In a recently-published article with Illinois Real Estate Journal, HSA Commercial CEO Bob Smietana reflects on the growing trend of warehousing and logistics companies moving to Southeast Wisconsin to take advantage of the Badger State’s lower taxes and pro-business policies. In recent years, many large businesses such as Amazon and Uline have built major regional distribution centers north of the border along the I-94 corridor between Chicago and Milwaukee.
“It’s becoming a very vibrant market, and is obviously continuing to grow with these very large companies making very large investments,” said Smietana, who noted that HSA Commercial has been working with properties in southeast Wisconsin for the last decade.
HSA Commercial Real Estate anticipated this trend and pioneered the growth of the southeast Wisconsin industrial market with the development of Park 94 in Mt. Pleasant, Wis., a 184-acre multi-use business park. HSA developed a 323,610-square-foot building at 12501 Globe Drive in Park 94 that was later acquired by Naples, Italy-based Seda International Packaging Group to serve as its North American manufacturing and distribution center. Park 94 also includes a 125,000-square-foot multi-tenant warehouse building that is fully-leased, and the project is slated to offer additional warehouse and distribution facilities as part of subsequent phases.
Despite the positive growth in southeast Wisconsin and the role which HSA Commercial has played in that market, Smietana does express some concern about the number of businesses fleeing Illinois.
“It’s heartbreaking to me to hear major companies and users of industrial space basically shying away from more investment in Illinois,” he said. “As a lifelong Illinois resident, we need to be mindful and competitive that we don’t want to lose too much business over the borders.”
In a separate article with Illinois Real Estate Journal, HSA Commercial CEO Bob Smietana does suggest that the need for last-mile delivery service from e-commerce could help spur absorption and new industrial development in Illinois.
The push for same-day deliveries means that developers are being called increasingly to build smaller, urban-based properties with ample available access for delivery vans, Smietana said. The move toward what’s been dubbed “last-mile deliveries” causes a need for spaces of about 50,000 to 60,000 square feet with available docking areas, van access, parking garages and high ceilings.
Though the market dynamics between metro Chicago and southeast Wisconsin are different, both areas are clearly experiencing tremendous development and leasing activity, and Smietana suggests in the article that developers such as HSA Commercial Real Estate are going to have to work hard to keep up with the demand in both markets.