Camber, AIG Buy Greater Philadelphia Industrial Portfolio

Natixis backed the purchase of the 1.2 million square feet in Bucks County and Southern New Jersey with a $69.5 million loan.
200 Rittenhouse Circle. Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

Camber Real Estate Partners, in partnership with AIG, has purchased a 1.2 million-square-foot, 25-building light industrial portfolio across Southern New Jersey and Bucks County, Penn., from Whitesell Co., according to public records. The buyers received a $69.5 million acquisition loan from Natixis, marking Camber’s second collaboration with the French corporate and investment bank.

CBRE National Partners closed the sale on behalf of the seller, while Cushman & Wakefield acted as exclusive advisor for the buyers in the placing of the floating-rate financing.

Located near interstates 95 and 295, the mix of distribution facilities and light industrial properties is more than 96.8 percent leased to a diverse tenant roster with a weighed average tenure of more than 10 years. Records indicate some of the properties involved in the transaction include:

  • the 156,120-square-foot 200 Rittenhouse Circle in Bristol, Pa.,
  • the 66,000-square-foot 501 Sharptown Road in Swedesboro, N.J.,
  • the 188,533-square-foot 2115 High Hill Road in Bridgeport, N.J., and
  • the 57,680-square-foot  2079 Center Square Road, also in Bridgeport.

Investing in the COVID-19 era

The CBRE team facilitating the disposition included Michael Hines, Brian Fiumara, Brad Ruppel and Liam Fahey. John Alascio, Sridhar Vankayala, Chuck Kohaut, TJ Sullivan and Meredith Donovan made up the Cushman & Wakefield Equity, Debt & Structured Finance team representing the borrower.

“The acquisition adds to the already robust industrial portfolio that Camber and AIG have built over the last decade. They continue to buy well-located assets in the path of growth across the Northeast,” Alascio, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, told Commercial Property Executive.

In the midst of last year’s e-commerce-driven boom, AIG traded one its Class A New Jersey office assets in a $140 million August deal. The multinational finance and insurance corporation, represented by Cushman & Wakefield, sold the nearly 470,700-square-foot property in Woodbridge Township, N.J. to Opal Holdings.

Industrial market health

According to the latest national industrial report from CommercialEdge, U.S. rents averaged $6.44 per square foot in January, a 5.1 percent increase year-over-year, while vacancy was 6 percent. Within the Philadelphia market, rents were lower at $6 per square foot, with vacancy slightly elevated at 6.7 percent.

New Jersey rents in January were nearly a dollar higher than the U.S. average, clocking in at $7.34. The state’s 3.9 percent vacancy rate is well below the national average and the third lowest in the markets analyzed within the report. Although New Jersey has a more dated industrial stock compared to many emerging markets, demand for newer assets has driven Class A rents significantly higher than the market average. Southern New Jersey vacancy rates in the last quarter of 2020 averaged 2.8 percent, according to JLL.

As for supply, Philadelphia’s planned and under construction stock represented 7.5 percent of the market’s overall stock, nearly 2 percent higher than the country’s 5.4 percent. In New Jersey on the other hand, the figure was 3.6 percent, which, coupled with the asset class’ low vacancy and high desirability, could signal a demand for fresh supply.

Dermody Properties is one of the investors currently betting on the Southern New Jersey industrial market. The company is developing a three-building, 1.2 million-square-foot logistics park in Woolwich Township. Construction is set to start this spring.