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QUAKERTOWN, PA-Denver-based ProLogis is developing a 935,540-sf distribution center for Georgia-Pacific Corp. It is located at 3000 AM Dr. on 61 acres in Quakertown Interchange Commerce Center. Dallas-based Cadence McShane Corp. won the construction contract through a competitive bid process with Catellus, prior to its $5.5-billion acquisition by ProLogis this September, according to Neal Harper, president of Cadence McShane.

Harper declined to disclose the estimated construction cost, and calls to ProLogis and Georgia-Pacific were not returned by deadline. Days ago, Gene Preston, SVP of Chicago-based Higgins Development Corp., estimated the construction cost of his company’s facility here in the Lehigh Valley at about $40 per sf. On condition of anonymity, an Allentown-based developer tells GlobeSt.com that, “given its scale, the Georgia-Pacific building would probably cost less, possibly between $30 per sf and $35 per sf,” which would put the investment near the $30-million mark.

Harper tells GlobeSt.com his company has broken ground on the facility and expects to deliver in early spring 2007. Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific will use the center for distribution of its Fort James Paper Products throughout the Northeast. It acquired Fort James in late 2000. G-P is a global manufacturer of tissue, packaging paper, building products and related chemicals and has annual sales of $20 billion.

A Cadence McShane principal tells GlobeSt.com G-P will occupy the facility under a lease-to-own agreement. Typically under such agreements, the buyer rents the facility for a designated period of time, generally at a price above market rate, and the extra payment is applied to an agreed-upon down payment on the facility. Current market rental rates in this area are $4.50 per sf, according to Preston and others in the Lehigh Valley.

The project architect is Chicago-based Dobrin + Associates Ltd. The building is a single-story structure with a 30-ft clear ceiling height, 90 truck doors and two drive-in doors in a cross-dock configuration that allows for the dissemination of goods from large bulk transport into deliveries for individual end-user locations. The building will have tilt-wall panels. Storefront entrances and punched windows will be installed at each corner. The site will accommodate parking for 150 trucks and 246 employees.

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