Year in Review 2018: Industrial leasing keeps rolling amid e-commerce boom

Baltimore Business Journal  |  Melody Simmons

A massive new distribution hub at Sparrows Point. A proposed new warehouse complex in Jessup. Plans in motion for a 52-acre industrial development in White Marsh where an outlet mall was once envisioned.

All are but some of the activity in the industrial real estate market, deemed red hot in 2017 with no break in the action this past year.

Over the last 12 months, millions of square feet have been added to Maryland’s ever-expanding portfolio of industrial space as e-commerce continues to grow along the Interstate 95 corridor. Meanwhile, existing properties continue to fill up.

At the Baltimore Crossroads @ 95, Chesapeake Real Estate Group hit full capacity after an expansion by Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park. The White Marsh development has a total of eight buildings with 1.4 million square feet. Opened in 2007, other tenants include American Tire Distributors, BGE Home Products & Services, the True Citrus Co. and Breakthru Beverage.

It is near another emerging industrial and mixed-use development, the 1,000-acre Greenleigh at Crossroads.

St. John Properties and Somerset Development this year marked the midway point in the $750 million project that will have 2.7 million square feet of flex and warehouse space, 750,000 square feet of office amid retail and residential units near the White Marsh Mall off I-95 and Route 43.

Chesapeake and Atapco Properties are also partnering on plans for an industrial complex at the 52-acre site once proposed for an outlet mall. The two purchased the land for $15 million in July and are planning 500,000 square feet of warehouse and retail space.

Not far down Interstate 695, sits Tradepoint Atlantic, the rebranded site that once held the Sparrows Point steel mill. Amazon opened its fourth fulfillment center in Maryland at the site this year. Under Armour is expected to open its 1.3-million-square-foot warehouse at Sparrows Point next year, and future tenants are expected to be rolled out as the build out of the site continues.

Further north in Harford County, logistics company Kuehne + Nagel and The Container Store signed two of the leases that total more than 1.2 million square feet of new warehouse space at the growing Eastgate 95 development in Perryman. A third lease was signed by building products company PrimeSource for a new 250,000-square-foot warehouse to be built nearby at 505 Advantage Ave.

In Cecil County, it was unveiled in September that Trammell Crow Co. planned to purchase a swath of land at 200 Nazarene Camp Road in North East for a 716,490-square-foot warehouse. The property is located miles from a 1.15-million-square-foot Amazon warehouse complex that opened last year in the Principio Business Park. There, grocer Lidl and Medline also have warehouses.

In Anne Arundel County this year, Best Buy inked a deal to lease a 500,400-square-foot fulfillment and service center in the 259-acre Brandon Woods III industrial park off Fort Smallwood Road in Curtis Bay. Brandon Woods III was purchased by Chesapeake Real Estate Group from Exelon Corp. in 2017 for $6.7 million and will ultimately hold up to 1 million square feet of industrial space.

Among the deals in Howard County included a lease by American Sugar Refining Inc., the parent company of Domino Sugar, to lease 305,769 square feet of space in the former Giant Food warehouse that has been redeveloped in Jessup. The complex is owned by Manekin LLC and AEW Capital Management.