[caption id="attachment_221485" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] On the 51 acres on the west end of Middletown, Birchwood Capital Partners and Curated Development Group are looking to build a half-million-square-foot warehouse. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
MIDDLETOWN — Birchwood Capital Partners and Curated Development Group are looking to build a 567,000-square-foot industrial warehouse in Middletown, another sign how the growing community is catching developers’ attention.The warehouse, currently dubbed “Project Blue Hen,” at 929 Warwick Road will be right at the foot of the U.S. Route 301 interchange on the west end of Middletown. Preliminary plans show 424 parking spaces as well as 200 trailer spaces.Birchwood Capital Partners President and CEO David Strouse told the Delaware Business Times that the project was still in the conceptual stage and declined to comment.Based in Baltimore, Birchwood Capital Partners was founded in 2010 and works with a select client base, including some of the largest development companies in the Mid-Atlantic region. The boutique real estate investment banking firm has completed over $750 million of new deals for a total of $1.5 billion in total transaction volume in the last decade.Birchwood Capital Partners has also closed debt and equity transactions with more than 25 lenders, institutional partners and private investors.
[caption id="attachment_221483" align="alignleft" width="300"] Project Blue Hen is planned at the foot of the U.S. Route 301 interchange. Plans for tenants are in the speculative stafe. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DELAWARE PLANNING LAND USE SERVICES[/caption]
The firm’s real estate investment includes the Dover Town Center, a 125,000-square-foot shopping center, as well as stores and apartments in Baltimore as well as a luxury condominium in Florida.Meanwhile, Curated Development Group was established in 2017 by Harris Lopato. The development group looks to develop raw land or buy existing “value-add and opportunistic commercial and residential types,” according to its website. Curated has developed 1.5 million square feet to date.This marks the second investment that Birchwood Capital and Curative have teamed up on in the last year. In August 2021, the partnership filed plans to build a 2 million-square-foot warehouse in Hagerstown, Md.Project Blue Hen has entered the state’s planning process after Dermody Properties, the developer of the enormous Amazon distribution center at the former GM Boxwood plant, dropped its plans, called “Project Brynn,” for the parcel.Dermody had submitted plans to the town to build a 181,000-square-foot distribution/employment center there, with specifications that appeared closely like a delivery center.The land is owned by farmer Richard P. Money, who owns much of the farmland bordering the southwestern edge of the town. He has spent the last few years successfully petitioning annexation of parcels into the town to tap into the infrastructure necessary to develop them.With the construction of U.S. 301 bypass, industrial development and warehouses have been catching the interest of developers in recent years. Middletown was home to the first Amazon fulfillment center in Delaware, and Breakthru Beveragesrecently opened its Delaware warehouse on Levels Road.Last year, Ocean Atlantic Companies, the real estate investment arm of prolific Sussex County home builder Schell Brothers, had sale contracts for two sizable parcels near the Jamison Corner Road interchange on 301. One deal was to sell the former Scott Run Commerce Center parcel, located southeast of the interchange, to Kennedy International, a housewares import company based out of New Jersey. The other deal would sell a 229-acre parcel to Dermody. Together, the projects could bring more than 4 million square feet of industrial space to the market.
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