UNION TOWNSHIP, PA—Clarion Partners and MRP Industrial have begun construction of Building B at Gateway Logistics Park, a class A, 500,000-square-foot speculative project located in Union Township, Lebanon County, PA. Building B, located at 545 Old Forge Road, will be the first building to be developed within the three building, 1.9M-square-foot Gateway Logistics Park.

Clarion Partners is very excited to joint venture with MRP Industrial on the speculative development of this project in Central Pennsylvania,” says Andy Sitzer, senior vice president with Clarion Partners. “With the strategic location providing immediate access to I-81 and I-78 and the facility’s state-of-the-art design features, Gateway will be ideally suited to meet the requirements of today’s modern distribution operations.”

In October, the two companies formed a joint venture to acquire 129 acres of the Park with pad-in-place development parcels for a one million-square-foot and a 500,000-square-foot distribution center.

“The pace of speculative development activity in the Northeast has picked up significantly as a majority of the requirements under 700,000 square feet are bypassing build-to-suit options in the market and seeking immediate occupancy,” says D. Reid Townsend, principal with the Baltimore-based MRP Industrial. “The speculative development of Building B addresses this need and maintains our flexibility to deliver build-to-suits in the range of 700,000 to 1,000,000 square feet with Building A.”

Gateway Logistics Park is located at the intersection of the Northeast’s two most prominent distribution corridors, Interstate 81 and Interstate 78. The development will provide convenient access to the region’s major metropolitan areas of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC, all located within 150 miles. The property is also located within 30 miles of FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and UPS distribution hubs, responding to the growing trend of direct-to-consumer fulfillment requirements for the retail market.

“Central Pennsylvania’s East Shore submarket, and the location of Gateway Logistics Park in particular, offers outstanding logistical advantages,” says Jones Lang LaSalle’s senior managing director Paul Torosian. “JLL is committed not only to the success of this project, but of the entire area. JLL has been very active in the Pennsylvania market and we’ve been fortunate to be involved in several high-profile transactions. We look forward to leveraging our marketing platform and relationships to lease this class A industrial property.”

In early 2014, the property was approved into the Commonwealth’s Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program, providing future tenants with partial real estate tax relief during the initial ten years of occupancy. When fully developed, Gateway Logistics Park is projected to support over 1,000 new, full time jobs in Lebanon County and provide an immediate boost to support the Union Township, Lebanon County and Northern Lebanon School District operating budgets.

Clarion Partners and MRP Industrial’s other projects include 140 Fulling Mill Road, a 250,000 speculative development in Middletown, PA and Burlington Industrial Park, a four building, 1.58 million square foot campus in Burlington, NJ.

The JLL team of Paul Torosian and Jeff Lockard has been retained to lease Gateway Logistics Park. Design and entitlements were led by Ware Malcomb Architects and Herbert Rowland & Grubic, Inc. The Atlanta-based Conlan Company will serve as the general contractor.