Why Milanaik is confident his 1.4M sq. ft. offering in Phillipsburg will go quickly

Bridge partner says size of Bridge Point offering is nice — but its speed to market may be bigger differentiator

Jeff Milanaik knows industrial buildings of more than 1 million square feet are hard to find.

“If you look at opportunities in that size ranging from the Delaware Bridge up to North Jersey and out to Pennsylvania, there may only be a handful available,” he said.

But that’s only one of the reasons that Milanaik is confident he’ll quickly lease the 1,408,200-square-foot building he’s putting up on spec as part of Phase II of Bridge Point 78 in Phillipsburg.

Timing, he said, is everything now.

Milanaik, the head of Bridge Development Partners’ Northeast Region, said companies are more concerned with when the building will be delivered than its actual size.

“Speed to market is dictating location in many cases, now,” he said. “We saw that when we were finishing up Phase I.

“Several customers we talked to said it was more important than exact size. If someone wanted 800 square feet, but I had a 600-square-foot building I could deliver in their timeframe, they took a really hard look at it, because just being in the market sooner than later is often more important than exact size.”

Phase II, which is part of the state-of-the art industrial campus, will total 1,670,700 square feet. A second building, at 262,500 square feet, also is scheduled to go up. Both Class A facilities will feature 36- to 40-foot clear heights, single and cross-docked loading configurations and ample parking for both trucks and cars.

Work at the 100-acre site will begin in December 2020. Milanaik said Bridge expects vertical construction to begin this summer, with plans to fully deliver in the first quarter of 2022.

The only question: One building or two?

Milanaik, who said he expects to lease the bigger building by the end of the year, said he will have to see what parking requirements are needed. He’s currently talking to companies in three verticals: retail, e-commerce and retail with an e-commerce component.

“We have to wait to see what kind of parking requirement a user for the 1.4 may need,” he said. “I’d like to build both but, on the other hand, if somebody needs more trailer storage or something, that will be something we have to work out.”

Finding tenants? That won’t be a problem. He’s got what everyone is looking for: speed to market.

“It’s unique to the last year,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

The tenants will complement those in Phase I — Japanese clothing manufacturer and retailer UNIQLO, lawn care manufacturer ScottsMiracle-Gro and leading beverage distributor Mark Anthony Brands — aided in solidifying Phillipsburg and the surrounding rural region of New Jersey as a prominent logistics hub with strong potential for continued growth.

Bridge sold Phase I to PGIM Real Estate for $275 million in October.

Between Phase I and Phase II, the Bridge Point 78 complex will consist of six Class A buildings totaling 3.86 million square feet.

It’s what Milanaik envisioned for the property.

“Phase I of this project was a tremendous success, and we’re eager to see the same positive response from national and global companies looking for a headquarters-quality warehousing facility as part of Phase II,” he said.

“Bridge sees this project as an opportunity to expand our work transforming this rural region of New Jersey into one of the most active logistics hubs in the country, and, with construction underway, we look forward to turning that vision to reality.”