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Stoltz targets Amazon for New Castle warehouse

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Stoltz Picard Warehouse Amazon Wilmington Airport New Castle Delaware

Stoltz Real Estate Partners is developing this $100 million warehouse near the Wilmington Airport and hopes to sign Amazon as its tenant. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

NEW CASTLE – A Pennsylvania-based developer is seeking to land Amazon as the tenant for a $100 million warehouse near Wilmington Airport.

Stoltz Real Estate Partners, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., is nearing completion of an 890,348-square-foot warehouse near the intersection of U.S. Route 13 and Route 273, but hasn’t publicly identified a tenant yet.

During a Wednesday hearing of the state’s Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund (TIIF) board, where Stoltz was applying for additional state support for the project, officials revealed that they are hopeful that Amazon will fill the space.

The two already have a relationship, as Amazon leased a more than 1 million-square-foot facility at the Stoltz-developed Blue Diamond Park just to the south. The e-commerce giant already has four fulfillment centers and two delivery stations in operation in Delaware, making it the fourth largest employer here with more than 7,000 workers.

Shawn Tucker, land use attorney from Barnes & Thornburg, said additional state funds could help Stoltz negotiate a lease with Amazon. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

Stoltz has reportedly responded to a new request for proposal (RFP) from Amazon that seeks additional distribution space in the region, and the firm expects to hear back soon about its outcome, according to Shawn Tucker, a land use attorney with Barnes & Thornburg who represents Stoltz in Delaware.

“We have reason to believe – after going through a pretty extensive RFP process – that we will be in negotiations in the very near future,” he told the TIIF board.

Should Amazon select the site, negotiations on rent would begin fairly soon, and Stoltz was seeking assurance Wednesday that it would receive additional state funding support to bargain successfully. The firm has estimated that Amazon could bring 225 new jobs to the site.

The TIIF board has already allocated $2.5 million to an entity developing the site, KSIP Piccard, that is jointly owned by Stoltz and Prudential Insurance to assist in roadway and utility improvements around the site. Stoltz sought an additional $2.9 million for the project to make additional upgrades to the surrounding road network.

“My client’s ability to know how low they can go in terms of rent is critical to a competitive lease negotiation, and to increase the probability that we will be selected and bring this potential user to the site,” Tucker told the TIIF board.

Some members of the TIIF board, which includes elected officials and appointed business and civic leaders, expressed concern about granting the additional funding, leading them to approve it with a contingency that a signed lease agreement be acquired before the additional funding could be allocated.

“We are engaged with Amazon, and we’d love to see something happen with Amazon, but it may not happen,” said Mike Hagan, a Stoltz executive. “But there are other prospects and to reinforce that we actually had a tour from another prospect through the building yesterday.

“It’s not a question of whether it will lease, it’s a question of when it will lease.”

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