New Jersey Spec Warehouse Lands Construction Loan

The Class A industrial building in Hamilton Township will replace a retail center.
130 Commerce Center. Image courtesy of JLL

Penwood Real Estate Investment Management, along with partner Metrix Real Estate Services, received $12.7 million in construction financing for their upcoming 130 Commerce Center in Hamilton Township, N.J. The 171,000-square-foot Class A warehouse and distribution facility will add new product to the Trenton submarket.

A money center bank provided the three-year, floating-rate, non-recourse note. The JLL Capital Markets team arranging the loan for the developers included Senior Managing Director Michael Klein and Director Max Custer.

Located at 537 Route 130, the nearly 20-acre lot is between interstates 195 and 95 (New Jersey Turnpike). The speculative project is targeting logistics and e-commerce companies as prospective tenants and is set for completion in the third quarter of 2021. The property will offer 36-foot clear heights, 40 loading docks, deep speed bays and 50 trailer parking stalls, as well as a large parking lot.

Roughly a year ago, the same developer duo teamed up with JLL to secure a $16.8 million construction loan for a similar speculative development located 10 miles north of the 130 Commerce Center project, in Lawrence Township, N.J. The 340,000-square-foot building was Metrix’s first development project, according to Klein.  

Industrial takes over retail

The new structure will replace Shoppes at Hamilton, a retail center that operated at the location for more than a decade, according to Community News Service. Two pads part of the previous center facing Route 130 will continue to house a bank and a restaurant.

The property, which is already zoned for industrial use, is across the street from a FedEx-leased, 340,000-square-foot warehouse purchased by Monmouth Real Estate Investment in 2018 for $85 million, according to CommercialEdge data.

Last December, Cohen Asset Management Inc. picked up a 145,950-square-foot bulk warehouse/distribution property positioned 2 miles north of the upcoming 130 Commerce Center. 

New Jersey Industrial Stays Healthy

The industrial sector has recorded growth throughout 2020 across all of the country’s main markets, according to a recent report by CommercialEdge. The average national rate was up 4.8 percent year-over-year, reaching $6.38 per square foot. As of December, New Jersey’s industrial vacancy rate clocked in at a tight 3.6 percent, below the 6.2 percent U.S. average. 

Last year closed with 228.4 million square feet of industrial space delivered across the country, a record for the century. While most of these projects were planned before the pandemic hit, consistent rent growth doubled by steady demand reflect the sector’s continued healthy prospects.