Work In Progress

PhilaPort Distribution Center

A build-to-suit distribution center at the Port of Philadelphia

PhilaPort (The Port of Philadelphia) is an agency responsible for the management of port facilities along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, as well as strategic planning throughout the port district. In a competitive environment, PhilaPort identified a need for a build-to-suit distribution center comprising 200,000 square feet of dry storage, including 5,000 square feet of office space. The project is part of Pennsylvania’s $300 million (USD) investment in the Port Development Plan, which began in 2016.

NORR was engaged by the Lead Consultant, Pennoni, to provide architecture and interior design services to create maximum flexibility and efficiency. To realize the client vision, the team collaborated on site circulation, building location and stormwater retention that was most advantageous to the current project – and for a proposed future expansion of a refrigerated facility of a similar size. Selection of building materials considered durability and performance in keeping with modern warehouse construction systems used in the region. The design is visually interesting and scaled for the surrounding community.

When complete, the planned and proposed distribution centers will span 370,000 square-feet of dry and refrigerated storage. The envelope will consist of walls, floors and a roof designed for the required thermal performance of food storage. The 45-foot clear height warehouse can fit over 11,000 pallet positions at four-high, and will have 33 dock openings with seals, vehicle restraints, and hydraulic levelers to accommodate a range of truck heights, all covered by a continuous fixed canopy. The refrigerated area will have its own dock openings with plug-in stations for truck refrigeration units. The new modern facility will deliver on PhilaPort’s vision, while further supporting Philadelphia as an ideal destination for a wide variety of import products.

Project Details


Interior Design

370,000 SF (34,374 SM)

Date Completed
Spring 2021