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Chesapeake Real Estate Group Lands Best Buy For 500K SF Warehouse Lease

A rendering of the 500K SF warehouse leased to Best Buy at Chesapeake Real Estate Group's Brandon Woods III complex

The Baltimore area is getting a much-needed infusion of modern distribution space, but it may not be available for long.

Chesapeake Real Estate Group purchased the 259-acre Brandon Woods III site within the Brandon Wood Business Park in Anne Arundel County last year from Constellation Real Estate. Soon after, Chesapeake and development partner EverWest Real Estate Investors broke ground on a 500K SF speculative warehouse, the largest in the county's history. On Tuesday, the developer announced that the warehouse has been leased to Best Buy as it reaches 90% completion.

Best Buy will occupy the building in the spring of 2019, consolidating operations from four smaller facilities spread out along the Baltimore-Washington Corridor and employing an estimated 200 workers. The facility with 36-foot clearance will be used for the distribution and repair of larger appliances as part of the company's continuing efforts to focus on its supply chain from online sales to stores — efforts that have proven fruitful in recent years.

Making use of the B-W Corridor's proximity to the Port of Baltimore and BWI Airport, Chesapeake and its development partner EverWest Real Estate Investors are planning around 1M SF of total warehouse space at Brandon Woods III. The second building in that plan, a 340K SF warehouse, will commence immediately, Chesapeake partner Matt Laraway said in a statement.

A third warehouse, planned for 150K SF, is in the design phase and is estimated to be completed in the middle of next year. Completing Brandon Woods III will be an 80K to 100K SF center. No tenants have been announced for any of the three forthcoming buildings, which have also been initiated on spec.

The location advantage of the B-W Corridor has driven industrial rents up in recent months, and modern space has been in short supply. Chesapeake building one of the largest distribution complexes in the area's history, only to see half of it snapped up within a year, speaks to the ravenous demand for such space.