New distribution center to open in Monroe

Cornerstone Services Inc. has signed a lease for 350,758 square feet to open a new distribution center in Park North’s existing building on Gateway Boulevard, developer Industrial Developments International announced Wednesday.

Cornerstone operates retail websites, catalogs and outlet stores for home goods.

The company is relocating from a temporary space in another municipality, according to IDI, although officials did not confirm where Cornerstone was relocating from.

The space at Park North at Monroe accommodates the retailer’s “rapid growth” and allows for greater operational efficiencies, IDI said in the release announcing the tenant.

“We are proud of the partnership we’ve had with this client in the past and look forward to growing with them as Park North expands. This business park has expansive development plans for the future, including 649,000-square-feet currently under construction to be delivered early in 2014,” Jeremy Kraus, vice president of leasing for IDI, said in a statement.

Estimates are for the distribution center to employ initially 50 people, according to Monroe Development Director Kevin Chesar.

“Cornerstone’s high quality lifestyle products are a welcomed addition to IDI’s Park North at Monroe development and bring another well-recognized and successful business into IDI’s master planned distribution campus,” Chesar said.

Mike Lowe, first vice president of commercial real estate firm CBRE, represented Cornerstone Services in the deal.

“Building 2 provides Cornerstone with additional clear height, wider column spacing and the ability to accommodate heavy trailer traffic. The property also comes with a 100 percent tax abatement for the next 11 years,” Lowe said in a statement.

This is the first tenant signed under the Monroe business park’s new owner/developer.

IDI, a national real estate firm with a Cincinnati-area office that does development, leasing, investment management and property management, bought the park in a sheriff’s sale in 2012.

IDI bought the debt of the former Corridor 75 Premier Logistics Park from Huntington National Bank and finished a foreclosure against the park’s former owner, VH Monroe.

IDI officals previously said the company purchased about 300 acres in the business park, located in Warren County east on Ohio 63 past Cincinnati Premium Outlets. The property consists of an empty speculative building known as “Building 2” — in which Cornerstone is leasing space — and undeveloped land.

After buying the property, IDI renamed it Park North at Monroe.

Cincinnati developer Vandercar Holdings, related to VH Monroe, originally started Corridor 75 Premier Logistics Park and planned to develop 430 acres with 10 buildings. Two buildings were actually constructed on the site before the economic recession took hold.

The Home Depot Rapid Deployment Center opened in the first building in 2009. That property has since been sectioned off and is now owned by the real estate firm Prologis, according to county property records.

The second building, known as “building 2,” was finished in 2009 and acquired by IDI. It had sat vacant until now.

Cornerstone did not lease all of building 2. Another more than 300,000-square-feet is being marketed, IDI said.

IDI has also drawn plans for the remaining land that still call for future construction of 10 total buildings as the market demands, counting Home Depot. Construction has started on speculative “building 4” of more than 649,000-square-feet mentioned by Kraus above.

IDI received a building permit July 12 for construction of building 4, at 601 Gateway Blvd., at an estimated cost of $15 million, according to city records. Work is also being done to extend Gateway Boulevard.

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