[caption id="attachment_234265" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Burris Logistics sold its New Castle cold-storage warehouse to Lineage Logistics this month. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
NEW CASTLE – Lineage Logistics, a Michigan-based real estate investment firm and logistics company, is quietly becoming a significant player in Delaware’s cold-storage warehousing market after acquiring Burris Logistics’ New Castle warehouse this month.Burris’ 135,000-square-foot facility in the CenterPoint Business Complex off Route 273 was bought for $9.45 million, according to county land records. It has 24 dock doors and more than 9,000 pallet positions.It was just a part of Lineage’s deal with Milford-based Burris that included seven other cold-storage facilities in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Oklahoma and Wisconsin for a total of nearly 1.3 million square feet of capacity. The total terms of the deal were not disclosed in an Oct. 3 announcement.Lineage has previously acquired two other Burris facilities on the East Coast in recent years.“This deal represents the trust we have built and the track record we have delivered across our longstanding relationship with Burris, which is demonstrative of Lineage being the industry’s acquirer of choice,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, president and CEO of Lineage, said in a statement announcing the deal. “As with our previous acquisitions from Burris, these complementary locations and their supremely dedicated team members will further fuel Lineage’s fierce customer-driven approach and serve our vision to become the world’s most dynamic temperature-controlled logistics company.”Founded in 2008 on the back of private equity firm Bay Grove Capital, Lineage has grown to acquire more than 100 cold-storage warehouses around the world and become the largest global company in the niche market. Today, Lineage operates over 400 facilities in 20 countries with nearly 20,000 employees.It serves customers across the food and perishable industries from Fortune 500 companies to growing regional food producers, and the Burris deal will bolster Lineage’s direct-to-consumer fulfillment services.The Burris warehouse is Lineage’s second facility in Delaware after it acquired MTC Logistics last year, and with it a more tha200,000-square-foot cold-storage warehouse near the Port of Wilmington. It means that Lineage now controls half of the First State’s cold-storage warehouses.The warehousing niche has been seeing growing demand by investors, however, with 39% of investors expressing interest in the industry in CBRE’s 2022 Investor Intentions Survey – up from 7% in 2019.Cold-storage warehousing is considerably more expensive to build than regular warehousing because of the industrial chillers and insulation required to keep refrigerated or even subzero temperatures in a space. Those costs usually lead to higher asking rents and longer leases though, providing some job stability for local markets.Notably, it will soon see new competition when Agile Cold Storage opens a new 265,000-square-foot facility in Claymont next year.For Burris – once one of the largest private companies in Delaware – the deal with Lineage marks a divestment from the cold-storage space after it had built a network of sites stretching to the Midwest. The company founded by the Burris family dates its roots back to 1925 and has served clients including BJ's Wholesale, Acme, Superfresh, and more.Burris’s remaining portfolio will primarily consist of Honor Foods, its foodservice redistribution company, and Trinity Logistics, its freight solutions provider.