Last Mile Logistics

In the early 1990’s City of Chicago’s industrial base was continuing to decline resulting in a growing supply of obsolete brownfield manufacturing facilities.

During this same period. Urban Investment Research began tracking an increasing number of distribution/industrial service users entering the local market in order to increase logistical efficiencies to serve the Central Business District and the dense urban population of the City of Chicago’s neighborhoods.

In coming to understand the compelling economics of this logistical need and specific real property requirements surrounding the need, Urban Investment Research recognized that many of the brownfield manufacturing properties could cost-effectively be adapted to Forward Operating Logistics and Service Centers. This was particularly true on the near Southwest side of the City of Chicago, along the I-55 corridor, and we began to address these brownfields and this emerging market requirement.

As our experience with this new logistical model grew, we continually refined our approach, and in 2005 implemented a plan to combine our portfolio with several other similar properties under one umbrella. We then set about educating private and institutional investors about this growing phenomenon that we referred to as “Last Mile Real Estate.”

Within the unique geographic, economic, and political environment of the City of Chicago, UIR pioneered and successfully adapted and built millions of square feet of buildings to become the premier developer and landlord of choice for this evolving logistical need.

By 2015, the term and property type, Last Mile was becoming recognized by academia studying supply chain logistics, as well as institutional advisors and investors. In the ensuing years and with ever more frequency we were prevailed upon by domestic and international institutions to collaborate and explain our approach to the market. By 2018 the Last Mile had become “en-vogue”, and UIR’s opportunities to grow our platform at our historically outsized returns became more challenging. In 2019 we sold substantially all of our Chicago “Last Mile” portfolio to an institutional investor, looking to establish a foothold in the market.

UIR’s Last Mile platform remains pre-eminent, and we now pursue Last Mile Real Estate opportunities selectively in Chicago and across the nation.

 With more experience and expertise in Last Mile Real Estate than perhaps any other organization in the country, we invite you to engage with our team to explore opportunities.