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MONTGOMERY, NY-The investment activity surrounding Stewart International Airport continues. Savanna Investment Management LLC of New York City, through its $313-million Savanna Real Estate Fund I, is in contract to acquire a total of 282 acres near Stewart International Airport here.

Shep Wainwright, a Savanna principal, tells GlobeSt.com that the fund has inked two separate contracts with a total of five local landowners for the 282-acre parcel that is located at the junction of the recently completed Route 747 and I-84. No purchase price for the property was disclosed. He says the firm hopes to close on the properties when it receives site plan approval from the Town of Montgomery, which he expects could take place within the next year.

Wainwright says that Savanna will be submitting a site plan for municipal review in the next 60 to 90 days for its proposed Hudson International Business Center, which will total more than one million sf of commercial development. Also included in the project will be a 60-room hotel, he says. The firm was attracted to the property due in large part to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s plan to spend $500 million to upgrade Stewart International Airport in nearby Newburgh. Last year, the Port Authority acquired a 93-year lease for the airport and since then passenger traffic has tripled there. Savanna Real Estate Fund I is an institutional real estate private equity fund that is planning $1 billion in new investment and development projects throughout the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. The fund targets value-added office, residential, industrial, retail, land and development deals.

While the plan is still being formulated, Wainwright says the project will likely feature a significant amount of light industrial space. “Between the changes planned at the airport and the general growth in the area, Orange County has quickly developed into one of the most promising real estate markets in the Northeast,” Wainwright says. “Savanna’s familiarity with this market and our development expertise were essential to our ability to successfully assemble the property from multiple sellers. Savanna’s opportunistic investment strategy and liquidity provides us with the resources necessary to undertake such a large, complex development at this location. We believe this market has tremendous potential upside.”

He notes that the property is situated on a new four-lane roadway that flows from the airport directly onto I-84. “You could not have better access to the airport or the I-84 and I-87 corridors,” Wainwright says.

He gave a glimpse of the firm’s plans by saying that it intends to build up to five buildings ranging in size from 130,000 sf to 475,000 sf. “Our plans are at a stage where we can be flexible enough to adapt to the needs of corporations who have a desire to be near the airport,” he says.

The company already owns Three Enterprise Dr., a 349,080-sf building in Newburgh adjacent to Stewart Airport that is fully occupied by FedEx and Nexans Energy USA. Its other Hudson Valley holdings include the Hudson Valley Business Center in Kingston, the Dutchess Corporate Center in Wappingers Falls and a large land parcel in Dutchess County. Savanna recently revealed the of the Bristol Business Center in Bristol, CT for $60.5 million.

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