YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Demand for industrial real estate is on the rise in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, fueled by expansions and a healthy manufacturing sector.
“The steel market has been very strong over here,” says Mark Black, a real estate agent for Berkshire Hathaway. “It seems that a lot of businesses want to buy buildings right now – before interest rates go up.”
Much of the demand is from local companies looking to add more space to expand their product lines, according to Black. “I’ve sold some large properties, but most of it has been existing companies buying buildings,” he says.
Mercer County also is attracting significant new projects, Black says. Among the larger initiatives is the FedEx Ground distribution center coming to Hermitage. He acted as the sales agent for a portion of the 65-acre site near the Interstate 376 ramp and state Route 18.
Preliminary work is underway at the site, reports Rod Wilt, executive director of Penn Northwest Development Corp.
“Land prices have already climbed near the FedEx site,” he says.
The 250,000-square-foot distribution center is expected to be operating by 2023.
Wilt points out that Mercer County’s industrial corridor is also witnessing some activity.
He reports a party recently closed on the purchase of the former Sharon Tube site in Sharon. One of the buildings is completely cleaned out and is being prepared for future commercial use. “It could be a great distribution facility,” he says.
Gary Dovey, vice president of business development at Penn-Northwest says demand has accelerated in other industrial areas in the county.
“Recently, BPI Minerals occupied the former Trinity South site in Greenville,” he says. The Pittsburgh-based recycling and minerals processing operation is new to Mercer County.
Wilt says that Penn Northwest is working with another potential tenant in the hardwoods industry for a 100-acre site at the Greenville-Reynolds Industrial Park in Greenville.
“There are also two potential developers for land near Exit 15 off of Interstate 80 in Mercer County,” Wilt says.
Pictured at top: Mercer County is attracting significant new projects including the FedEx Ground distribution center in Hermitage, Pa.