HRP begins phase one vertical construction for The Bellwether District in Philadelphia
JLL selected to serve as exclusive leasing agent for the new a high-tech, multi-modal logistics hub and Innovation Campus
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 23, 2023 – JLL announced today that Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP) has launched phase one of vertical construction in its transformational project that will convert an obsolete industrial site in Philadelphia into the Bellwether District, a multi-phase, 1,300-acre, 14 million-square-foot-plus master-planned park.
Phase one is the first of a sequence that will consist of multi-modal distribution and fulfillment centers, with subsequent stages also to include a progressive Innovation Campus totaling 250 of the 1,300 acres. HRP has retained JLL to lease the entirety of the project.
This first phase will include more than one million square feet of logistics and distribution space, including two buildings of 325,659 and 727,272 square feet each built to LEED standards and incorporating numerous sustainability measures. Site work will continue into 2024, with the completion of vertical construction anticipated in early 2025.
The site sits less than three miles from Philadelphia’s Center City District and its nearly 1.6 million consumers and is a four-hour drive from 47 million consumers. The distribution space constructed in phase one will include several best-in-class design features that reflect current user preferences. The development is poised to unlock an unprecedented swath of the city’s land mass, creating fast, easy distribution and warehousing options for companies across industries, including food, e-commerce and logistics firms.
Given the deep local labor pool, including a total workforce of more than 1.4 million within a 30-minute radius, the site will attract users previously unable to find Philadelphia-centric distribution center solutions. Additionally, The Bellwether District provides business incentives via a Keystone Opportunity Zone designation, real estate tax abatements under a PILOT program and the property's federal Foreign Trade Zone status.
“JLL is honored to be selected to lease a once-in-a-generation project that will create a high-powered economic engine to drive the region’s economy for the next century,” said Robert Kossar, Vice Chairman and market leader of JLL’s Northeast Industrial Region, speaking to the logistics portion of the project.
“The Bellwether District will provide extraordinary flexibility for logistics, distribution and warehouse occupants, who will benefit from an abundance of state-of-the-art industrial space conveniently located near air, truck, rail and marine transportation modes.” added Nate Demetsky, Vice Chairman, JLL. “The sheer scope of this urban infill project and the size of the future complex within Philadelphia’s city limits will enable its industrial users to meet the shifting future needs of companies across industries with unmatched labor availability. The project will fill a void in the Philadelphia market that has existed for decades, and the market response to date has been extremely positive, especially considering the attractive economic zone and tax benefits.”
Speaking to the Innovation Campus, Ron Cariola, Executive Managing Director, JLL, stated, “This portion of the park will be designed and built to create an environment where life sciences, technology, healthcare and higher education organizations can thrive and grow. We are thrilled to join the HRP team and our industrial partners!”
Andrew Chused, Chief Investment Officer for HRP, said, “We’re excited to commence the phase one construction at The Bellwether District and look forward to working with the JLL teams to attract world class tenants to the project. Future tenants at The Bellwether District will have an instrumental role in driving a lasting economic impact to Philadelphia and the region.”
The JLL team leading the industrial leasing effort includes Kossar, Demetsky, Larry Maister and Kyle Lockard. JLL’s David Knee, Jeff Lockard and Ignatius Armenia are providing regional support. The JLL team leading the Innovation Campus leasing effort includes Ron Cariola, Tyler Vandergrift and Joe Colletti.
The site was purchased by HRP out of bankruptcy in June 2020, and it has already created hundreds of jobs to handle millions of dollars of decommissioning work as part of a complex, multi-year redevelopment effort. The project is expected to generate 19,000 permanent jobs and $41 million in annual tax revenue.
For more news, videos and research resources, please visit JLL’s newsroom.
For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.9 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 105,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.
About Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP):
HRP is a vertically integrated real estate investment and redevelopment company that re-imagines, remediates, and redevelops obsolete industrial sites across the United States with a uniquely holistic approach to development that prioritizes economic, community and environmental sustainability. HRP's redevelopment expertise ranges from modern logistics and distribution facilities to urban, mixed-use projects, and innovation ecosystems. HRP strives to transform not only properties, but also the communities surrounding them through a comprehensive approach to community engagement, environmental sustainability, and economic development. HRP is part of the international financial services holding company Hilco Global which is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois (USA). HRP is the redevelopment firm responsible for transforming the 1,300-acre former Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery site in South and Southwest Philadelphia into The Bellwether District. For more information on The Bellwether District, please visit thebellwetherdistrict.com.