Clarion Partners, a leading U.S. real estate investment manager, has acquired the former I-81/I-78 Logistics Park, a planned 129-acre, two-building, 1.5-million-square-foot industrial center in Union Township, Lebanon County.
When fully developed, the project is expected to support about 1,000 full-time jobs, Clarion said in a news release. A Clarion spokesman declined to reveal the sale price, citing company policy.
The development, which will be renamed Gateway Logistics Park, includes pad-in-place development parcels for 1-million- and 500,000-square-foot distribution centers. The purchase was coordinated with MRP Industrial, the industrial real estate affiliate of MRP Realty.
“With the market’s supply constraints, we feel we are well positioned to capture build-to-suit opportunities or build spec inventory,” said Andy Sitzer, senior vice president with Clarion Partners. “This will be the third project the two companies have joined forces; the others are Fulling Mill Road in Harrisburg and Burlington Industrial Park in Burlington, N.J.”
The acquisition addresses the “surging demand” for modern, bulk distribution centers with the ability to service the entire Northeast region from a single facility, said D. Reid Townsend, principal with the Baltimore-based MRP Industrial.
“Over the past 12 months, the Central Pennsylvania market has experienced nearly eight million square feet of new absorption, with a steady pipeline of new tenants entering the market,” he added. “The park’s visibility, access and amenities will be an attractive option for a wide range of future distribution requirements.”
Gateway has convenient access to the region’s major metropolitan areas of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C., all within 150 miles, the release said. The property is also within 30 miles of FedEx and UPS facilities.
MRP and Clarion Partners have completed building design and is evaluating both build-to-suit and speculative development opportunities, the release said.
In early 2014, the property was approved into the state’s Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) program, providing future tenants with partial real estate tax relief during the initial 10 years of occupancy.
The CBRE team of Michael Hines, Brian Fiumara and Bart Anderson represented the seller, I-81/I-78 Logistics Park LLC, in the transaction. Design and entitlements were led by Ware Malcomb Architects, Herbert Rowland & Grubic Inc. and Advantage Engineering.