Whitehall light industrial center sold for nearly $12 million
By: Andrew Wagaman
Of The Morning Call
A Whitehall Township light industrial building across the Lehigh River from Lehigh Valley International Airport has been sold for $11.65 million.
1788 Holdings LLC, a private real estate investment company based in Bethesda, Md., has acquired the Riverside Business Center at 1139 Lehigh Ave., from Cafritz Interests, a real estate development company based in Washington, D.C. The sale closed March 1, according to county records.
The 423,900-square-foot property is 87 percent leased, with 11 tenants including Pennsylvania Steel Company and Reed City Power Line Supply, which provides materials and services to the electric utility industry. There’s 29,281 square feet of light industrial space available.
1788 Holdings seized the opportunity to buy a high-quality, Class B property with rents significantly below market, said company principal Larry J. Goodwin. The price — $27 per square foot — is less than 30 percent of the property’s replacement cost, he said. The company plans to invest in functional and aesthetic improvements.
“This price reflects tremendous value for an asset located in an industrial and warehouse corridor that is widely considered to be among the most vibrant in the country,” Goodwin said in a news release. “We believe the property contains every necessary element, including an irreplaceable location, to achieve tremendous value creation for our investors. The existing tenant base is extremely strong and committed to remaining within the building.”
Built in 1910 on about 34 acres, the building once served as a manufacturing facility for floor covering manufacturerTarkett USA. In 2006, a year after Cafritz acquired the building, it underwent a $9 million conversion from a single-user manufacturing facility into a multi-tenant facility. It now has 31 dock doors and 23 drive-in doors, modernized HVAC and bathrooms in each suite. The average ceiling height is 20 feet.
The building also contains approximately 25,000 square feet of second-floor office space that is not leasable until certain upgrades are performed.In its news release, 1788 Holdings highlighted the Lehigh Valley’s position as one of the fastest-growing industrial markets and the Riverside Business Center’s proximity to the airport, Interstate 78 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
“The Lehigh Valley corridor remains an attractive place for manufacturing companies, as well as business involved in the warehouse and logistics categories, based on the availability of highly skilled employees, affordable rents and a lower cost of living, while having access to the major cities in the Northeast,” Goodwin said.
Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania has been selected to handle leasing activities on an exclusive basis for this property.
Summit Management and Realty Company of Allentown will continue to act as the management agent for the property.
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Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania began operations in May, 2015 under the leadership of Principals Brian Knowles, CCIM, SIOR and John Van Buskirk, SIOR. Long recognized individually as national leaders in the industrial real estate business, they have chosen to take their real estate experience in a new direction – as broker-owners of this new initiative. Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania is committed to providing market leading research and support, while remaining grounded in exceptional client service. For the latest news from Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter or visit us on the web at lee-associates.com/pennsylvania
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Celebrating more than 38 years of leadership excellence in commercial real estate, Lee & Associates is the largest broker-owned firm in North America with locations across the U.S. and Canada including California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vancouver BC and Wisconsin. With more than 800 brokers nationwide, Lee & Associates provides a wide range of specialized commercial real estate services on a local, regional and national level. For the latest news from Lee & Associates, visit lee-associates.com or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.