Rendering of a proposed 992,524-square-foot speculative industrial building submitted to the city for planning purposes, that could be built at the Park North at Monroe business park.

Plans in works for ‘largest building ever constructed in Monroe’

Since acquiring the business park through sheriff’s sale in 2012, the developer, Industrial Developments International Gazeley, has followed a process of building a speculative building and leasing it before starting construction on the next one.

Now that Serta Simmons Bedding is slated to fill some of the current empty building at the business park, located near the intersection of Ohio 63 and Interstate 75, it appears IDI is ready to build the next one — its biggest one — yet.

Engineering and architecture firm Kleingers & Associates submitted plans to the city on behalf of IDI that call for construction of a 992,524-square-foot speculative building. If it attracts a tenant similar to those already operating at the park, it could become a distribution center, warehouse or manufacturing plant. Costs for construction are estimated to be $22.5 million, according to the city.

Monroe’s planning commission approved the site designs Tuesday.

This could be “the largest building ever constructed in Monroe,” said Kevin Chesar, Monroe’s director of development.

Other buildings at Park North include a warehouse and distribution center for catalog and online retailer Cornerstone Services Inc., which leases approximately 351,000-square-feet of a bigger building; a recently completed $50 million, 232,000-square-foot manufacturing plant for auto supplier UGN Inc. with room to expand to about 400,000-square-feet; and the approximately 650,000-square-foot industrial speculative building where Serta plans to relocate its manufacturing operations from Forest Park to Monroe. Serta announced in March it has agreed to lease about 430,000-square-feet in the building, leaving extra space.

Home Depot also operates a 657,600-square-foot Rapid Deployment Center at the business park, although that facility was built by the previous developer.

Plans for IDI’s new building come at a time when existing industrial space available in the Greater Cincinnati market is at a 15-year low, according to commercial real estate firm DTZ. The vacancy rate of space available for distribution and manufacturing companies to rent or buy is about 4.7 percent, according to the firm.

“With so few large spaces available across the market, a number of speculative bulk warehouse projects currently under construction (or proposed) may be pre-leased before the end of the year,” reads DTZ’s most recent local research report on the topic published in April.

Next steps after achieving planning commission’s approval are in the developer’s hands to pursue building permits before starting construction. According to Chesar, IDI would like to break ground this summer for construction to be completed early 2016.

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