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Kraus Development buys Seaford business park for $1.7M

Katie Tabeling

Venture Business Center has six buildings, each with 5,000 square feet. Kraus Development plans to maintain tenants and develop an undeveloped plot of land on site. | PHOTO COURTESY OF SVN | MILLER COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE.

SEAFORD — A Baltimore-based development and commercial property firm has bought the Venture Business Center outside of Seaford, marking its first entry into the Delaware market.

Kraus Development of Baltimore bought the complex from Penco Corporation owner Kent Peterson for $1.7 million, according to Sussex County land records. SVN-Miller Commercial Real Estate’s Tom Knopp represented Peterson in the deal.

Kraus Development owns properties in Maryland and Delaware, including industrial space in Aberdeen, Md., and several complexes in Salisbury, Md. Kraus Development Property Manager Christina Donahue said the company was able to pick up various properties in Salisbury, including an office and warehouse complex off Naylor Mill Road in 2019.

Since the sale, Kraus Development has invested in redeveloping the property, including a parking lot and landscaping. Donahue said the Naylor Mill Road complex is almost completely occupied.

“Our goal is to keep small businesses in business in Salisbury, and we hope to do that in Seaford as well,” Donahue told the Delaware Business Times. “Seaford is a nice area, and personally, we love working with our tenants.”

The Venture Business Center includes six 5,000 square-foot warehouses that are fully leased, although one unnamed tenant is soon to move out. Current tenants include Brink’s transport guard; Ditch Witch underground equipment dealer; plastic molding company Polytechnic; poultry equipment company K Supply and WH Metcalfe.

“With one tenant moving out, we’re looking at a medical device company moving in in July. We can’t say too much about it at this point,” Donahue said.

The business center also has a vacant parcel that can support another 5,000 square-foot warehouse. Kraus Development is bullish on realizing the land’s full potential and leasing it out when ready.

Kraus Development owns several residential properties in southern Delaware, but Venture Business Park marks the first commercial space in the First State. It is too early to say if this is the start of the developer’s expansion into Delaware.

“We’re waiting to see what happens. It’s uncertain right now how far this can go, but Seaford does have potential for us, and its close location to Salisbury just makes sense,” Donahue said. “We’re looking forward to the future.”

Knopp said that Kraus Development was the winning bid out of seven offers. Seaford is becoming a hot market for medium to small companies, or groups that specialize in managing property for those companies.

“Seaford checks a lot of boxes, including for the buyer. You’re seeing a lot of small companies looking for 5,000 to 3,000 square-feet space,” Knopp said. “This buyer really wanted to replicate their success they’ve had in the Salisbury metro area over the last 20 years, and Seaford is an established place for them to do that.”

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