Real Estate - Commercial

Another Rail Tenant Likely For Former Vertex Site, Broker Says

By Cece Nunn, posted May 20, 2020
The former site of Vertex Railcar Corp., which includes more than 500,000 square feet in five buildings, is up for lease. (Photo courtesy of Industrial Realty Group)
The former site of Vertex Railcar Corp., the failed rail car manufacturer that set up shop in Wilmington in 2014 before closing four years later, is available for lease.

The 68-acre property at 202 Raleigh St., with more than 500,000 square feet in five buildings, is being marketed as Wilmington Business Park by property owner Industrial Realty Group.

Vertex Railcar Corp., which never made it close to employing the 1,300 people it initially said it would, announced plans to close toward the end of 2018 and was the subject of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing last year.

CRRC Yangtze Co. Lt., a part-owner of Vertex Railcar Corp., was claiming nearly all of the $45.4 million in the petition, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. 

According to the latest filing in the Chapter 7 case, IRG’s claims from Vertex were resolved through an agreement with the case’s trustee that also released the property from its lease with the defunct manufacturer.

IRG began to market 202 Raleigh St. this month, said Onno Steger, senior vice president at IRG.

“It’s likely that a rail user will lease the site in the future," Steger said in an email Tuesday. "However, we are approaching all viable industrial tenants with requirements that closely match our space specifications and geography."

The property, which was home to Terex Cranes before Vertex, has 20 cranes, internal and direct rail service and an upgraded blast, paint and cure shop, according to marketing materials.

Its proximity to rail and the Port of Wilmington is a huge asset, Steger said.

"The site’s heavy power and rail infrastructure, coupled with port access has already drawn in multiple interested parties. Access to the Wilmington’s port has been of high priority to interested tenants," Steger said. "Over the years, IRG has built relationships with the port and local economic development teams. This helps potential tenants quickly understand that Wilmington is ripe for job creation and growth."

Steger said the site is move-in ready, and IRG would be open to discussing additional improvements.

"We have been in discussions with multiple interested parties," Steger said. "These negotiations are at various stages of the process, but we are cautiously optimistic that one of these deals will come to fruition."

He said the property is being marketed nationally and internationally, but the coronavirus pandemic might be holding up some viewings by potential tenants because of travel restrictions.

As for Vertex bankruptcy, a status report filed in February by the attorney for the trustee in the case stated that the trustee was continuing "to investigate -- based on limited information available to him and his professionals -- the Debtor, the Business, and critically, potential claims and causes of action that may be pursued for the benefit of the creditors.

"The Trustee expects this process may take more time than usual  ... given the absence of any schedules and statement of financial affairs."
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