CenterPoint Properties Buys 1 MSF B&N Distribution Center in NJ

CenterPoint Properties has purchased Barnes & Noble's 1.15 million-square-foot primary distribution facility located in Monroe Twp., N.J., for $83 million from a pension fund advisory firm.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

CenterPoint Properties has purchased a 1.15 million-square-foot industrial facility located in Monroe Twp., N.J., for $83 million from a pension fund advisory firm.

Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. represented both parties in the transaction.

“If you’re looking to put dollars out to build an industrial presence in New Jersey and you’re doing it one deal at a time, the average deal size is $8-$20 million so the ability to get out $83 million in one transaction is fairly compelling,” Gary Gabriel, Cushman & Wakefield’s executive vice president of the Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group, told Commercial Property Executive. “The metrics were compelling for CenterPoint.”

The Class A industrial facility was constructed in 2005 and currently serves as bookseller Barnes & Noble’s primary distribution center. According to Gabriel, the tenant invested nearly $100 million into the building so it has all the bells and whistles of a modern distribution center. From the site, Barnes & Noble distributes books, electronics, toys and games to more than 700 stores nationwide, and to e-commerce customers internationally. It features 39-foot clear ceilings, 115 loading doors, a full-service cafeteria, and a fitness center for the 800 on-site employees.

The property is situated on 73 acres at Exit 8A of the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95), approximately 35 minutes from the Port of Newark/Elizabeth, and can accommodate an expansion of up to 100,800 square feet.

“The seller had been through a good life cycle with the investment. They had collected a very solid return on the lease that was in place when they bought it and I think it worked for them from a time perspective to monetize,” Gabriel said. “CenterPoint has been very interested in expanding their footprint in the New Jersey market and they were compelled in that regard.”

According to Gabriel, the market is showing that “bigger is better” and it’s been that way for the last 24-36 months with larger spaces being leased aggressively.

“This was a unique opportunity that drew solid interest,” Gabriel said. “The transaction evidences the fact that investors are willing to accept large single-asset/tenant exposure to industrial in New Jersey.”

Barnes & Noble’s lease currently runs through 2020.

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