Pennsauken Logistics Center II at 9000 River Road in Pennsauken — Courtesy: Velocity Venture Partners
By Joshua Burd
The owner of a repurposed former aluminum plant in Pennsauken has leased nearly 380,000 square feet at the site, in a set of deals that will bring a familiar use to the property.
According to Velocity Venture Partners, which acquired 9000 River Road late last year, Western Extrusions and Almag Aluminum have both signed five-year leases at what’s now known as Pennsauken Logistics Center II. The former will occupy 213,000 square feet and plans to resume aluminum extrusion and foundry operations at the space, the landlord said, while the latter is taking 163,000 square feet for both aluminum extrusion and anodizing operations.
Western Extrusions and Almag Aluminum are based in Dallas and Toronto, respectively.
“We zeroed in on 9000 River from the moment we laid eyes on it,” said Tony Grelli, founder of Philadelphia-based Velocity Venture Partners, who noted that it’s one of the largest buildings in Camden County’s densest industrial submarket and “one of the most unique complexes we’ve ever toured, (with) so much fascinating history at the site. I’m thrilled with our team’s ability to capitalize on this history and bring back aluminum extrusion operations at the complex with these two lease deals.”
Chris Pennington and Mike Torsiello of Binswanger are marketing the remaining space at the 560,000-square-foot building, which is part of Velocity’s growing Pennsauken portfolio. The investor announced in January that it had acquired the former Aluminum Shapes complex for $32 million, following its purchase in late 2019 of an adjacent building at 8600 River Road, also from the fabricator and processing company.
Aluminum Shapes, which was once Pennsauken’s largest employer with a team of 3,000, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings that resulted in an auction for its assets last fall. The new tenants at 9000 River Road are now slated to bring some 300 employees back to the site, with the potential to add more as they scale their operations.
Velocity noted at the time that its bid included all of Aluminum Shapes’ assets, including the defunct business, the real estate and all equipment, helping to attract users such as Western Extrusions and Almag Aluminum. Its plans also included renovations and interior demolition within each unit, roof and parking lot repairs and rebranding the complex through painting, signage, exterior demolition and enhanced landscaping.
Grelli said the property’s remaining 200,000 square feet will likely go to a warehouse or distribution user, “creating a really diverse mix of industrial tenants in vastly different sectors.”