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UPPER MACUNGIE, PA-Sacramento-based Panattoni Development Co. LLC has received a contract for a 320,500-sf build-to-suit industrial facility for Niagara Bottling LLC. It will be constructed on a 38-acre parcel on Route 100 in the Lehigh Valley industrial region and is expected to reach completion in March 2007.

This project is Panattoni’s first foray into Pennsylvania, although it signaled expansion in the Northeast with the groundbreaking for i-Port 12, a nearly 1.3-million-sf, two-building spec industrial complex in Carteret, NJ, as GlobeSt.com reported in October. Jim Murray, the Panattoni partner who heads the newly opened office in Edison, NJ, tells GlobeSt.com his company acquired the Lehigh Valley parcel with plans for a spec facility. “We were fortunate to get this assignment from Niagara prior to beginning construction,” he says. Two months ago, Niagara acquired a new spec facility from Panattoni in Sacramento.

Panattoni acquired land for this project from J.G. Petrucci Co. Inc., which has headquarters in Bethlehem and Asbury, NJ. Citing a confidentiality agreement with Ontario, CA-based Niagara, Murray declined to disclose the land cost, an estimated cost of construction and the sale price to the bottled water supplier, which will own the facility once completed.

Murray says Panattoni will deliver the shell, “and Niagara will make a substantial investment in the interior.” The cost of building the shell, he says, “will be similar to the cost of other warehouse distribution shells in the area.” Craig Guers, senior vice president of the Plymouth Meeting office of Opus East, which has announced several warehouse/distribution spec facilities here, has told GlobeSt.com his company’s estimated construction costs are between $45 per sf and $55 per sf, which would likely put the cost for the Niagara shell around $14 million.

Princeton, NJ-based KSS Architects designed the single-level facility, which will have a 32-foot clear-height ceiling, 50- by 50-foot bays, a 120-foot truck court and up to 30 dock doors plus as many as 43 trailer parking spaces. It will occupy the full 38 acres. Trenton-based Yardville National Bank provided funding, and Panattoni Construction Inc. is the general contractor. Murray says Panattoni has no other projects under way in Pennsylvania, “but we’re actively out here looking for additional opportunities.”

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