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LOWER MACUNGIE, PA-Trammell Crow Co. has entered into a joint venture with ING Clarion Partners to construct Lehigh Valley South, a 315,000-sf warehouse building on 25 acres at Route 100 and Alburtis Road. Northeast Metro Development Group, a division of Dallas-based TCC, will act as project manager during the construction and expects to complete the building in summer 2008.

The building is designed for multi-tenant occupancy and being built on spec. “Most of the new inventory delivered to the market over the past several years has been cross-dock buildings of 500,000 sf and up,” says Andrew Mele, TCC’s SVP. “While those buildings have done very well, the needs of tenants in the 100,000-sf to 200,000-sf range have been largely ignored. There’s still a lot of these guys out there,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

To fill that gap, the building is being constructed “as a front-park, rear-load facility with a little higher image,” he says, “and designed as a one-, two- or three-tenant facility.” It will have a 32-foot clear ceiling, 50-by-50 foot column spacing, ESFR sprinkler and space for trailer storage. No leasing has yet taken place, but Mele says, “we’ve had some active interest already. You always cross your fingers for one,” he acknowledges, but believes two to three tenants is more likely.

The land was acquired from Lehigh Valley-based Polaris Group. Mele declined to disclose the price of the land, but says, the all-in cost, including the land, “is in excess of $15 million.” Rent rates are not yet determined, “because there are so many variables, depending on the number of tenants and their individual needs and build out requirements.”

“Regionally, this area provides a lower-cost alternative for users, and with limited amount of new warehouse development, we believe the timing is excellent for a new high-quality development,” says Andy Sitzer, SVP of ING Clarion, in a statement. TCC and ING have partnered in numerous projects nationwide, and this project comes from a fund devoted to warehouse/distribution development in major markets.

TCC now has more than 3.5 million sf of new warehouse/distribution projects planned for “strategic locations in Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania,” Mele says. “It’s hard to overstate just how important these markets are to companies looking to distribute throughout the northeast corridor.”

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