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MECHANICSBURG, PA-The Morristown, NJ-based Hampshire Real Estate Cos. has acquired the 550,000-sf warehouse/distribution facility at 1225 S. Market St. The seller is BD Book Clubs/Bookspan, a direct marketer of book clubs, based in Garden City, NY.

The property sits on a parcel of approximately 102 acres, which, on condition of anonymity, a Central Pennsylvania industrial broker tells GlobeSt.com is zoned for potential significant expansion. He says, “this is the last tract here zoned for large industrial space development.”

The price of the sales transaction is undisclosed, and calls to Hampshire and the brokers involved in the negotiations were not returned. A mid-year report from the Philadelphia office of Colliers Lanard & Axilbund puts the average sales price for industrial facilities of 100,000 sf and more at $44.22 per sf. On that basis, if applicable, this trade would have been in the range of $25 million, but the source, who declined to speculate on the price, says it was probably higher, considering the value of the land.

Bart Anderson in the Harrisburg office of CB Richard Ellis represented Hampshire in the negotiations. William Ehret of Indianapolis-based Summit Realty Group, a Cushman & Wakefield affiliate, represented the seller.

Bookspan was recently acquired by Gutersloh, Germany-based media giant Bertelsmann AG, which is restructuring the book club business, eliminating approximately 15% of the work force. Bookspan will continue to occupy a portion of the building’s office space while consolidating some staff to a location in Hanover.

Portions of the warehouse section of the building will be available for lease during the first quarter of 2008, according to a CBRE press release on the transaction. It also says that Hampshire plans to make build-to-suit options available on the property.

The building was originally constructed in the late 1960s and early 1970s and has been expanded several times. The average net rental rate for warehouse distribution space in Central Pennsylvania is $4.03 per sf, according to a mid-year 2007 report from the Philadelphia office of C&W.

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