BELCAMP, MD-Suffering from high vacancy rates, times have been tough in Harford County, but a sign of a turnaround has emerged with Rite Aid’s recent leasing of a 250,000-sf warehouse facility. Located in this Baltimore suburb about 20 miles outside of the city, the building will house additional distribution space for the Camp Hill, PA-headquartered drugstore chain as the company already has an 800,000-sf warehouse and distribution center in the county.

CB Richard Ellis’s Bill Pellington and Justin Mohler served as the lead brokers for the transaction, acting on behalf of both the tenant and building owner James F. Knott Realty Group. Terms of Rite Aid’s lease with the owner have not been disclosed, however similar space in the area is marketed in the $4 to $4.50 range, Mohler says. <PRite Aid's new warehouse addition sits at 1351 Brass Mill Rd. Developed nearly two decades ago in 1986, the property had sat vacant for the last 20 months; CB Richard Ellis only had the listing for about 11 months.

“It’s a tough market,” Mohler tells “There’s a lot of competition out there in the bulk warehouse area. The activity level in the market has been slow for the past 18 months.” Indeed, the struggle to lease up bulk warehouse space in Harford County has been hampered by what was an 11.1% vacancy rate during the last quarter of 2003, according to Delta Associates; although, that figure had decreased by 2.1% over the same period in 2002. “But the market is starting to pick up and we’re starting to see some activity” he adds. Approximately 550,000 sf of space has been leased up over the last five months.

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