Real estate broker seeing more activity from large square footage users in Southpointe

Michael Bradwell
Observer Reporter

A commercial real estate broker with longtime experience in leasing at Southpointe is seeing a wave of activity from large square-footage users over the past few months.

Kelley Hoover Heckathorne, director of brokerage for Burns Scalo Brokerage said last week the firm’s office building The Fountainhead, is 100 percent leased thanks to a recent 50,000 square-foot signing by Crown Castle. According to Heckathorne, Crown Castle, the manager of cellular telephone towers across North America, which is one of the largest tenants in Southpointe, leased 25,000 square feet on the top floor of the building and subleased another 25,000 square feet on another floor.

Heckathorne, who places companies for landlords of 10 different buildings in the park, was also able to place natural gas exploration and production leader EQT in 30,000 square feet at 400 Woodcliff Drive in Southpointe II. The space was formerly Rice Energy’s office.

EQT, which earlier this month completed its merger with Rice Energy, now occupies all of the space in Southpointe previously held by Rice, including Rice’s former headquarters building in the Zenith Ridge development in Southpointe II.

“Southpointe is seeing a lot of activity for large users,” Heckathorne said. “This absorption of space is a positive for the real estate market.”

While oil and gas companies were leading the rush for space in the Cecil Township business park a few years ago, then cut back their space requirements with the downturn in natural gas, Heckathorne said last week that the demand for space is coming from across the spectrum of companies, including energy companies that are now appearing as the industry has experienced a turnaround.

“I do see companies (seeking space) from all different industries,” she said, adding that the three-building Zenith Ridge campus that Burns & Scalo built a few years ago has only one 30,000 square-foot floor remaining, with four different companies currently expressing interest in it.

Heckathorne also reported that several technology companies are also looking for space in Southpointe.

“There’s more to come,” she said.