The second quarter was a bit of a mixed bag for eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey industrial. Though regional vacancy rates took a tumble during the first two quarters of the year while asking rents jumped a bit from the end of 4Q 2016, a disappointing net absorption of 11.5 million square feet was off from last year’s breathtaking levels, and investors sought value-added properties when faced with a disheartening dearth of investment-grade offerings.

Even as robots continue to steal human jobs, the market still saw a noticeable increase in manufacturing requirements, as tenants expand existing facilities or consolidate multi-state operations into a single efficient location.

The region’s submarkets enjoyed vacancy rate decreases across the board, with northeast Pennsylvania rebounding strongly, but Philadelphia County’s older industrial space was devoured by irksome residential developments. Those residents craving the heartiest potatoes and crunchiest carrots are in luck, as Del Monte Fresh Produce purchased what will be the company’s largest flagship distribution center in New Castle County, Delaware, and suburban Pennsylvania is growing chillier as U.S. Cold Storage adds 200,000 square feet to its 400,000-square-foot facility in Quakertown.

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