Tim Gunter, president and CEO of industrial owner and developer IDI, is encouraged by the rebound taking shape in the property sector. The privately held Atlanta-based company recorded more than 3.3 million sq. ft. in leasing activity during the first half of 2011, with Chicago, Dallas and Memphis accounting for the lion’s share of activity.

The leasing totals include properties owned solely by IDI, as well as properties in which IDI is a co-owner or serves as a third-party management provider.

Dispositions also continued as IDI sold 722,297 sq. ft. of industrial space from January through June.

“Our 2011 numbers show continuing signs of recovery in the industrial market, and we are encouraged by the overall increase in industrial activity and absorption globally,” says Gunter.

“We saw a lot of new activity in the first half of this year, where last year was focused on renewals and consolidation. The type of activity we’re seeing is especially good news for investment as we’re seeing the financial markets open up to the possibility of new development again,” adds Gunter.

IDI’s investment portfolio currently includes more than 22 million sq. ft. of assets, and the company manages a portfolio of 50 million sq. ft.

Leasing activity during the first six months of 2011 was most prevalent in Chicago with new leases and renewals totaling 812,722 sq. ft. Ozburn-Hessey Logistics and hhgregg® signed new leases for 269,590 sq. ft. at Bolingbrook Corporate Center and 247,360 sq. ft. at Prairie Point West, respectively.

The Chicago office of IDI also signed a 283,754 sq. ft. lease renewal at the company’s Southgate Commerce Center, and an additional 37,524 sq. ft. was leased under third-party arrangements.

In Dallas, IDI signed six new leases and one expansion for a total of 568,707 sq. ft. Significant leases were signed at IDI’s Skyline Trade Center (262,440 sq. ft.) and DFW Trade Center (168,828 sq. ft.). An additional 178,200 sq. ft. was leased under third-party agreements.

And in the Memphis market, a total of 446,195 sq. ft was leased, including a new 390,620 sq. ft. lease in Nashville’s Wilson Commerce Center. Some 541,374 sq. ft. also was signed in third-party leases.

Other IDI markets performed well in the first half of the year, points out Gunter. For example, in the Atlanta market a total of 189,350 sq. ft. was leased at IDI-owned properties on top of the 343,350 sq. ft. in third-party leases signed for a total of 532,700 sq. ft.

The Los Angeles market leased 147,997 sq. ft. to CEVA Logistics Inc., the Cincinnati office signed a lease with Red Bull for 27,390 sq. ft. and three leases totaling 81,133 sq. ft. were signed in Ft. Lauderdale.