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FLORENCE, NJ-As reported by GlobeSt.com in April, Whitesell Construction is doing a build-to-suit 721,000-sf warehouse/distribution center within its Haines Center business park. When the project was reported, the parties involved in the project, including brokers from Lee & Klatskin Associates, declined to identify the user.

That identity has now emerged. According to a published report, the user is Christmas Tree Shops, a 35-store retail chain that operates as a division of Bed Bath & Beyond. Simultaneous to the report, the New Jersey Chapter of NAIOP has announced the finalists for its upcoming Deal of the Year Award, and among them is, “Lee & Klatskin Associates for Christmas Tree Shops in Haines Center at Exit 6A,” according to a press release. The release cites the project for, “the sale of land and a state-of-the-art, energy efficient distribution center [involving] a complex cost analysis and sitting model, opening [NJ Turnpike] Exit 6 as a destination for regional distribution centers.”

A spokesman for the Massachusetts-based Christmas Tree Shops declined comment other than to confirm that, “the company is expanding its distribution center operations.” Further, the chain’s web site is currently listing a number of open positions sited at Florence, NJ.

When the project was announced in April, Lee & Klatskin’s David Knee confirmed that a user had been lined up but declined to identify that user. “We conducted an extensive search of the Mid-Atlantic states and looked at more than 70 sites,” Knee told GlobeSt.com. “Accessibility to major roads and the ability to recruit employees from a wide area are the key factors.”

For its part, the Delran, NJ-based Whitesell has touted the building, located at 290 Daniels Way, as “the tallest distribution center in the state,” reaching 80 feet at its tallest point. “By utilizing the cube area, the site consists of 66 acres rather than the 100 acres a traditional warehouse/distribution center would require,” the company’s president, Richard Cureton, said in April. “So we are going ‘up’ rather than ‘out’.”

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