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Supply Chain News: Planned Bronx Logistics Center to be Multi-Story, Provide Direct Rail Service


There will be Truck Ramps on First Three Floors, CSX Rail Spur from Nearby Yard

Fed. 26, 2020
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Real estate investment firm Turnbridge Equities has pulled together a 14.2-acre property in the South Bronx that will be used to build a multi-story distribution center that will enable truck loading on multiple levels and offer a rail transport service.

The planned four-story Bronx Logistics Center will be targeting shippers interested in a last-mile distribution facility, largely for efulfillment. It will offering direct tractor-trailer ramp access to three levels and van access to the fourth level. It will also offer rail spur, giving tenants an option to use CSX inbound service from the Oak Point Rail Yard not far away.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

The rail spur will enable tenants to receive rail cars of goods – largely imports – and bypass the heavy congestion many truck deliveries face in urban centers.

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That means the Bronx Logistics Center will be one of the very few DCs in the US to provide separate, dedicated truck ramps to multiple DC levels. The building will include 17 dock doors per floor, plus 14 drive-in ramps for vans and automobiles on the fourth level.

The 1.24-million-square-foot distribution facility will also be the largest multi-story distribution facility in the region and the only one that provides a rail transport option.

Turnbridge Equities expects to break ground this fall for a project estimated to cost some $700 million. The developer of course hopes to tap into the growing demand for distribution facilities near to urban markets to be able to meet ever faster deliveries, such as next day and even same day, with that pace of course set by Amazon.

Multi-story DCs, common in Asia, are starting to see activity in the US as companies look for urban warehouse space, with come with very high costs for land compared to normal facilities located in the suburbs or even further out. The Bronx project is the largest of six new multi-story warehouses in New York City either under construction or in the planning stages, though there are many multi-level warehouses built years ago that lack modern distribution amenities.

The rail spur will enable tenants to receive rail cars of goods – largely imports – and bypass the heavy congestion many truck deliveries face in urban centers. Freight cost might also be lower.

"As trucks clog the road and there's more traffic, people are going to look to logistics solutions that can solve that problem,” said Ryan Nelson, a Turnbridge managing principal. "And this is one of them.”

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Only about 5% of potential tenants now looking for space that direct rail service, according to real estate firm JLL But that low number may reflect a lack of knowledge about how it could work, or reflect a view that there is not much need for DCs with rail service in typical non-urban locations.

The number of train cars transported by barge from trains at New Jersey terminals to Brooklyn rose 25% between 2017 and 2018, according to the city's economic development corporation and the Wall Street Journal, signaling growing interet in non-truck routes.

"Ecommerce is growing not merely in volume but in sophistication, and its infrastructure must evolve to satisfy an unprecedented array of demands,” says Andrew Joblon, founder and other managing principal of Turnbridge.

"That's why Turnbridge is creating a truly state-of-the-art center, where tenants can move large inventories with the kind of efficiency that next-day and especially same-day delivery requires. Our objective is to raise the bar on what a logistics center must offer."

What do you think of these multi-story urban DCs? Winning idea or not? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.



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