The former Giant Foods distribution warehouse in Jessup is about to get a makeover. Manekin LLC and AEW Capital Management hope to bring in as many as eight tenants to fill more than 1M SF of industrial space.

The new owners will spend $30M to reconfigure, resurface and upgrade the property at 7600 Assateague Dr (photo below), including a new roof, dock doors and floors, says Manekin Advisors managing director John Graham. The exterior will get new materials and insulation. (See rendering.) Manekin and AEW bought the vacant 60-acre site last month from Mosaic Realty Partners and New York Real Estate Investors for $45M. The former Giant dry goods storage facility is at the intersection of routes 1 and 175, near I-95.

The new owners will expand the 736k SF property to 850k SF and add another 160k SF spec warehouse by February. Each building will be designed to accommodate up to four tenants, John says. (Or one tenant who likes echoes.) The owners are in the process of demolishing three smaller ancillary buildings and have submitted their site plan to Howard County.

The owners will ask $6.25/SF to rent the existing building and $7.50/SF for the new spec building. Several potential tenants are in the food industry, John says: “A couple are household names people would recognize.” Pictured next to the site plan are Manekin principals Cole Schnorf (left), John, and Owen Rouse.

The deal underscores the strength of the industrial market, which is seeing rising rents and lower vacancy rates, according to Colliers International. The purchase price was 37% percent more than what the former owners paid for it in April 2013. The Baltimore/Washington region has a very active industrial market as companies want to be near its affluent and educated population, John says.
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