A Lower Paxton Township-based developer and property management firm has assumed full control of a once-prominent business park in its hometown.
Triple Crown Corp. last week closed on a $9 million deal to buy the remaining eight buildings in the Gateway Corporate Center, an 11-building office park on Route 22 near Interstate 81 in Lower Paxton Township.
“We’re planning to take a great asset and get it leased back up,” CEO Mark DiSanto said, noting that the park is 40 percent vacant. “We have a lot of opportunity.”
Gateway, which sits on about 41 acres, was developed in phases starting in the late 1980s and ending in 2000.
In recent years, the properties had been in default and were bank-owned, a lingering effect of the real estate crash in 2008, which crushed property values and transaction volumes.
Prior to the crash, property values soared as investors were purchasing bonds backing commercial mortgages, more commonly known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS loans.
Investors buying bonds at the height of the market had trouble refinancing when the market dropped. Many properties ended up in foreclosure, including those in Gateway.
Bank of America was the lead holder of mortgages for the Dauphin County business park, according to county deed records. NAI CIR handled the transaction for the Gateway properties.
The Gateway deal adds about 450,000 square feet of space to Triple Crown’s real estate portfolio, DiSanto said. The company owns about 2.2 million square feet.
“Opportunities like this don’t come around every day,” he said. “This is a significant portfolio for the Harrisburg market.”
Given its proximity to I-81 and large swaths of retail development, DiSanto said he believes Gateway is the best corporate center to own on the East Shore. It’s comparable to the Rossmoyne Business Center on the West Shore.
DiSanto said his company has been busy inking new lease deals for the center. Triple Crown has renewed about 90,000 square feet already and it’s got a few tenant deals in the works.
The company remains bullish about the Harrisburg area and finding other deals, he said. “We think the acquisition market is a little more opportunistic right now.”