Duke Realty Builds 615 KSF Build-to-Suit in Lehigh Valley

Work is nearing completion on Central Logistics Park 100, a custom-built warehouse in Myerstown, Pa.
Central Logistics Park 100. Image courtesy of Duke Realty Corp.

Duke Realty Corp. is nearing completion of Central Logistics Park 100, a build-to-suit project for wholesale tire distributor Max Finkelstein Inc. in Myerstown, Pa. The 615,600-square-foot warehouse, which is sprouting up at the western edge of the Lehigh Valley submarket, remains on schedule for delivery despite disruption spurred by the spread of COVD-19.

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Park 100 carries the address of 100 Fort Motel Drive and is taking shape on a segment of a 132-acre parcel just miles from the I-81/I-78 split in Berks County. The location of the state-of-the-art facility, which will also feature 7,000 square feet of office space for Max Finkelstein, puts the tenant in a position to handily serve its 16 regional distribution centers. Adam Campbell of Cushman & Wakefield, along with Duke Realty’s Scott Henderson and Caitlin English represented the company in the build-to-suit transaction with Max Finkelstein, while the tenant relied on the representation from Vincent Ranalli of CBRE.

Scott Henderson, Vice President of Leasing and Development, Duke Realty. Image courtesy of Duke Realty Corp.

Duke broke ground on Park 100 in October 2019 and while the pad-ready site made it possible to expedite activity, it was a waiver that allowed the developer to stay on schedule as companies were forced to cease operations amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Max Finkelstein project was among those included in the initial construction shutdown, but Duke was quick to act. “Our construction and leasing teams investigated which industries met the criteria for essential businesses and quickly determined that Max Finkelstein’s operations met the criteria required by the Commonwealth for an exemption,” Scott Henderson, a vice president of leasing and development with Duke Realty Corp., told Commercial Property Executive. “An application was made, and a subsequent waiver was approved, which has essentially allowed Duke Realty to complete the building and deliver it to Max Finkelstein in the timeframe we promised.” Duke expects to deliver Park 100 in the spring of 2020.

Berks County before and after

The Eastern Pennsylvania big-box industrial sector fared well in the first quarter of 2020, recording 4.2 million square feet of net absorption, a figure substantially above the average and equivalent to 38 percent of total net absorption volume in 2019, according to a report by Colliers International. And even in the throes of the pandemic, the market continues to see solid activity.

“The Berks County market, particularly along the I-78 Corridor, remains active with tenant requirements in the e-commerce, food and healthcare space,” Henderson said. “Most of these requirements came to market prior to the Covid-19 crisis, but the good news is they are continuing to move forward and there is a reasonable expectation that the deals in the market will get signed in the second or third quarters of 2020.”