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TRENTON-They used to roll cigars in the old factory building at 176 Division St. in this city’s Chambersburg section, but these days the building, the oldest portions of which date to the 1890s, stands vacant. But a local developer is looking to redevelop the four-story building and its 241-foot by 154-foot lot as LEED-certified loft offices with ceilings of up to 14 feet.

Developer Daniel Brenna Jr., who heads locally based Capital Real Estate Group, says he will shortly make site plan application to convert the building into offices. The building had earlier been cleared for conversion to more than 40 residential units, and had also been on the market for sale for a time just more than a year ago.

But conversion to offices is now the plan, and Brenna says he hopes to get that process under way within the next nine to 12 months. The asset will be positioned for either one large tenant or multi-tenant use, according to Brenna, and he plans to price the space at between $12 to $14 per sf. Office space in this city’s downtown area generally commands asking prices in the $18 to $25 per sf range.

The anticipated cost of the conversion hasn’t been released. Brenna has indicated, however, that he plans to apply for state tax credits and grants to help get the project done. He also plans to institute shuttle service to this city’s commuter train station.

The building at one time housed the American Cigar Co., but in recent years had been utilized as a warehouse by Stevens Furniture. The building went vacant when the latter relocated its operations to another site in the region three years ago. According to Brenna, the factory’s original floors and exposed brick walls will be retained as part of the conversion, and he also plans to apply for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Brenna has also hired RMJM Hillier Architecture of Princeton to design the conversion, and LEED certification is part of the plan. According to Capital Real Estate Group’s web site, plans call for a rooftop solar installation, high-performance HVAC, Energy Star fixturing, recycled building materials, rainwater re-use for irrigation and the like.

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