Oat-milk producer Oatly plans to open research-and-development labs for its North American operations at the Frankford Arsenal, the sprawling onetime munitions factory in the city’s Bridesburg section.
The Malmo, Sweden-based firm has a lease for 6,000 square feet at the property now owned by investment firm Alliance HSP of Bryn Mawr, according to real estate firm Colliers International, which helped negotiate the deal.
Oatly, whose oat milk is an increasingly popular dairy alternative for coffee drinks and other uses, currently has corporate offices for its North American business in New York and a factory in Millville, N.J., with another production plant underway in Ogden, Utah.
At the Bridesburg location, Oatly will explore “new concepts that use oat milk,” said Matt Handel, an Alliance vice president.
Alliance, whose other projects include the Fifth and Spring Garden Streets site that’s now home to Yards Brewing Co. and a Target store, acquired its six-building, 208,000-square-foot section of the Arsenal property in late 2017 and has been retrofitting the former factory for light-industrial and office use.
It also recently signed engineering firm Singularis Solutions for a 3,200-square-foot lease at the property, Handel said. Singularis, which specializes in medical, aerospace, and automotive industries, is moving from existing offices near Fishtown.
After the Oatly and Singularis deals, Alliance’s Arsenal property is now about 30% leased, Handel said. Other tenants include Oat Foundry, an engineering-and-design firm known for its retro split-flap signs, and Imperial Yeast, a producer of liquid yeast for commercial and home breweries.