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GREENCASTLE, PA-Having just signed a five-year lease extension with World Kitchen on a one-million-sf distribution facility, Matrix Development Group may bring in some neighbors for the housewares giant, currently the sole tenant at Matrix Business Park. Patrick Connelly, VP of asset management at Cranbury, NJ-based Matrix, says his company is in the design and approval stages on two additional industrial buildings that would double the 134-acre property’s capacity.

The two new buildings at 1200 S. Antrim Rd. here are planned for 400,000 sf and 600,000 sf, respectively. “We’re designing the buildings to give the flexibility to accommodate a multi-tenanted scenario, but we certainly wouldn’t mind a single-tenanted, campus-like location,” Connelly tells GlobeSt.com. Warehouse/industrial, he adds, “is a market that has activity in both smaller tenants and big-box, as evinced by the one-million-sf lease renewal we just conducted.”

Connelly says both buildings are envisioned to be cross-dock facilities, “with 36-foot clear height and all the modern amenities, and an abundant amount of trailer storage. On-site trailer storage is becoming a very important commodity to most users in that market.As part of the package we put together for World Kitchen, we were able to save them some operating costs by adding 75 trailer spaces to the site, in order to accommodate staging of product coming in and out.”

These would be intended primarily as warehouse/distribution facilities, although 1200 S. Antrim formerly accommodated manufacturing for CorningWare before World Kitchen acquired the license to the brand from Corning Inc. “Given the economic realities, manufacturing in the area is not as prevalent as it had been,” says Connelly. “However, given the amount of power we plan to bring into the buildings, along with the other amenities in the area such as good labor, manufacturing is something that could be accommodated here as well.”

The business park’s location—one mile from Interstate 81 and convenient to the ports of Philadelphia and Baltimore—is considered a major selling point for prospective tenants. Indeed, the area around Chambersburg, of which Greencastle is a suburb, is a hub of distribution centers. “Interstate 81 is becoming a very popular alternative to I-95, given I-95′s congestion issues around Maryland and Washington, DC,” Connelly says. “Route 81, which is a non-toll road, gives access to companies trying to get up and down the East Coast and also intersects with many east-west roadways to the north.”

Design and approval on the proposed buildings will take another three to six months, says Connelly. “Assuming we have a tenant in tow within that time frame, we could deliver a building 12 months thereafter. So occupancy could take place in 18 months,” he says. “That said, we’re not going to be doing any speculative projects there. It would be more of a build-to-suit type of arrangement, provided we have the tenant.”

The tenant’s occupancy at 1200 S. Antrim dates from its pre-World Kitchen days as the Corning Consumer Products Division, and in fact owned the property before selling it to Matrix two years ago. “We were very encouraged that they wanted to continue in that facility,” says Connelly. However, he adds, “they wouldn’t have been able to do so under the current configuration. They needed additional trailer storage spaces in order to accommodate changes in volume and be able to operate there.”

The lease was brokered by John Van Buskirk of NAI/Commercial Industrial Realty Co. of PA. Connelly, who represented Matrix in negotiations, won’t say what the rates are at 1200 S. Antrim, but adds it’s “a market-rate renewal.” He says Matrix will be doing approximately $500,000 worth of improvements on the building for World Kitchen.

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