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Maryland company buys Whitehall industrial property for $11.6M, plans upgrades

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(Contributed) 
1788/Riverside Business Center LLC bought Riverside Business Center, a 423,900-square-foot building at 1139 Lehigh Ave. in Whitehall Township, from Whitehall Riverside LP for $11.6 million.
(Contributed) 1788/Riverside Business Center LLC bought Riverside Business Center, a 423,900-square-foot building at 1139 Lehigh Ave. in Whitehall Township, from Whitehall Riverside LP for $11.6 million.

A Maryland-based real estate investment company bought a light industrial property in Whitehall Township for $11.65 million with the intention to make upgrades and improvements to the site.

1788/Riverside Business Center LLC, an affiliate of 1788 Holdings LLC, said it bought Riverside Business Center, a 423,900-square-foot building at 1139 Lehigh Ave., from Whitehall Riverside LP. The transaction closed last month.

The building has 11 tenants and is 87 percent leased.

In 2006, Whitehall Riverside LP converted the property from a single-user manufacturing facility into a multi-tenant warehouse and light manufacturing facility. Changes included installing 31 dock doors, 23 drive-in doors, modernized heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and plumbing systems, according to a news release.

Additionally, the owner added new bathrooms to tenant suites, made over the exterior brick and concrete and rehabilitated significant portions of the roof.

The building has about 25,000 square feet of office space available for lease once the new owner completes certain building upgrades.

The new owner plans to create long-term value for the property with a strategy that includes a capital investment program to improve the functionality and aesthetics of the property, overhauling its branding and marketing and improving the property’s profile within the community.

“Riverside Business Center presented us with the unique opportunity to acquire a high-quality Class “B” industrial property that is substantially leased with in-place rents significantly below market,” said Larry Goodwin, principal of 1788 Holdings, in a statement.

The company’s ability to buy the property at slightly more than $27 per square foot, a price that is 30 percent less than the property’s replacement cost, also attracted it to invest in the site.

“This price reflects tremendous value for an asset located in an industrial and warehouse corridor that is widely considered to be among the most vibrant in the country,” said Goodwin, whose company is based in Bethesda, Md.

Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania, based in Mechanicsburg, is handling leasing activities.

NAI Summit of South Whitehall Township is the management agent for the property.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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