Duke Realty Backfills Metro Nashville Logistics Building

With the signing of a new lease just north of 200,000 square feet, the developer’s facility in Lebanon, Tenn., has reached full occupancy.
Park 840 West 14840. Image courtesy of Duke Realty Corp.

Duke Realty Corp. has signed a lease with Optoro Inc. to take 207,518 square feet at the developer’s Park 840 West 14840 logistics building in Lebanon, Tenn. The technology company will use the Class A location as its flagship returns processing and R&D facility, bringing the 653,460-square-foot property to full occupancy.  

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The building is located at 14840 Central Pike, east of downtown Nashville and very close to the interchange of I-840 and Hwy. 109/265. It was completed in 2006 and features 32-foot clear height. Lonnie Russell with Cushman & Wakefield was the property’s listing agent and Bo Fulk of JLL represented Optoro in the lease transaction.

Optoro’s OptiTurn software helps retailers manage excess and returned inventory. The company’s clients include Ikea, Staples, Target and Best Buy.

Duke has a similar property less than a mile away as the crow flies. Totaling 680,160 square feet, that building was completed by the company in 2013, according to a Duke spokesperson.  

Stable despite the situation

In a prepared statement, Jeff Palmquist, Duke’s vice president of leasing and development in Nashville, said the lease allowed the company to quickly backfill a recently available space.

Previous Commercial Property Executive coverage indicates that as of 2014 this space was occupied by Nutro Co., a pet food maker and subsidiary of Mars Inc. The majority tenant was at that time, and appears to still be, B&G Foods, a manufacturer and distributor of food and household products. B&G’s brands include SnackWell’s, Cream of Wheat, Polaner, Green Giant, Ortega, Joan of Arc and Emeril’s.

The metro Nashville warehouse/distribution market remains strong despite the pandemic, according to a second-quarter report from JLL. Year-to-date net absorption was nearly 2.2 million square feet (on an inventory of 155 million square feet), and direct asking rents continued to climb, reaching $5.07 per square foot as of the second quarter. A little more than 4.2 million square feet of space was under construction, while total vacancy was only 3.2 percent and trending down, JLL reported.