Itasca-based ML Realty Partners and San Francisco-based Prologis spent more than $64 million buying up all the homes in Mohawk Terrace, many of them at inflated values, only to tear them down. ML, which is leading the project, is building two warehouses totaling 605,300 square feet on the 35-acre site at the southwest corner of Busse Road and Devon Avenue. After completing the Apex deal, ML has a 605,300-square-foot building left to lease.
Apex, based in Shanghai, currently operates out of warehouses in Franklin Park and Des Plaines but plans to consolidate its shipping activities at the Bensenville building, which should be ready by 2023, said Dan Fung, Chicago general manager for Apex. The company needs to be close to O’Hare International Airport because most of the freight it handles ships by plane.
The logistics business is booming these days, which is good for companies like Apex, though finding warehouse space is a major challenge—one reason industrial developers can justify going through the trouble of buying a subdivision near O’Hare for a big project. Apex picked the ML site for one main reason, Fung said.
“Basically, there’s no other options,” he said. “Within a 10-mile radius (of the airport), there’s nothing.”
The residents of Mohawk Terrace were happy to create an option, enticed by prices for their homes that far exceeded what they would get if they sold them to a traditional buyer. ML and Prologis paid an average of $615,000 per house, spending more than $1 million on six, according to BlockShopper and DuPage County records. Publicly available sales data shows only five prior home sales in the subdivision exceeding $400,000.
An ML representative did not return a call. Brokers Matthew Stauber and Tom Rodeno of Colliers International represented Apex Logistics in the lease, while Andrew Maletich, Matt Garland and Dustin Albers of Cawley Chicago represented ML.