenants still want in.
By mid-year, there were two building sales recorded, absorbing 73,270 square feet. The largest of that was Cole Pallet Service Corporation, which acquired a 38,400-square-foot manufacturing plant in DeKalb. In Sycamore, electrical part manufacturer IDEAL Industries occupied 210,000 square feet when it replaced two aging facilities–representing the largest delivery in 2016.
One thing that’s definite is that the economic outlook for the corridor looks healthier than ever.
The Rockford region is one example, where more than $1.5 billion is currently being invested in the area. According to the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC), the area’s healthcare providers are generating more than 50 percent, which they believe will benefit the region in several ways. Some instances include: more work for local contractors, more jobs in the healthcare industry, and an increase in commercial and retail development will follow.
RAEDC reported a significant drop in the unemployment rate in the area. This past summer, the unemployment rate in the Rockford region recorded 6.3 percent–a record low compared to the unemployment rate that reached close to 20 percent six years ago.
With 3,100 jobs opening in the last twelve months, the Rockford region recorded the second highest growth rate in the state of Illinois. And according to the county, even more jobs will be added due to the project deliveries for AAR Corporation at the Chicago Rockford International Airport, and the Jeep Cherokee’s recent relocation.
The corridor, JLL research shows, is investing in an intermodal rail yard to draw heavy transportation users to the area. And the City of Rochelle has also spent $1.2 million worth of improvements to the municipal railway– increasing capacity by 300 percent– in addition to a $1 million investment extending wastewater reach and capacity, an initiative that will open up 2,500 acres for future industrial development.