Dermody Properties, the developer converting the 232-acre former Allstate office campus into a 3.2 million-square-foot logistics park, landed its first tenant at the Glenview site.
California-based Upside Foods has leased 187,000 square feet at 2600 Sanders Road in the northern suburb of Chicago, with plans to open one of the world’s largest commercial cultivated meat production facilities and create 75 jobs when the site opens in 2025, CoStar News reported.
Upside Foods will also invest $141 million in the development, dubbed Rubicon, and receive $15 million in public subsidies. Nevada-based Dermody has begun the first phase of construction, which will include Upside’s facility.
“Establishing our plant in this region allows us to tap into a remarkable talent pool, a thriving innovation ecosystem and a notable history of meat production,” Upside CEO Dr. Uma Valeti told the outlet.
The project paints a picture of two real estate sectors on opposite ends of the spectrum. The office market in Chicagoland is still reeling from the pandemic-fueled remote-work movement, especially in the suburbs where the vacancy rate is up to a record high of nearly 30 percent.
Chicago’s industrial scene is thriving, however, prompting more office-to-industrial conversions in the area. The pandemic sparked an increase of e-commerce, and developers are working to take advantage of this shift in the market.
While Dermody has been successful in its redevelopment efforts, other firms haven’t been so lucky. In Deerfield, for instance, Bridge Industrial this week dropped its bid to convert a 10-building office campus into a 101-acre logistics park amid pushback from residents. Traffic, noise and pollution are often the source of controversy surrounding such projects.
Dermody, meanwhile, is ramping up its industrial development plans in the northern suburbs. The firm aims to transform the nearby former CVS Caremark office property at 2211 Sanders Road into a 300,000-square-foot warehouse facility, as well.
— Quinn Donoghue