James Sheehan, senior director with Cushman & WakefieldInc.'s Philadelphia office, tells GlobeSt.com that a sizable,brand-new facility like this is "extremely appealing to largeinstitutional investors." Sheehan arranged the sale along C&W'sJerome Kranzel, Jeff Williams, Steve Cooper, Gerry Blinebury andJames Vesey.

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Completed in 2007, the building is the newest and largest offour facilities at the 800-acre industrial park, developed byChicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust. It offers 32-footclear heights, tilt-up concrete walls, ESFR sprinklers,cross-docking and additional trailer storage. Although aconfidentiality agreement prevents him from disclosing the per-sfrates that Sears Logistics is paying, Sheehan says industrial rentsin the northeastern Pennsylvania corridor range from "the high $3to $4 range."

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Sheehan points out that "like all asset classes, industrial isfacing the storm of the credit markets," but he adds industrialproperties "seem to fare better" in transaction volume. A newsrelease from C&W notes northeastern Pennsylvania is "a rapidlygrowing distribution hub." The region contains more than 46 millionsf of industrial space with a relatively low vacancy rate of10.5%.

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First Industrial had secured the Hoffman Estates, IL-based Searsas a build-to-suit tenant in in March 2007.The Sears site is in a portion of the park designated as a KeystoneOpportunity Expansion Zone, which provides certain tax abatementsthrough 2013. At that time, GlobeSt.com reported Pennsylvania'sDepartment of Community and Economic Development and the GreaterScranton Chamber of Commerce provided Sears with $90,000 incustomized job-training funds.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.