A new building at the Gateway Business Park East in Oldmans Township — Courtesy: Matrix Development Group
By Joshua Burd
Matrix Development Group has signed new leases at industrial projects in Burlington and Salem counties, where two of retail’s biggest names will take a combined 489,000 square feet.
In the larger deal, Matrix inked a 312,373-square-foot lease with Modell’s Sporting Goods at the Matrix Distribution Center in Bordentown. The retailer will occupy a little more than half of the 569,145-square-foot building at 210 Old York Road, which is part of a new speculative development off Exit 7 of the New Jersey Turnpike.
Meantime, Matrix has completed a 176,400-square-foot lease agreement with Walmart at its Gateway Business Park East in Oldmans Township. The retail giant’s new space is part of a 334,800-square-foot building within a two-building complex, which sits directly off Interstate 295.
“There are rhythms to every year,” said Alec Taylor, a principal with Monroe-based Matrix. “In other words, there is more activity occurring in some parts of the year than others. This past year has been as active as any year in our careers. It has not slowed down.
“If anything, it has accelerated and I don’t see that changing in the near term as we head into 2020.”
The cross-docked Matrix Distribution Center in Bordentown features 36-foot clear heights, plentiful car and truck parking and easy access to interstates 295 and 195 and the Turnpike, Matrix said. Modell’s, which was represented by Mindy Lissner of CBRE, is modernizing its operation and relocating from a previous facility in the Bronx. The company will use the new space to fulfill its vast store network from New England to Washington, D.C.
Matrix was on pace to complete construction of the Bordentown building this month as it marketed the remaining 256,772 square feet at the site.
Walmart’s new facility in Oldmans Township is part of a single-loaded building with 36-foot clear ceiling heights and abundant car and truck parking, Matrix said. The Gateway Business Park East has immediate accessibility to I-295, with close proximity to Philadelphia, Delaware, Maryland and all parts of New Jersey.
Jet.com, which was acquired by Walmart in 2016, occupies 655,000 square feet within the neighboring building under a lease that was signed a few months prior to the merger. Taylor said the spaces will serve different segments of Walmart’s fulfillment operations, but noted that the firm’s ongoing relationship with the retailer has been fruitful when it comes to filling space in the complex.
The deals have also validated a Salem County submarket that was, at one time, not a viable options for industrial developers. That has changed as landlords and tenants have ventured farther south for opportunities and as rents have grown alongside that trend, creating what Taylor feels is now “a distinct and successful submarket within the state.”
“The road network, the population and other factors are not as fruitful for large-scale industrial development as the center of the state at Exit 8A or the northern part of the state,” he said. “However, as a submarket, it has outperformed much of the region over the last five to seven years. It’s been a terrific area for us.”