The newly announced Amazon fulfillment center in Florence is about to have company, as a developer moves ahead with plans for a new big-box distribution center across the street.The owner and developer, First Industrial Realty Trust Inc., has started construction of a speculative 577,200-square-foot facility at 400 Cedar Lane after acquiring the 33-acre site. Real estate services firm NAI Mertz, which represents the builder and orchestrated the sale, said the First Florence Logistics Center is scheduled to be complete in the fourth quarter of this year.
The cross-dock distribution building will feature 36-foot-clear ceilings and more than 100 loading docks, according to a news release from NAI Mertz. And it is the latest industrial project to get underway in Florence, an increasingly popular market with quick access to both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania turnpikes and Interstate 295.
“The Florence (and) Burlington area at Exit 6 of the New Jersey Turnpike has been one of the hottest industrial submarkets in the U.S,” NAI Mertz President Scott Mertz, the sole broker in the deal, said in a prepared statement. “With logistics driving demand in the industrial sector, Florence is well-positioned to thrive in today’s rapid distribution environment.”
The new building will sit directly across the street from Amazon’s planned 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center, which the e-commerce giant announced last month. Because it calls for redeveloping a vacant and obsolete industrial property, and its potential for significant job creation, First Florence Logistics Center was awarded a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program by Florence Township, though Mertz did not specify the amount.
Other high-profile companies in the immediate area include Burlington Coat Factory, Subaru of North America, Destination Maternity and BJ’s Wholesale Club. For all of 2015, southern New Jersey recorded 3.9 million square feet in net absorption, its highest year-long total since 2006.
Mertz has been retained by First Industrial to assist in the leasing of the facility, which is available for a single user or divisible for multiple tenants.
“We are excited to expand our investment and presence in New Jersey with the development of the state-of-the art First Florence Logistics Center,” said John Hanlon, senior investment and development office for First Industrial. “This facility is designed to provide all the necessary building specifications and site improvements to meet the needs of today’s discerning warehouse/distribution and e-commerce tenants.
“This project will be an excellent addition to our portfolio and an economic driver for Florence’s continuing emergence as a major Northeast distribution address.”