NAI Global Opens West Virginia Panhandle Office


NAI Global Opens West Virginia Panhandle Office to Tap Real Estate Opportunities in Marcelles and Utica Shale Country

Bryce Custer, SIOR, CCIM, MRICS and Managing Director of NAI Ohio River Corridor announced the establishment of a new commercial real estate services firm focused on serving the site selection and commercial real estate requirements associated with the emerging petrochemical and energy services industries in West Virginia, Southwestern Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

The new firm is part of NAI Global, a leading global commercial real estate brokerage firm with over 400 offices worldwide. The new NAI office is in Weirton, West Virginia, in the upper Ohio River Valley and about 36 miles due west from Pittsburgh, PA and 86 miles southwest of Canton. NAI Ohio River Corridor is affiliated with NAI Spring in Canton.

“The Marcellus and Utica shale formation has created thousands of jobs and billions of dollars for infrastructure investments in the Tri-State area and it is only the tip of the iceberg,” says Custer. “There are billions more of private equity being invested in production plants now and it is creating many opportunities to repurpose aging and shuttered manufacturing facilities into new gas and plastics processing plants. Further, with manufacturing and job creation, it is spurring demand for other commercial real estate product types in addition to industrial facilities, including hotels, retail and offices,” Custer added.

Last year Custer completed a sale/leaseback involving the Calgary, Alberta natural gas and reciprocating gas compression, equipment and services company Bidell, which leased a 100,000-square-foot industrial facility in Weirton. In that transaction, Frontier Industrial bought the property from the Luxembourg-based steel conglomerate, ArcelorMittal, then leased the facility to Bidell.

Custer is currently working on numerous commercial real estate projects, including developing a 40+-acre site for potential big box retail in Carroll County, Ohio and re-purposing a former school in Newell, West Virginia. The Newell project involves remodeling a 33,000-square-foot facility into a mixed-use office/warehouse/apartment property that the owner anticipates leasing to energy companies associated with the $6 billion Royal Dutch Shell ethane plant the company is building in nearby Monaca, PA. In addition to Custer, NAI Ohio River Corridor’s team of real estate advisors is comprised of Laurie Stanbro and Leon McCombs. The office administrator is Julie Shaffer.

A recent study by West Virginia University found the creation of Shell’s ethane storage hub could lead to 100,000 permanent jobs and over $35 billion in total investment.

The size of the Marcellus and Utica shale field is massive and not surprisingly, driving demand for commercial real estate throughout the entire region. The shale field extends from the very southern border of West Virginia where the state borders western Virginia and eastern Kentucky, up through the eastern half of Ohio, it covers two-thirds of Pennsylvania and about half of New York State, including all of western New York.

“Oil and gas has been the story in southwestern Pennsylvania for several years now,” says Nicole DeLuca, Principal with NAI Pittsburgh, the NAI Global office that has served Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania for years. “The energy services industry has substantially increased demand for trucking and maintenance facilities for the rigs. It has spurred competition for flat land, or “lay down” areas adjacent to industrial buildings for companies to park the large rigs and to house their oversized products. And of course it has generated demand for traditional commercial space – retail, warehouse, multifamily and some offices,” she says.


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