Vision Group Ventures Plans 1.9 MSF Distribution Center in Pennsylvania

Vision Group's plan for the sprawling industrial center in Lebanon County, Penn., entails three Class A facilities totaling nearly 1.9 million square feet and Panattoni has purchased a 129-acre tract for a 1.5 MSF development.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

The master plan for I‐81/I‐78 Logistics Park, conceived by Vision Group Ventures, took a big step forward as Panattoni Development Co. picked up a 129-acre tract at the Central Pennsylvania campus for the construction of 1.5 million square feet of industrial space.

Vision Group’s plan for the sprawling industrial center in Lebanon County’s Union Township entails three Class A facilities totaling nearly 1.9 million square feet. Now, the plan is taking shape as both Vision Group and Panattoni lay the groundwork, literally, for Panattoni’s development of two warehouse/distribution centers encompassing 1 million square feet and 500,000 square feet each. Together the companies have already begun a series of requisite improvements, including the construction of a 1.5-mile road leading to Logistics Park.

Easy access to the well-located industrial destination, which already features a handful of retail amenities and room for more, will likely prove vital to its success. Located less than 30 miles northeast of the state capital of Harrisburg, Logistics Park’s position at the intersection of the two leading distribution corridors servicing the Northeastern U.S. places it in the middle of, as D. Reid Townsend, partner with Panattoni, said, “one of the most sought‐after distribution locations on the East Coast.”

With work underway, Panattoni is on schedule to deliver the buildings as early as spring 2012. And given the current state of the Central Pennsylvania industrial market, completion will come not a moment too soon. “Limited inventories of contiguous blocks 100,000 square feet and greater are, and will continue to be, the big story in the industrial markets,” a first-quarter report by commercial real estate services firm CBRE Group Inc. noted. CBRE also represented the seller in the Logistics Park land transaction.

Activity during the first three months of the year serves as evidence of the strong demand for manufacturing and distribution accommodations in Central Pennsylvania. Henry Schein leased over 620,000 square feet in Denver recently; Ceva Logistics claimed nearly 400,000 square feet in York; and earlier this month L’Oreal leased 193,000 square feet at a Panattoni-owned facility in Manchester. As per the CBRE report, “Until developers can match demand with new blocks of large, quality space, the Central Pennsylvania submarket will continue to tighten.”