The long closed Bradlees building in Stratford NJ has been sold to Velocity Ventures, which is a Philadelphia area real estate investment firm that focuses on redeveloping buildings for warehouse and industrial uses.
The connected shopping center (Goodwill) and out-parcel buildings (Dollar General) are NOT part of this transaction.
For the former Bradlees building, the new buyer will focus on completely rebuilding the building… effectively making it new again, and will then start the process to find lease tenants.
Previously the building was expected to be used by Camden County for offices, but that was not considered a preferred alternative by Stratford town leaders. County ownership of the building would’ve meant no property tax dollars to Stratford for the building and property… while in the case of Velocity Ventures, they are privately owned.
The added 42Freeway twist is one of the two founders of Velocity Ventures is Tony Grelli who is from Washington Township! His extended family have been owners of the iconic Duffield’s Farm for multiple generations.
And while that is an awesome side-story on its own, are you ready for this?
Velocity Ventures has over 100 properties totaling 8,000,000 square feet of space in their portfolio… and cofounders Tony Grelli and Zach Moore aren’t even 30 years old yet!
Some may have been hoping for retail uses of the space, but it’s clear that traditional “brick-and-mortar” stores are on a rapid decline, and this building has been empty for decades. Honestly time to admit we’ve hit the stage of the global economic timeline that says… this project is likely a good thing in 2023. Plus, it will keep other new buildings from being developed.
An awesome redevelopment story, and another amazing Washington Township resident success story! Keep scrolling and reading for more!
Velocity Ventures – Bradlees Building Stratford NJ
The first thing locals are going to ask is ”well who is moving in? What will it be used for?”
There are no answers to those questions at this time other than the new owner targets industrial and warehouse uses.
Yesterday I spoke to cofounder Tony Grelli who tells me the key model for their business is to buy underused properties that are typically in need of upgrades, fully rebuild them with everything needed to make it basically a brand new building, and then look for tenants to lease the space.
Tony’s belief is that when properties become neglected for years and run down like the Bradlees building in Stratford, it’s tough for even sophisticated commercial buyers to see past the neglect and work needed to bring the building back to life… so others keep walking away from these types of projects.
But that’s exactly where Velocity Ventures shines… it’s their “wheelhouse”. Velocity has the vision to see past the neglect, and has the talent to achieve that vision.
Tony also says they were attracted to the Stratford property for a variety of reasons, including that basically across the street is the large Lindenwold Patco train station.
He believes that the convenient transportation access of the train will be perfect for employees looking to work for the future tenants of the Stratford building.
The extended Stratford area of Camden County is also already well developed, so new warehouse space for industrial, last-mile or other uses can be hard for tenants to find… and he expects that to be another plus for the building in finding tenants.
Tony also likes to call out that his company focuses on upgrading and retrofitting existing buildings. Every upgraded and converted existing building likely keeps another new building from being developed elsewhere in places such as farmlands or woods.
Specific to the Stratford building his company just acquired, following their winning gameplan they will be doing a complete rebuild of the building. Full clean-out the property. New roof. New utility services. New surfaces and walls where needed. Whatever it takes to make the building new again.
They will even be removing the old signature bump-out façade of the building (which goes back to the Jefferson Ward days), and in its place the front of the building will have 10 to 15 loading docks
it will effectively be a brand new building, targeting industrial (warehouse and other) uses. A blank white canvas.
And then Velocity will market the building for companies to lease.
Due to the building’s configuration being rectangular, it will also be easy for Velocity to subdivide the building to suit smaller tenants. Adding interior walls to partition the space or even adding office areas to support the new tenant, are easy to add once a tenant lease is signed.
I suggested to Tony that it sounds somewhat similar to “home flippers” who find a run down, neglected home in a good neighborhood… put significant money into upgrading the home and then find tenants.
He agreed with that analogy but in the case of Velocity Ventures and their commercial projects, they hold on to the properties and lease them out to tenants.
Velocity Ventures – Top Commercial Deal Makers At Any Age
So I mentioned previously that they have over 8 million square feet of space in their portfolio.
Tony, his co-founder partner Zach Moore and team have quickly become experts in the business model, creating this large portfolio in just a few short years.
Just three months ago the Philadelphia Business Journal identified them out as Rising Stars of the year… in the entire Philadelphia market!
One of the projects called out in that article was the high profile acquisition of two large buildings in Philadelphia which are home to the Cardone auto parts manufacturer. The cost of that purchase was $22.25 million!
They also own the 600,000 square foot former manufacturing plant of Aluminum Shapes, which they paid $32 million for it after winning a strong bidding war.
And to think these guys are really only getting started!
Links and Locations
Former Bradlees Stratford – Velocity Ventures
222 S White Horse Pike
Stratford, NJ 08084