Exclusive: DHL signs big lease as Northeast Philadelphia industrial market stays hot

NorthPoint Development has signed a lease for a division of DHL International to occupy a 465,000-square-foot industrial building it is constructing at 11601 Roosevelt Blvd., a project that is helping to reshape Northeast Philadelphia into as a regional distribution market. 

KLS Logistics, of which DHL is a part, signed a long-term deal on the building and “chose this location in order to provide the best service for our customers to the five-county area in southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Daniel McGrath, a spokesman at DHL. 

McGrath declined to provide additional details such as how many jobs the company might create at the facility. 

Construction of the building has been halted as a result of a mandate by Gov. Tom Wolf to cease construction of all non-essential projects during the pandemic. It couldn’t be determined when the project will be completed. 

The Roosevelt Boulevard project is among several other industrial developments totaling three million square feet that are in various stages in Northeast Philadelphia. Once completed, they will increase the size of the submarket to 20 million square feet from 17 million square feet.

Other projects in the works include: 

  • A 1-million-square foot facility that is planned and expected to be built on 138 acres at One Red Lion Road. UPS will occupy the site, which had once been part of the Budd Co. property. Once completed, it will be the largest industrial building in Northeast Philadelphia;
  • Brandywine Realty Trust has plans for 680,000 square feet in two buildings at 15000 Roosevelt Blvd.;
  • At 11501 Roosevelt Blvd., NorthPoint is renovating a 230,000-square-foot building and has leased a portion of it to a self storage company;
  • At 2900 Grant Ave., Crow Holdings of Dallas is knocking down a 140,000-square-foot building to make way for a proposed 400,000-square-foot building to be constructed on speculation;
  • A new 200,000-square-foot building at 3025 Meetinghouse Road was completed late last year and available. Black Creek Holdings bought it for $25.6 million; and 
  • First Industrial Realty Trust is developing on speculation a 100,000-square-foot building at 2021 Woodhaven Road. 

Companies prefer new warehouse-distribution centers with higher clearances and better loading areas for tractor trailers. 

Northeast Philadelphia’s proximity to the city as well other parts of the region and access to major highways such as Interstate 95, Route 1 and the turnpikes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey also make it an ideal location for warehouse-distribution centers. Labor and access to mass transit also make it attractive. 

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

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