Walls rise on first building in 380-acre industrial park

The site once employed more than 4,000 manufacturing workers but has sat vacant for decades.

It is now home to Bridge Point 78, an industrial park that will feature six buildings totaling 3.8 million square feet.

Bridge Point 78 is in both Phillipsburg and Lopatcong Township along the Interstate 78 corridor and Route 22, a short distance from the border with Easton, Pennsylvania.

The wall panels started going up Wednesday on a 975,761-square-foot building, the first one slated to go up in the park, said Vincent Ranalli, executive vice president of CBRE in Radnor, the real estate firm marketing the property. Construction should be complete in December for that building as well as Building 6, which is 419,459 square feet, Ranalli said. Buildings 3 and 5 will be finished in January. They will be 607,279 square feet and 175,055 square feet respectively.

Ranalli said the site has drawn attention and could attract tenants in the manufacturing, e-commerce and distribution industries.

“It speaks to how strong the market is now,” Ranalli said. “There’s really not a lot of competing product in the Greater Lehigh Valley area.”

Tax credits from the Grow NJ Assistance Program apply to the site, as do other economic incentives. The property also offers a 30-year payment in lieu of taxes or PILOT program and benefits from an Urban Enterprise Zone. The UEZ program allows up to a 50 percent reduction in the sales tax rate on certain purchases as well as a tax exemption on qualifying capital equipment for new facilities.

Bridge Point 78 made a list of the top 10 largest national industrial projects in the development pipeline to come online this year, according to Commercial Café, a commercial real estate information services provider based in Santa Barbara, California.

Bridge Development Partners, which has an office in Parsippany, New Jersey, marked the groundbreaking for the project last year.

“We are actually right on schedule,” said Jeff Milanaik, partner in the Northeast Region for Bridge Development.

He said he has seen interest from companies in the light manufacturing, beverage and e-commerce industries.

The available labor market is often a deciding factor for those companies looking at sites, particularly this one, he added.

“It’s a significant decision-maker for a lot of companies we are talking to,” Milanaik said. “We know we are going to be generating a lot of activity. We are confident we will have tenants in place before the buildings are up. I really am bullish on it.”

With all four buildings, the estimated construction cost is $250 million. The second phase will add another $2 million in estimated construction costs with the additional buildings, he said.

 

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.

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