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Deals & Dealmakers

Wharton acquires 7-property PA industrial portfolio

Wharton Industrial, a platform of real estate investment firm Wharton Equity Partners, announced that it has acquired a portfolio of seven industrial properties across the Philadelphia metropolitan area, totaling over 450,000 s/f. 

The properties are 2955 State Rd, Croydon, PA; 18 and 19 Creek Parkway, Boothwyn, PA; 71 Vanguard, Reading, PA; 5 E Stow Rd, Marlton, NJ; 1537 Glen Avenue, Moorestown, NJ (pictured top); 9256-60 Commerce Hwy, Pennsauken, NJ.

Wharton declined the identify the seller or disclose details of the sale price.

Scott Guo, head of acquisitions for Wharton Industrial, commented, “As the largest industrial landlord in Pennsauken and a historic operator in the Philadelphia industrial market, these properties presented excellent opportunities in line with our strategy of acquiring well-situated buildings holding enormous potential to service densely populated markets.” 

The properties are located along key transit corridors connecting the City of Philadelphia to both the Southern New Jersey and Central Pennsylvania markets, providing an attractive opportunity for tenants who are interested in accessing supply chain lines and distribution networks extending from the New York metropolitan area to the Greater Philadelphia region.

Wharton has established itself as a major player in the Greater Philadelphia industrial market in recent years, acquiring and developing projects such as SoPhi Logistics Center, a formerly defunct railcar facility which Wharton transformed into a first-class last-mile delivery facility. The building was leased to Amazon in its entirety before being sold for $71.5 million in late 2020.

The firm also owns more than 1.5 million square feet of industrial space in Pennsauken, N.J, as well as other properties in nearby Cherry Hill, N.J. 

“The relative rent and population density offered by Philadelphia makes it an ideal choice for development and investment of industrial properties,” adds Nick Aileo, Associate at Wharton who spearheaded the acquisition effort.

“Demand for space within important distribution and logistics hubs is only continuing to grow as the economy becomes increasingly reliant on e-commerce and last-mile delivery, and this region is poised to remain at the center of the fast-evolving industrial market.”

The acquisition of the latest properties directly follows Wharton Industrial’s recent purchase of a 279,256 s/f industrial facility in East Windsor, Conn. in October 2021, bringing Wharton Industrial’s total closings of industrial property within the last two months to almost 750,000 s/f. Additionally, in the Philadelphia region, Wharton is finalizing the purchase of several more buildings prior to the end of year in addition to entitling a land site for a speculative last mile distribution facility.

Wharton Industrial’s other holdings and past developments include a 988,000 s/f warehouse in Atlanta (leased to Philips Van Heusen); a 510,000 s/f industrial facility in Lakeland, Florida; a 617,000 s/f warehouse in Ocala, Florida (leased to Amazon); and a two-building, 600,000 s/f industrial development in Greenville, South Carolina. All of these properties were sold in the last 12 months generating gross sales proceeds of approximately $250 million and a gross weighted-average IRR in excess of 44 percent.

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