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MONROE, NJ-The 221,300-sf availability at 24 Engelhard Dr. that served temporarily as the home of a US Postal Service distribution center in the wake of an anthrax scare a few years ago will now be occupied by Menlo Worldwide, a San Mateo, CA-based logistics company. The new tenant will launch operations here with a major consumer electronics company as its lead client.

“We are establishing warehousing and distribution capabilities here to support expanding business volumes from new and existing clients,” says Richard Tracchio, Menlo’s director of operations. “The property is well-designed and built, and with its close proximity to ports, highways and airports gives us the flexible resources we need.”

The ownership, the Hawaii-based Estate of James Campbell, through its affiliate James Campbell Co., was represented by Jason Goldman, Frank Caccavo and Andrew Siemsen of the Edison, NJ office of Cushman & Wakefield of NJ. Menlo was represented by Steve Shields of Transportation Property Co. Inc., San Diego, and Larry Casey of Weintraub, Casey, Zurkow & Max of Secaucus. Terms of the signing were not disclosed; however, the availability was listed on a recent market report with an asking price of $5.25 per sf.

Matrix Development Group, Cranbury, started construction on the 528,441-sf asset on 32 acres in the Exit 8A submarket in early 2002. After the well-publicized anthrax scare at its Hamilton distribution center, the US Postal Service shuttered that facility for a top-to-bottom overhaul and signed a three-year lease for the 221,300-sf space at 24 Engelhard Dr., occupying it until last year as a temporary, 500-employee distribution center.

Matrix and its partner in the project, Cigna, sold the asset in early 2003 to the Boston-based TA Associates for a reported $30 million, or $57 per sf. TA Associates, meanwhile, recently flipped the asset into the portfolio of the James Campbell Co. for an undisclosed price. Patrick Connelly of Matrix is overseeing the design, planning and improvements to the space that Menlo will occupy, and Matrix continues to serve as the building’s property manager.

Menlo Worldwide is a $1.4-billion supply chain subsidiary of Con-way Inc., managing logistics activities for companies in the automotive, tech, manufacturing, food and beverage, consumer product, chemical and retail fields. The company’s new corporate neighbors include Petco, Staples, Builders First Source and Iron Mountain.

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