Bridge Point 78 on Route 22 in Phillipsburg and Lopatcong — Courtesy: Bridge Development Partners
By Joshua Burd
Bridge Development Partners has announced the sale of a four-building, 2.2 million-square-foot industrial portfolio in Phillipsburg, the first piece of a massive project near Interstate 78.
The buyer, PGIM Real Estate, said it paid $275 million for the collection of newly delivered warehouses along Route 22. The four properties are the first of what will be six industrial facilities totaling 3.85 million square feet, bringing new life to a 365-acre former Ingersoll Rand campus that straddles two municipalities.
Brian Fiumara of CBRE National Partners represented Bridge in the transaction.
“Bridge Point 78 Phase I has been a successful project that has had a tremendous impact on the communities of both Phillipsburg and Lopatcong, and helped establish this rural area of New Jersey as a new hub for warehousing and distribution,” said Jeff Milanaik, Bridge’s Northeast region partner. “We already have an outstanding relationship with PGIM, and are certain that this property is poised for continued success in their hands.
“In the meantime, we will continue our work transforming New Jersey’s infill and brownfield sites into state-of-the-art industrial facilities — creating developments that draw even more successful tenants that can fuel wider economic growth for the region.”
Delivered last year, the first phase is home to Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing maker and retailer, which leases 975,761 square feet. The transaction, which represents Bridge’s largest lease to date across its five-market national portfolio, was completed last fall and was the first to take place at the sprawling redevelopment project.
In April, beverage distributor Mark Anthony Brands also signed a lease for 419,460 square feet. All told, phase one includes four buildings ranging in size from 175,055 to 975,761 square feet, with modern features such as 36- to 40-foot ceiling heights and both single and cross-docked loading configurations.
“This portfolio sits in a strategic location that provides better access to New York City than other submarkets in the Lehigh Valley area,” said Frank Garcia, managing director and senior portfolio manager for PGIM Real Estate’s U.S. core strategy. “The park was designed with the flexibility to cater to both large users and smaller tenants with a variety of space requirements, making it ideal for many logistics and e-commerce tenants seeking an optimal location at a discount to northern New Jersey rents.”
PGIM Real Estate is the real estate investment and financing business of PGIM, the $1.4 trillion global investment management businesses of Prudential Financial Inc. Managing Director Todd Goldberg, executive directors Ian Christ and Steven Oliveira and Associate Vice President Kevin Interlicchio of PGIM’s real estate transactions team led the portfolio acquisition on the firm’s behalf.
“Vacancies in the broader Lehigh Valley industrial market have trended to historically low levels and rents are forecasted to grow in line with the national average,” said Cathy Marcus, global chief operating officer and head of U.S. equity at PGIM Real Estate. “The continued expansion of e-commerce across the U.S. and the growing port traffic regionally will further strengthen industrial demand and result in additional upside for this portfolio.”
The development was recently honored with NAIOP New Jersey’s Industrial Deal of the Year award for 2020. Bridge is now proceeding with work on phase two of Bridge Point 78, which was not included in the sale and will comprise roughly 1.67 million square feet across two buildings.
The property benefits from easy access to I-78 and Route 22, with proximity to Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and a direct, toll-free route to Port Newark-Elizabeth.