Powering Growth: Natural Gas & Illinois Manufacturing with Meena Beyers

Ronan Remandabran discusses the critical role of natural gas with Meena Beyers, VP of Business and Community Development at NICOR Gas. Meena highlights its reliability and cost benefits, especially for powering Illinois’s growing industrial sector, including new energy-intensive industries. She also shares insights from her career progression from urban planning to energy, underscoring the impact of diversity and mentorship. The conversation affirms natural gas’s essential role in economic development and energy sustainability in Illinois.


Industrial Real Estate & The Economy

Is the United States economy in a recession? What do the macroeconomic and industrial real estate market trends signal to us about evolving business conditions?

To understand the current state of the business cycle and the implications for industrial real estate, Bradford Allen’s Ronan Remandabran, Executive Managing Director and Industrial Market Leader, sat down with Neil Bouhan, BA’s Senior Managing Director of Research & Communications. Together they survey the sentiment and real estate supply dynamics in the logistics, warehousing, and manufacturing sectors. From capacity utilization and rental rates to tightening lending conditions and path for retail sales, Ronan and Neil ask—and answer—one of the most debated questions facing industrial real estate professionals today: Are we in a recession?


On Material Handling Systems

Industrial real estate is a hot topic right now, but something people often overlook is the material handling systems to outfit their warehouse space. Over the last two years, supply and demand has effected most industries around us, and material handling systems are no exception. Matt Kapfhammer, Business Development Leader at Koppco Material Handling, is here to give his take on how to plan your warehouse space, when to start, and what type of gaps users may not be aware of when entering a new warehouse space as they grow and expand their business.

As Matt explains, the transition between material handling systems planning and the search for industrial real estate is not seamless. Often times, tenants will think of their material handling systems as a line item in their search for space when it should instead be a top priority. The industrial market is tight right now; five years ago, it was much easier to find space, but with fewer options today, you need to act quickly. Planning ahead for your racking needs will put you ahead of the game when four or five tenants fight for each space as it becomes available.

Timing is everything whether you are ordering new racking, buying used, or taking existing systems with you. Ordering new shelving can be costly and time consuming. With the price of steel soaring (up to $135/pallet now versus pre-pandemic costs around $60/pallet) and turnaround times taking anywhere from 12 to 30 weeks, tenants should contact professionals as soon as possible to begin the process. As Matt notes, some tenants will even order racking before their lease is signed or warehouse is built so they can hit the ground running. While there is risk in this, it usually makes the most sense.

The price per SF and building location are obviously key factors in any real estate search, but the end-product should be the goal. When developing a building, how you design the storage space, ceiling height, and column spacing in terms of machine navigation, employee requirements, and safety qualifications will make or break your relocation. Shelving is as important as the infrastructure of the building itself in the industrial real estate world.

Will there be a time when the material handling systems industry normalizes? Matt doesn’t think it will return to pre-pandemic lows anytime soon. Consumer needs drive the industrial market, and the online demand for goods will continue pushing the need for warehouse space and supplies.


The State of the Construction Industry

Supply chain disruptions and soaring commodities prices amid unprecedented demand for industrial real estate have massive implications for the construction industry. Asset values and rents are soaring, but so are costs. How should owners, tenants, and developers adjust to this new normal?

To understand the current state of the construction industry, Bradford Allen’s Ronan Remandabran, Executive Managing Director and Industrial Market Leader, sat down with Patrick Clay, a “recovering architect” and Director of Business Development at ARCO/Murray, a leading design-build firm. From secular shifts in product delivery models to adaptive re-use trends and the outlook for rising interest rates, the conversation is as informative as it is wide-ranging.


Reducing Industrial Real Estate Taxes

Chicagoland’s prominence as a logistics and industrial hub benefits residents, employees, landlords, and tax authorities alike. It brings jobs, goods, new commerce, and tax revenues to the metropolitan area. However, the real estate and infrastructure supporting these industries are spread over multiple counties and across tax jurisdictions. To level the property tax playing field, Cook County offers a tax incentive program. Class 6B allows eligible Cook County industrial properties to apply for a reduced assessment level—from 25% fair market value down to 10% fair market value—which is meant “to attract new industry, stimulate expansion and retention of existing industry, and increase employment opportunities.”

To make sense of this incentive program and learn how to apply it in today’s real estate environment, Bradford Allen’s Ronan Remandaban, Executive Managing Director and Industrial Market Leader, sat down with tax and zoning expert Fred Agustin, attorney at Maurides, Foley, Tabangay, Turner, & Agustin. Fred explains what 6B status is, how to qualify, and discusses with Ronan the merits and best practices of the program. Join us for a timely and practical discussion about minimizing your tax liability in Cook County.