The New Industrial Property: Special Uses for Industrial Space

Tim Chimack / October 16, 2020

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Special Uses for Industrial Spaces by Rose Paving

What are Industrial Buildings Being Used for in today’s market?

Industrial buildings come in all different shapes and sizes and are not just for storing consumer goods, manufacturing products, or for use as distribution centers. In fact, there are many unique uses for industrial properties today.

BOMA/Suburban Chicago’s Industrial Committee

Recently, the BOMA/Suburban Chicago’s Industrial Committee hosted a property tour and networking event at K-1 Speed in Addison, which was a huge success. The creation of K1 Speed was to offer enthusiasts and amateurs alike an authentic and genuine racing experience in a safe, comfortable, accessible, and perhaps most importantly, unique environment. To learn more, please visit their website.

Special Uses for Industrial Properties and Facilities

Since that event, we have researched and visited three other “Special Use” industrial properties over the last couple of months and were astonished by what we encountered.

Rose Paving’s first endeavor took us to a 76,200 SF former distribution facility in Mount Prospect, Illinois, which was vacant for almost seven years. In August 2016, it was converted into a recreational ice rink and is now the Mount Prospect Ice Arena.

Rose Paving spoke with Paul Kuczek, General Manager of the facility, and he was overly enthusiastic to tell us their story about how they turned this traditional industrial facility into two full NHL- size hockey rinks.

History of the Mount Prospect Ice Arena Industrial Facilities

Paul stated that the location of the facility and the high demand for hockey today made it ideal. The facility is privately owned by the Papanicholas Family. This family has a long history of strong civic involvement and they are still Mount Prospect residents. The family had a vision for the facility which was designed and built by Nicholas and Associates over a 160-day period from start to finish. One of the unique building features that occurred during the construction was to raise the roof of the entire facility. They needed to completely remove the existing roof and support columns that were replaced with clear span bar joists to allow for a 22’ clearance to ice surface.


Whether you are a hockey enthusiast or not, we encourage you to visit the facility to see the state of the art finishes and décor that accompany these two ice rinks. This is a fully ADA accessible building, including the south ice surface with ADA boards. Spectator seating for 450 people in each rink, parking for over 300 cars, an off-ice training center and party space, Jerry’s Hockey Pro Shop, and Bricks Wood Fired Pizza Restaurant make for a truly unique rink experience.

To learn more, please visit their website.


Next, we drove to an Industrial building in Glendale Heights and took a tour of the Vertical Endeavors facility. This traditional industrial building is home to an indoor rock climbing company that transformed a warehouse into a climber’s paradise. There are rock walls for all types of climbers, and Vertical Endeavors offers lessons, group events, and camps for various ages and abilities. The location and clearance height made this industrial building an ideal fit for Vertical Endeavors.

To learn more, please visit their website.

Our last adventure led us to the Two Brothers Tap House, conveniently located in an industrial park in Warrenville. This old 40,000 SF manufacturing facility was converted in 2016 into a brewery equipped with a 50 barrel brewing system. The Tap House has a spacious taproom along with a screened-in patio for their guests to relax, indulge in craft beer, and eat great food. The Warrenville location is the fifth addition to the Two Brothers Brewing Company.

The Two Brothers Tap House mantra is “Staunchly Independent Since 1996” and their tag line is “Craft with a Conscience.” Two Brothers Brewing Company opened in 1996 when Jim and Jason Ebel returned to the United States after living in France. When they arrived back home they had difficulty finding the style of beers that were common in Europe. This encouraged the Ebel brothers to enter the brewing industry to bring the European-style brews to the Chicago market. Using their prior experience working in a brewery located in Denver, they went into production using bulk milk tanks that were donated to them from their grandfather. Two Brothers Tap House remains in Warrenville, Illinois where they offer tours of their newly equipped brewery to the public every weekend.

The Two Brothers Tap House was the first restaurant in DuPage County to join The Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition. Its mission is to “empower members of the food service industry and dedicated diners alike to reduce our collective footprint, bolstering the health of our planet and its people.” Two Brothers has also joined the Natural Resources Defense Council to support the use of clean water in brewing practices.

Two Brothers remains a 100% family-owned business for nearly 20 years, crafting freshly prepared, locally sourced and organic food at all their restaurants. Using the best ingredients in all of their artisan products, including their small-batch roasted, specialty-grade coffee, and treating every employee as part of the Two Brothers family.

We recommend you experience Two Brothers Tap House for yourself and indulge in a fine hand-crafted pint of beer with your friends, colleagues, or family.

Please visit their website to learn more.


As you can see, there are many creative and unique ways that industrial buildings can be repurposed into something that appeals to the masses. If you have an industrial building that isn’t being utilized, or are looking for an innovative way to refurbish your space, don’t be afraid to try something completely new and out of your comfort zone, like converting it into a go kart track, or a restaurant with a video game arcade, or even a skydiving simulation studio! Start thinking creatively; the end result just might turn out to be an amazing success.


Contact Rose Paving today for a parking lot solution tailored to you.


Originally published in The Commercial Voice