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ST. CHARLES, ILL. — Chicago-based JCF Real Estate has begun construction for something that has gone much the way of the dinosaur lately — speculative office space. The firm is working on two single-story, 15,000-square-foot office buildings within The Corporate Reserve of St. Charles, the company’s new 50-acre business park located along State Route 64 near Randall Road in St. Charles.

Initial plans for the project call for the two office buildings, as well as a three-story, 45,000-square-foot office building. JCF is not as sure about bringing a 45,000-square-foot building to market completely on spec, so construction of it will begin after some leasing commitments are obtained. Completion of the two office buildings is scheduled for this August.

Paul Robertson, executive vice president of JCF Real Estate, says that he was worried about bringing spec office product to market in a year like this one, but he believes there is an opportunity to develop product that is lacking in the St. Charles market. Many Chicagoland decision makers call this area home, but get in their cars every day and commute in-town to work.

“What we are trying to do is create a corporate park, which is a type of development that does not really exist in this market,” Robertson says, adding that the addition of Class A office product like this will help put St. Charles on the radar of more office users.

In addition to the spec buildings, the park will also feature build-to-suit office parcels ranging in size from 2 to 19 acres that can accommodate a building of more than 200,000 square feet. At full build-out, the $100 million project will feature more than 600,000 square feet of office space in a park-like setting. Future plans could also include restaurant, retail and hotel space.

So far interest has been good for the buildings currently under construction, as Robertson notes that his company is currently in talks with 40,000 square feet worth of tenants for just the 30,000 square feet of office space.

– Coleman Wood

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