Client: DuPage Airport Authority

The DuPage Airport Authority engaged Gruen Gruen + Associates (“GG+A”) to evaluate the competitive position of the DuPage National Technology Park (“DNTP”), an 800-acre site controlled by the DuPage Airport Authority just south of the DuPage Airport, and to identify the demand-and supply- forces that will affect the types of land uses and real estate products likely to be successfully developed at the DNTP in the future. GG+A was also asked to evaluate whether the DNTP site represents a suitable location for a technology-oriented research and development park given its locational attributes and characteristics of the local economy of which DNTP is a part. In addition to evaluating the competitive position of the DNTP, considering the suitability of the site for a research and technology park, and the future market for industrial and office uses, GG+A also identified a comprehensive set of recommendations for improving the competitiveness and long-term success of the park.

In order to provide a framework for the office and industrial space demand-supply forecast and assessment of the potential for the site to capture demand, and its suitability as a research and technology park, GG+A conducted field research and interviewed more than 20 real estate brokers, office and industrial space developers and building owners, and local economic development and planning professionals familiar with the site. GG+A also interviewed the current tenant of the DNTP. GG+A directed these interviews toward gaining information and insights needed to define the relevant primary market areas and to identify (a) the likely origins and types of prospective users; (b) the alternative locations prospective users would consider; and (c) the relative advantages and disadvantages of the sites as an office and industrial location. GG+A reviewed the literature on the characteristics and performance of established research and technology parks.

GG+A assessed the DNTP’s competitive position within the relevant primary market area and identified and described the competing land supply alternatives present in the market area. An extensive review of historical office and industrial supply conditions within the primary market area was completed to “size up” the competitive advantages and disadvantages of the location as they pertained to historical market performance. GG+A also analyzed the local economic base, and, drawing upon our interviews and secondary forecasts, prepared a ten-year projection of market area employment by industry sector. GG+A converted the employment forecast into a forecast of demand for office and industrial space using GG+A’s Spacewalk™ model. GG+A identified the relationships between building space and land demand and supply for office and industrial uses. Given the competitive evaluation of the site, GG+A estimated the share of future building space demand the DNTP could likely capture if the policy, marketing, and branding recommendations made by GG+A were implemented.