A massive business property on the north side of Arlington Heights once envisioned for a series of car dealerships could soon be a center of distribution, logistics and warehousing.
The Bob Rohrman Group is selling a 34-acre parcel of its nearly 60-acre site on Dundee Road between Wilke Road and Kennicott Avenue to Ridgeline Property Group, an Atlanta-based national industrial development and investment firm.
Ridgeline plans to tear down a 361,000-square-foot vacant building -- once home to a Honeywell research, development and manufacturing campus -- and construct in its place two industrial buildings that have a total of 511,664 square feet of floor area, ceiling heights of at least 32 feet, 101 loading bays, 599 parking spaces and 65 truck parking spaces.
The village board Wednesday night granted a series of approvals to pave the way for the redevelopment, including zoning changes that will align with reconfigured individual parcels on the sprawling property.
The two new industrial buildings, to be called Northwest Gateway Center, would sit between Rohrman's Nissan and Lexus dealerships that were built in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Old plans envisioned two more auto dealerships -- Rohrman even started building a foundation for a possible Dodge/ Chrysler/Jeep dealership -- but the market changed, at the same time the former Honeywell building struggled with vacancies, village officials said.
The village developed a site plan in hopes of luring big box retailers in the last decade, and despite getting a few "nibbles," nothing came to fruition, said Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village's director of planning and community development.
"It's pretty distressed. This site needs to be redeveloped. It's a great location right next to (Route) 53 for manufacturing," Perkins said.
No official tenants have been identified, but officials say the smaller 205,000-square-foot building is intended for smaller flex office and industrial users and light manufacturers, while the larger 306,000-square-foot building is expected to attract at least one large tenant that will use the space as a logistics/distribution facility or warehouse.
Plans call for a two-story portion of the Lexus building to be demolished and converted to surface parking, while no changes are proposed for the Nissan dealership or nearby Curtiss-Wright manufacturing building.
Ben Harris, Ridgeline's vice president of development, said he's already getting calls from brokers, and anticipates signing leases within 18 months.
Demolition is scheduled to begin before the end of the year, with ground work beginning next April, and completion by December 2022.