Mall site slated for development
Land once slated for Chicagoland Outlets set to be used for warehouse-distribution space
A Chicago-based company said it will build 1.4 million square feet of warehouse-distribution space on land in Country Club Hills where plans for an outlet mall had languished for more than a decade.
Logistics Property Co. said it plans to start work this spring on LogiPark 57-80 on a 102-acre site at the interchange of Interstates 80 and 57.
The project is being helped by $28 million in tax incentives that the company hopes will offset its property tax disadvantage by being located in Cook County and near lower-tax areas, such as Will County, which has seen tremendous amounts of logistics development.
“It’s going to bring jobs and additional development to the community,” Country Club Hills Mayor James Ford said. “The residents of Country Club Hills have wanted to see something happen there. It’s something we’ve been looking forward to.”
What residents, and anyone driving on I-80, have been seeing for the last few years is a large electronic billboard advertising Chicagoland Outlets.
First proposed in the summer of 2007, the retail center was to have 50 name-brand stores and 400,000 to 500,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants and other tenants. The first phase of the center was expected to open in 2009.
Difficulty in leasing, particularly in snaring large retailers that would draw traffic to the center, forced the property own-
ers, including Capri Capital Partners, to reconsider their options, and in 2017 began pursuing an industrial-focused development, a spokesman for the property owners told the Daily Southtown at the time.
Ford said Country Club Hills officials had been talking with Logistics Property Co. for about three months, and the company closed on the land, southeast of the interchange of I-57 and 167th Street, late last month.
The site is southwest of a Walmart-anchored shopping center on 167th and Marcus’ Country Club Hills Cinema.
Logistics Property Co. will invest about $80 million inthe development and hopes to have the first of four buildings ready for occupancy by spring ofnext year, according to Aaron Martell, the firm’s executive vice president for the Midwest region.
He said the site’s proximity to two interstates and Canadian National Railway’s intermodal terminal five miles to the east is “huge for us,” and “it’s an amenity-rich environment (for businesses that will locate there) with nearby restaurants, shops and a movie theater.”
Martell said he expects LogiPark 57-80 would appeal to “consumer product companies, e- retailers,” with businesses locating there creating perhaps as many as 300 jobs.
Formed last year and working in partnership with Macquarie Capital Real Estate Investments, Logistics Property currently manages properties in markets including Chicago, Dallas and Houston, and expects to close on the acquisition of additional properties in the Midwest, South and Northwest regions of the country.
Last October, it broke ground on a 1-millionsquare-foot logistics project in Kenosha, Wis., a few miles from the planned $10 billion Foxconn manufacturing facility.
The Country Club Hills property is in a tax increment financing district established when the outlet mallwas initially planned.
Within a TIF, incremental increases in the assessed value of the property from development, and corresponding increases in property tax revenue, can be used to pay for public improvements or reimbursing a developer for making improvements, such as streets and utilities. TIFs generally have a lifespan of 23 years.
The TIF is currently due to end at the close of 2031, but Martell said his company is working with city officials to extend the TIF another dozen years, which would provide a property tax offset to businesses in the park.
The site also carries a tax incentive that lowers the assessment level to that of what residential properties are assessed at, which makes the property competitive, from a tax standpoint, withWill and sites in northwest Indiana, he said.
When Chicagoland Outlets was first proposed, retail development was still chugging along at a steady pace, but the recession created strong headwinds for the mall as retailers scaled back or halted expansion plans.
Once plans for the outlet mall were shelved and the property owners lookedat a light- industrial development option, the electronic billboard on I-80, instead of touting the mall, flashed a message to passing vehicles about “A major new development planned for this location” that will bring “community investment, economic revitalization” and jobs.
Ford said that even after the Logistics Property site is developed, more than 100 acres remains available for development. He said that the development of the logistics park could spur other businesses to open nearby, such as restaurants, that would cater to warehouse workers.
A rendering of a warehouse distribution center planned by Logistics Property Co. in Country Club Hills at the interchange of interstates 80 and 57. The site was previously being considered for an outlet mall.