A decade can fly by, especially when you’re growing. Just ask the commercial real estate pros who helped form the I-39 Logistics Corridor Association, a group of economic development agencies dedicated to marketing the 165-mile stretch of land running through 14 counties in Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.
When the association got its start in 2002 — 10 years ago — the I-39 Logistics Corridor was largely an unknown stretch of land, said Nikki Block, president of Block Associates, Inc., the marketing firm that represents the association.
That’s changed. Reno, Nev.-based DP Partners was the first national developer to acquire land in the corridor, purchasing 300 acres. Lee & Associates represented DP Partners. In doing so, it became the first national brokerage firm working in the I-39 corridor.
Today, these two firms are far from lonely. Block told me that a growing number of national industrial developers and nearly all of the major brokerage firms have made deals along the corridor. Most site selectors now include the corridor on their hit lists, Block said.
No one could have predicted this 10 years ago when Mark Goode, principal of Venture One Real Estate in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnshire, persuaded the area’s major economic development agencies to form the I-39 Logistics Corridor Association. But this isn’t unusual; success stories in commercial real estate often sprout from humble beginnings.
Midwest Real Estate News will in its August issue run a larger story about the history of the I-39 Logistics Corridor Association in a feature about the important work that economic development agencies across the Midwest have done.
These agencies are often overlooked. But I’ve seen some of the projects that they’ve helped bring to Midwest cities, including two amazing public parks that have helped spur commercial development in downtown Columbus, Ohio. These agencies make a difference, and they’ve paved the way for countless commercial developments during the years.
Just ask any of the national industrial developers that discovered the I-39 Logistics Corridor in the last decade.
— Dan Rafter