Ridge Development Grabs Land for Pennsylvania Warehouse

The 2.2 million-square-foot Penn Commerce Logistics Center will mark the company’s debut in the Northeast market.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Penn Commerce Logistics Center
Penn Commerce Logistics Center

Penn Township, Pa.Ridge Development is planning to enter new territory, and the pending purchase of 160 acres in Penn Township, Pa., is paving the way. Ridge just entered into an agreement to acquire the land for the development of the 2.2 million-square-foot Penn Commerce Logistics Center, a speculative project that will mark the company’s debut in the Northeast market.

Ridge, the industrial development division of Transwestern Development Co., picked quite a spot to establish a new footprint. Penn Commerce will be erected in the middle of it all. Literally. The property is located off I-81, roughly 30 miles outside the state capital of Harrisburg, in Central Pennsylvania—and Central Pennsylvania is within a day’s reach of 40 percent of the country’s population.

“Central Pennsylvania continues to see historically strong absorption and low vacancy rates. With high-quality sites becoming more scarce–especially for those greater than 1 million square feet–and demand forecasted to remain robust, the supply and demand balance is very favorable for Penn Commerce Logistics Center,” Steve Kros, executive vice president with Ridge Development, told Commercial Property Executive.

The entire Pennsylvania I-81/I-78 corridor, which also encompasses Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley, is faring quite well; well enough to break records. In the third quarter, the area’s year-over-year industrial vacancy rate dropped 110 basis points to 3.9 percent, marking the corridor’s lowest ever vacancy rate, per a report by Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial real estate services firm overseeing leasing for Ridge’s new project.

Penn Commerce’s location appears to be ideal, right down to the Newville submarket in which it sits. Newville’s nearly 2.7 million-square-foot warehouse stock boasted an envy-inducing 0 percent vacancy rate at mid-year. However, Penn Commerce will have more than location on its side. The industrial property will feature state-of-the-art space and the largest floorplate—nearly 1.5 million square feet—of any warehouse within 30 miles of Harrisburg.

Ridge expects to complete acquisition of the 160-acre Penn Commerce site in September 2017, after which it will waste precious little time kicking off the project with the construction of a 1.4 million-square-foot warehouse. Penn Commerce will welcome its first tenants in 2018, with full build-out on track for 2020. Ridge is not presently disclosing the development cost.