Wharton Industrial Acquires a 1.1 Million SF Portfolio of 32 Last Mile Warehouses in Southern New Jersey

Bloom Organization deals away final holdings in
South Jersey with sale of 32-building portfolio

After decades of developing and leasing industrial properties in South Jersey, The Bloom Organization has dealt away its last holdings in the market with the sale of a 32-building, 1.16 million-square-foot industrial portfolio in Pennsauken.

Terms of the deal, which closed Friday, were not disclosed. The sale represents a “significant changing of the guard” in the area, said Marc Isdaner of Colliers International, who brokered the deal along with Ian Richman.

“The Bloom Organization was a quality landlord that had holdings basically all over Southern New Jersey and was regarded as a high-quality landlord that was dedicated to tenant service,” Isdaner said.

The 32 properties total 1,164,939 square feet and are 100% leased to 49 tenants including Nestle Waters, PepsiCo’s SodaStream and Sprint. They compose both the Twinbridge Industrial Park and Veterans Industrial Park in Pennsauken and represent about one-third of all investment properties in Pennsauken, an in-demand market given its location between major transit arteries including Rt. 73, Rt. 130, I-295, and both the Betsy Ross and Tacony-Palmyra bridges into Philadelphia.

That means the buyer, a joint venture between New York-based Wharton Industrial and an investment fund tied to Walton Street Capital, are now the largest industrial landlord in Pennsauken, the brokers said.

“This was a very desirable portfolio of buildings,” Isdaner said. “It’s hard to find quality buildings in an excellent location in quantity.”

The purchase gives Wharton Industrial instant scale and significantly increases its presence in the market. It made a major entrance into the area last fall when it bought a 283,500-square-foot property at 2400 Weccacoe Ave. in Philadelphia for $16.75 million and invested $10 million in redeveloping it. Last month, the Philadelphia Business Journal exclusively reported it leased the building to Amazon for a same-day delivery facility.

The main focus of Wharton Industrial’s investments has been well-located, in-fill industrial properties on the East Coast and in the Southeast, including Florida.

“We are extremely excited to be acquiring this special portfolio which has a heritage of excellence cultivated by the Bloom Organization over the years,” Peter C. Lewis, president of Wharton Industrial, said in a statement. “We are fully committed to following in their footsteps by providing a superior product and level of service.”

Bloom, a family-owned organization, has slowly pared down its holdings over the past 10 years following the death of its patriarch, Steven Bloom, in 2008.

Bloom developed both the Twinbridge and Veterans industrial parks in the 1980s and 1990s, meaning the properties are more modern and desirable than the mid-century industrial buildings that make up a large part of Pennsauken’s market. Their 21-foot ceilings are higher than most industrial product in Camden County, Richman said, allowing tenants to store more product in the same square footage. Twinbridge properties include every building on Twinbridge Drive and several on Remington Avenue, and Veterans’ 12 buildings are located on Thomas Busch Highway, Hylton Road and National Highway.

As part of the purchase, Wharton Industrial plans on rebranding the Veterans Industrial Park as Twinbridge West and updating common areas, including new signs and landscaping.

Colliers was tapped to handle all leasing and property management for Wharton industrial. The properties are fully occupied at the moment, but Isdaner said 16,000 square feet will become available in the portfolio in September.

While the rise of e-commerce has driven demand in the industrial market both locally and nationally, Isdaner said the Twinbridge and Veterans industrial parks are mostly occupied by service business, light manufacturing and some warehousing.

“It’s the bread and butter of industrial real estate, not the headline-grabbing e-commerce deals,” he said.

Wharton Industrial Acquires a 1.1 Million SF Portfolio of 32 Last Mile Warehouses in Southern New Jersey