Cushman & Wakefield Awarded Leasing and Sales Agency for I-81 Portfolio
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa., Feb. 26, 2013 - WCN Properties has awarded commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. the leasing and sales agency for its I-81 Portfolio, consisting of more than one million square feet of existing industrial buildings and 400 undeveloped acres in Chambersburg and surrounding Franklin County. The Harrisburg-based Cushman & Wakefield team of Gerry Blinebury, Pat McBride, Adam Campbell, John Wilson and Leah Balerno is handling the assignment.
The properties are owned by a series of partnerships affiliated with the Nittterhouse family, including WCN Properties and Franklin Storage. "Ownership has decided to proactively market the properties to end-users, investors, and to developers prepared to move these development sites forward," said Blinebury. "We are already seeing a great deal of interest in these offerings and are very bullish on the prospects."
The buildings and sites are situated along the busy, multi-state I-81 corridor. Each of the properties is located at an interchange of I-81, and many have highway frontage. "These are some of the premier sites along I-81," said Blinebury.
Nearby is Norfolk Southern's new $105 million intermodal facility in Greencastle, which will be fully functional within weeks. Also nearby is CSX's existing intermodal facility in Chambersburg which will soon have additional capacity through the ability to double stack containers. Complimenting the proximity to these intermodal facilities, many of the portfolio's sites and all of its existing buildings are directly rail-served.
The portfolio's existing building stock currently has "very little vacancy," said Blinebury. Much of that stock is occupied by an affiliate of the property's ownership and operated as public warehousing, including Franklin Storage. Other major tenants include Pearl Drum, Martin's Potato Rolls, and OHL.
The development sites currently are in various states of entitlement. "Some are fully entitled, some are pending approvals, and other sites are raw land, so the portfolio has a great deal of flexibility," said Blinebury. "We are also handling a 20-acre retail pad in the middle of the portfolio. It is designed for a multi-tenant shopping center, but we would also entertain single big-box use."
The offering comes at a time of heightened activity in the I-81 corridor, including three build-to-suits underway in Pennsylvania and to the south in Virginia. Also, World Kitchen recently renewed for one million square feet in nearby Greencastle, a transaction that includes $10 million of upgrades. Cushman & Wakefield recently completed the sale of 1475 Nitterhouse Drive in Chambersburg, an 860,000-square-foot building occupied by Kmart, acquired by Cabot Properties.
"All of this clearly demonstrates the investment community's appetite to invest and re-invest within this market," said Blinebury.
Cushman & Wakefield's industrial brokerage platform provides global resources and local expertise for tenant and landlord representation, disposition and acquisition services, transaction management, and industrial consulting including labor and demographic analysis. In 2011, in the U.S. alone, this group completed more than 6,100 industrial real estate transactions - totaling 225 million square feet - with an aggregate value in excess of $6.5 billion.