CIT Bank Makes $44M Construction Loan for Philadelphia Distribution Center

Greek Real Estate Partners will build the 287,000-SF property on spec

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Greek Real Estate Partners (GREP), a New Jersey-based firm specializing in industrial development, has secured $44 million in construction financing to build a Class A distribution center five miles outside Philadelphia. 

CIT Bank provided the financing, an interest-only loan on a 30-month term. JLL (JLL)’s Mike Klein, Jim Cadranell and Ryan Carroll brokered the transaction, while JLL’s Kyle Lockard, Larry Maister, Nate Demetsky and Jeff Lockard are set to lease the property. 

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“The loan, in particular, we’re very proud of,” David Greek, managing partner of GREP, told Commercial Observer. “Capital markets have been in disarray, so the fact that we were able to get a loan for speculative industrial production shows the strength of the sponsorship team, the developer team, and the trust the financial community has in us.”  

Located at 2121 Wheatsheaf Lane, the 287,000-square-foot facility will feature 40-foot clear heights, 36 dock doors, 66 trailer parking stalls, 268 parking spaces for cars, and 154 spaces for vans. Construction is expected to begin this month, as demolition of the previous structure at the site occurred in August. 

“We’re building speculatively and open to any specialty use that comes along during the build, and we’re reserving some of the structure for specific use,” said Greek. “We have a high degree of confidence that this will be a great building for pretty much any industrial users.” 

Greek said he bought 2121 Wheatsheaf in early 2021 for $31.5 million, when it was an aging distribution center and manufacturing factory. 

“It was pretty dilapidated,” he said. “It wasn’t a building we thought had great long-term value, as is, but we loved the location and we feel like we were able to buy it for a great price.” 

The tenants at the time were Amazon (AMZN), who used the two-story office structure on the site as a training facility, as well as a raw cocoa bean importer and distributor, according to Greek.   

Greek praised the location, noting that the building is near the Betsy Ross Bridge and is directly off Interstate 95 (and a short drive from I-76). The property sits only five miles from Center City and eight miles from the Port of Philadelphia. 

“2121 Wheatsheaf provides an exceptional location from which logistics, e-commerce, and particularly cold-storage users can quickly and easily reach multiple metropolitan population centers,” he added in a statement. 

Founded in 1934, Greek Real Estate Partners has completed nearly 30 million square feet of development projects in the Philadelphia and New Jersey industrial submarkets. The firm’s current portfolio exceeds 20 million square feet of mainly industrial properties. 

Brian Pascus can be reached at bpascus@commercialobserver.com