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SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ-When the Westport, CT-based Allianz of America bought the 526,400-sf Turnpike I distribution center at 115 Interstate Blvd. here from Opus East some 18 months ago, the enormous facility was fully leased to the Fleming Cos., one of the world’s largest wholesale/retail food distributors. But the Lewisville, TX-based Fleming went Chapter 11 this past April 1 and began selling off and closing stores, peddling several wholesale divisions and cutting thousands of jobs, and its now-former distribution center has hit the market.

Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey has picked up the assignment to try to fill the cavernous space for Allianz of America, a subsidiary of the Frankfurt, Germany-based Allianz Group, a global financial services company.

“Turnpike Crossing I is one of just three buildings in the market today that can handle a space requirement of more than 500,000 sf,” according to Jason Goldman of C&W, who is teaming up with Frank Caccavo of the firm’s Iselin, NJ office to handle the assignment.

The asset is also one of three buildings that make up the 1.2 million-sf Turnpike Crossing industrial park. Opus Corp.’s Baltimore, MD-based Opus East division began developing the park a few years ago, completing Turnpike Crossing I in early 2001 and selling the 40-acre project to Allianz for an undisclosed price in the fall of the same year. Opus East then completed the 294,000-sf Turnpike Crossing II in late 2001 and finished the industrial park’s build-out last fall with the 418,000-sf Turnpike Crossing III.

The complex is located in the now-legendary New Jersey Turnpike Exit 8A submarket, which has remained an industrial real estate juggernaut-mostly warehousing and distribution-despite the down economy. Three available 500,000-sf-plus buildings in the same market may seem like a lot of space, but Exit 8A has become known as the king of the big-box markets and continues to see plenty of demand.

“This property offers a distinct advantage of speed-to-market,” continues Goldman, who adds that the facility includes 15,400 sf of existing, built-out office space and a full distribution racking system. The office space includes both administrative and shipping facilities and the warehousing/distribution portion of Turnpike Crossing I has 33-foot clear ceilings.

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