Logistics park proposed along I-90 in Hampshire
Truck stops and freight companies have set the tone for development along I-90 in Hampshire.
In keeping with that theme, developers are now planning to transform a vacant 85-acre property at the Route 20 interchange into a logistics park.
The concept stems from years of trying to market and sell the former farmland, said Mike Gazzola of Entre Commercial Realty, who has a long history of work experience in Hampshire. As trucking-related projects started coming to fruition, Gazzola's team began toying with the idea of creating build-to-suit structures for other shipping or logistics companies.
"There's a certain synergy when you get like projects in the same area. Businesses all rise together," Village Manager Jay Hedges said. "That area has a lot of potential."
The development group worked with Heitman Architects to draft three possible layouts for the Hampshire 90 Logistics Park, presented last month to the village board. They range from multi-building cross-docking or truck terminals to a single 1 million-square-foot structure, which would cater to a large e-commerce warehouses such as Amazon or Wayfair.
"We're trying to be flexible in our concepts to cover a wide range of uses," Gazzola said. "It really will be how we can bring this to market and then, what can we land first here to set the tone for the actual park."
Early plans also call for a retail component fronting Route 20, which Hedges said would complement the corridor's other commercial uses.
From a development perspective, Hampshire seems to have found its niche with trucking businesses and other heavy transportation uses that suburbs to the east have "pushed aside," said Mike DeSerto, also of Entre.
The property in particular is almost equidistant from two international airports -- O'Hare and Rockford -- and is highly visible from I-90. It also is located in a foreign-trade zone, meaning tax incentives might be available to qualifying tenants, Gazzola said.
Entre is expected to present the concept to the village's business development commission this month. Developers will then have to submit an application to rezone the property to a M2 manufacturing district, Hedges said, noting the village will likely offer some zoning flexibility for retail along Route 20. Official site plans also will have to go through a formal approval process.
Entre is trying to complete the rezoning process, as well as some preliminary engineering work, so as not to scare off any potential tenants, DeSerto said. Developers will have a better understanding of a possible time line once they start securing companies.
"In Hampshire, I can tell you that we will do things here in months that would normally take me years," Gazzola said. "That group, with the way we've worked together, is extremely efficient."