Liberty Property Trust Starts $8.3M Distribution Facility at Eastport Business Center

Richmond’s industrial market continues to improve into 2014. As vacancies keep dropping and rents keep rising to new highs, the time is right for speculative development. And Liberty Property Trust is doing just that.

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Richmond’s industrial market continues to improve in 2014. Falling vacancy and rising rents add up to attractive conditions for speculative development, and Liberty Property Trust is doing just that.

 On June 19, the Malvern, Pa.-based REIT broke ground on a 129.000-square-foot industrial building at Eastport Business Center, a 98-acre office/warehouse distribution center near downtown Richmond. The $8.3 million project is Liberty’s first speculative development in the area since 2008.

We believe the project will offer much needed institutional-quality industrial space to local businesses seeking to expand and to companies looking to locate in the region,” said Craig Cope, vice president and city manager for Liberty’s Virginia region, in a statement for the press.

The new facility will feature 54-foot by 45-foot bays with 60-foot-loading bays, 28-foot clear heights, energy efficient T-5 fluorescent fixtures with motion sensors, an Early Suppression Fast Response fire protection system and tilt-wall construction. The project is designed by Triad Design Group. Arco Design Build is the general contractor while McKinney & Company is the civil engineer. Liberty’s project will join a 700-property portfolio that currently encompasses more than 101 million square feet of office and industrial space.

According to CBRE Group Inc., Richmond’s industrial market has tightened for the seventh quarter in a row, dropping to a vacancy rate of 7.9 percent at the end of the first quarter. Healthy demand for both flex and warehouse space has helped raise average asking rents to $4.19 per square foot.

Charts courtesy of CBRE.