PHILADELPHIA, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania based developer O'Neill Properties Group will be joined by The Honorable Mayor Michael A. Nutter and various Philadelphia City Officials, representatives of The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation in the Grand Opening of the newly constructed Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market this Friday, March 25 at 1:30 pm.
"The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market is creating and preserving thousands of new jobs as well as fresh produce to the entire Greater Philadelphia region. It is a state-of-the-art facility and the only one of its kind in the nation right here in the city," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "I am delighted to celebrate this opening, which further demonstrates that Philadelphia is a smart choice for businesses."
The 667,000 square foot state-of the-art facility is nearly twice the size of the old facility and will be the first of its kind in the United States with a 100% fully refrigerated facility throughout the entire building. The new facility will prevent the cold chain from breaking from truck transport to loading docks to cold storage at the distribution center. The building is constructed of steel, concrete, and insulated metal panels that are five inches thick to maintain the required refrigeration. It will feature 228 enclosed and fully refrigerated 50-foot wide dock areas, 40 foot ceiling heights, a skylight running the length and width of the building to provide natural lighting, a central walking concourse open to the public, second floor office space with secure access, ten entrances to the building and one main entrance for the public. The project also includes an 18,000 square foot auxiliary building for recycling pallets and food.
"Our new Philadelphia facilities will enable the produce market to compete and win in the global economy," says Sonny DiCrecchio, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market. "We believe that this facility will be without equal, and as a result we will be able to grow our business, add new jobs, attract new distribution opportunities, and enable Philadelphia to set the worldwide standard for best practices in the food distribution industry. Less than five minutes from three major interstates – Interstate 95, 476, and 76 – as well as Philadelphia's International Airport, this new location enhances strategic distribution for all critical transportation methods including trucking, air freight, rail, and boat."
Twenty-six vendors will relocate into the new 68 units. Each unit is 30' wide and 140' feet long, and each vendor will have independent access and control of its own refrigeration. This will enable customized settings, adjustments due to seasonality, and the flexibility to distribute multiple types of food from a single facility.
The site was a former conglomeration of 5 junk and scrap yards. Essington Avenue Partners II (EAPII) entered into a voluntary agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection with remedial activities consisting of removal of all surface debris including 400,000 tires, scrap metal in the form of auto carcasses, trailers and buses.
J. Brian O'Neill, founder and chairman of O'Neill Properties, a national leader in brownfields redevelopment, commented "The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market will be the New York Stock Exchange of vegetables, fruit and produce trading in the world. We have provided a superior, high-tech facility that will put Philadelphia on the World Stage of produce."
The building is scheduled to open officially to both produce vendors and the public on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011.
ABOUT PHILADELPHIA REGIONAL PORT AUTHORITY The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has as its primary mission the enhancement of water-borne trade and commerce. PRPA was created by an act of the Pennsylvania legislature in 1989. As an organization committed to economic development and job creation, the Authority seeks to generate activity that will maximize port-related employment and revenues by promoting the use of the Philadelphia regional port system by Pennsylvania based industries. It is also committed to working in a cooperative spirit with other Delaware River port and City agencies to realize the potential of the regional port system. Port cargoes and the activity they generate are responsible for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania.
ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, a private, not-for-profit corporation, was created in 1958 by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Commerce Department of the City of Philadelphia to promote economic development and job creation throughout the City. PIDC provides financing programs and real estate products to business and developer client groups in all neighborhoods of Philadelphia.
ABOUT O'NEILL PROPERTIES GROUP
O'Neill Properties is a leading national real estate investment and development company headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa., which is developing a portfolio it currently values at over $1 billion. The company focuses on development of mixed-use; retail; Class A office space and luxury multi-family residential housing in the Northeast through the recycling and renovation of surplus brownfield industrial and military real estate. The portfolio includes significant residential, mixed-use, retail and commercial land development projects, which include the development of over 10,000 residential units, and when completed will increase the portfolio's value to more than $4 billion. O'Neill Properties has completed development of over 13 million square feet of office space, 700 apartments, and currently has over 2 million square feet of mixed-use and residential developments under construction.
SOURCE O'Neill Properties Group