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Imperien is set to design and build a $65 million spec development at Trumpet Industrial Park in Zion, Ill., with a groundbreaking expected to take place in early 2024.

The half-million square-foot cross dock facility will be primed for large logistics operations, with water, sewer and all other utilities completed.

Imperien President Colin Simpson pursued the property following a 15-county search for undeveloped sites that would be ideal to develop in close proximity to the Chicago market.

Learn more about why he decided to take on this venture and what it took to get the property primed for development.

What motivated you to take on a spec development in Trumpet Industrial Park and what specific business objectives did you aim to achieve with it?

We wanted to join the top tier development market in Chicago. We’re a small business and our name isn’t necessarily recognizable in Chicago, so part of our growth strategy is realizing the potential of these untouched properties and seeing them through to development.

Every developer in Northern Illinois knew about the Trumpet Industrial Park. We, however, were able to deploy our strengths — our attention to detail, our relationships, and our ability to dedicate resources to challenging projects – and make this development a reality. We made a deliberate choice to prioritize complexity over volume, a strategy not typically pursued by larger developers. We see the value in projects like this one that require meticulous attention. For the Trumpet Industrial Park, we embarked on two years of hard and complicated work to take this project to where it is today. This proof of performance should be seen in the Chicago real estate market as Imperien’s dedication and potential. Not only have we been able to grow our business because of this due diligence, but we’re also spurring economic development.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faced in getting this project off the ground and how did you address them?

We could talk for a long time about the technical challenges of delving into development agreements, including sorting through 20 years of land agreements, and other legal agreements swirling about. We had to get to the bottom of all of that. We had to do entitlements and site plannings, and all of the other technical things.

Ultimately, though, we are small. While that’s been a challenge in entering the competitive Chicago market, we think that’s our strength. Our small business size is a unique advantage that allows us to excel in due diligence and elevate customer service to exceptional levels.

What has been the biggest benefit of the project for Imperien, and how do you measure its impact?

This was an enormous risk. This was an enormous expense. But we expect enormous gains.

When we took on the Trumpet Industrial Park, we considered an incredibly detailed cost benefit analysis. The time, the money, and the complications we could run into made up an extensive list. However, the benefits we could reap as a company, but also on behalf of the city of Zion, outweighed those concerns.

Seeing this project through to the end gets us a seat at the table and will establish ourselves as one of the leaders in the Chicago industrial real estate market.

The area around the Trumpet Industrial Park is ripe for other development. Can you describe the built to suit opportunities?

We have 300 acres of additional land available for industrial development that’s immediately adjacent to Trumpet Industrial Park. That property is located in close proximity to in-demand industrial parks within Southeast Wisconsin and the Chicago region. Union Pacific rail is directly accessible, and the site is approximately three miles from the I-94 and Russell Road interchange and immediately adjacent to Illinois 131.

If you’re interested in a built to suit opportunity, please give us a call. We’d love to discuss the potential this property could have for your business.

What is your long-term vision for Imperien and how do you plan to achieve it?

We entered this business because we saw a lot of bad actors in the construction industry, ones who did not necessarily have the best interest of their clients. We saw a need in the industry to mitigate risks, save time and money, and advocate for efficient services so our clients can grow and expand their businesses.

As we look to expand our own business, our ultimate goal is to be well-known in the Chicago market as the go-to construction advocacy firm and development partner. We believe we’re smart, savvy, and innovative enough to stand out in this market. It’s part of our strategy with Trumpet Industrial Park to get a seat at that table.

Colin Simpson founded Imperien in 2018 to directly deliver the representation services clients deserve. Colin spent much of his career managing construction projects on behalf of owners including municipal government.

Contact Colin today to learn more about how Imperien’s services could help your company grow.