“When you look at the rail connectivity and highway connectivity, Chicago [offers] good reach for the Midwest. A lot of what comes into our intermodals in Joliet is redistributed out to Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas. You've got good regional distribution in Chicago."

Posted By Staff Writers On May 24, 2021 @ 9:23 am


RE Journals featured Senior Vice President of Development Brian McKiernan in an article about the future of industrial real estate investment and development in Chicago.

Read what Brian said about the Chicago area’s long-term industrial outlook, the importance of national infrastructure initiatives on industrial real estate and whether the e-commerce spike will plateau soon  in “Industrial’s biggest players see continued growth, demand and competition for deals in Chicago area.”

Local leaders of top industrial developers haven’t had much of a break in recent months as interest in Chicago-area industrial real estate continues to reach new heights. And it’s not all pandemic-related upticks in e-commerce — though, that’s certainly a big part of the story. Despite the disruption the pandemic caused in 2020, this year is already shaping up to be a busy one for builders, brokers and industrial tenants.

But where are the big industrial developers building? What are some of the challenges they’re facing right now? And how does Chicago stack up in a national portfolio of assets?

One thing that’s for certain is that Chicago’s reputation and role as a major transportation hub isn’t changing anytime soon. If anything, the region’s importance will continue to increase as retail continues to evolve and e-commerce expands, says Brian McKiernan, SVP at CenterPoint Properties, whose Joliet Intermodal Center claims the title as largest inland port in North America.

“We’re long term; we don’t think Chicago is going away,” says McKiernan. “When you look at the rail connectivity and highway connectivity, Chicago [offers] good reach for the Midwest. A lot of what comes into our intermodals in Joliet are redistributed out to Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas.”

Beyond Joliet, McKiernan says that he sees the O’Hare submarket and Chicago city infill market as other compelling — and competitive — areas for new development. Bergdoll also sees O’Hare as a coveted market for doing business in the region since there’s only so much room to grow but so much demand for the submarket.

Finally, when looking ahead at what’s next, both McKiernan and Bergdoll expect industrial demand to continue at a steady pace.

While e-commerce has been a big story in the last year, there’s also been some discussion or speculation of whether the Amazon fire will eventually flame out. It’s not likely, McKiernan believes, since the investment into e-commerce is representative of a larger evolution of retail instead of a quick shot in the arm.

“This is sort of a seminal moment, not just a bull market, I think this is more of a transformational change in the way that people shop and how people receive goods,” says McKiernan. “And I think that industrial is the net beneficiary of that change.”

Read the full article.

About CenterPoint Properties: 

CenterPoint is an industrial real estate company made up of dedicated thinkers, innovators, and leaders with the creativity and know-how to tackle the industry’s toughest challenges. And it’s those kinds of problems—the delicate, the complex, the seemingly-impossible—that we relish most. Because with an agile team, substantial access to capital, and industry-leading expertise, those are exactly the kinds of problems we’re built to solve. For more information on CenterPoint Properties, visit centerpoint.comfollow @centerpointprop on Twitter or engage with us on LinkedIn.