STILLWATER — The first steps of the planned Luther Forest Business Park are underway, with the White Pines Business Suites and Mini-Warehouses currently under construction.
The 30 suites are part of the larger-planned business park, said Jeffrey Chouinard, a partner in the project. The 1,500-square foot units are self-contained, with each including an overhead door for deliveries, a bathroom, internet connection, and more available amenities.
Chouinard said the units can be altered to fit the needs of businesses, mentioning possibilities such as adding a mezzanine level in one unit, dividing a unit into offices, or even combining two units into a larger one.
“It really gives people the opportunity, that are growing their business, to be able to take that next step,” said Chouinard.
Chouinard said he initially saw the idea in Florida several years ago, and noted there is a need for it in the area. He said there has been “significant interest” in the units, saying they are flexible for many business types and sizes.
“We have a handful that are already spoken for, which is great,” he said.
Chouinard said the units start at a base price of about $12 per square foot. Construction of the first building, containing 14 suites, began in the spring, and Chouinard said they hope to finish the first units in roughly six to eight weeks. A second building containing 16 units will also be constructed.
He pointed out the geographic location for the suites, saying they are under a quarter-mile from one of GlobalFoundries’ employee entrances.
“I would also think that it’s going to draw some attention from people that are going to be involved with the expansion there,” Chouinard said.
The units and the planned Business Park are surrounded by trees, with Chouinard saying they “tried to keep the legacy of Luther Forest as the forest.”
“We wanted to keep that forest kind of mentality,” Chouinard said.
The project is owned by Forest Ridge LLC, Chouinard said. The White Pines units are just one part of a much larger plan for the eventual Luther Forest Business Park, with Chouinard saying roughly 750,000 square feet of land has been approved in total. He said that one of White Pines’ neighboring properties is currently under contract, and they are in discussions for others.
Chouinard said they are aiming to complete the second building, with 16 units, “by next year at this time.” Altogether, the units are 45,000 square feet, he said.
“With the level of interest we have, once people start signing on the dotted line … we’ll probably just go right ahead and start the other building,” said Chouinard. “That way, next year by this time, this will all be landscaped, greened, done. Buildings up, and hopefully all rented.”