JLLIPT Buys 442 KSF, Class A Industrial Building in Joliet, Ill.

A 442,484-square-foot, Class A industrial building in the I-80 corridor of Joliet, Ill., attracted numerous bidders when its institutional seller put it on the market, but Jones Lang LaSalle Income Property Trust came away with the fully leased distribution center at 3500 Corporate Drive.

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A 442,484-square-foot, Class A industrial building in the I-80 corridor of Joliet, Ill., attracted numerous bidders when its institutional seller put it on the market, but Jones Lang LaSalle Income Property Trust came away with the fully leased distribution center at 3500 Corporate Drive.

The Joliet purchase was one of two the REIT made in July for a total of $59 million. It also acquired a new, fully-leased, build-to-suit warehouse in Northeast Atlanta’s I-85 corridor.

“This core offering attracted a great deal of interest,” Michael Tenteris, a member of the Cushman & Wakefield Capital Markets team in Chicago that arranged the Joliet sale, said in a news release from the commercial real estate services firm. “We had a deep pool of aggressive bidders, demonstrating that there is plenty of liquidity in the I-80 submarket for high quality assets.”

James Carpenter of the Capital Markets team and C&W industrial specialists Jason West and Sean Henrick also represented the unidentified institutional seller in Illinois.

“There continues to be heavy interest in this market’s best quality industrial assets,” Tenteris said. “While we are seeing Class B properties coming on the market, there is not a lot of Class A product becoming available. When a Class A asset like Southfield Business Center is offered, there is no shortage of buyers.”

The distribution center, located about 40 miles southwest of Chicago at the intersection of I-80 and I-55, was built in 2005 and recently upgraded. It features 30-foot ceiling heights and has 12,500 square feet of office space. The 20.56-acre site offers the opportunity for future parking expansion.

The Southfield Business Center warehouse is fully leased to Homax Products and Johnstone Supply, Inc. A separate release from Jones Lang LaSalle Income Property Trust, a non-listed REIT managed by LaSalle Investment Management, Inc., noted that the tenants have weighted average remaining lease terms of approximately six years. Jones Lang LaSalle Income Property Trust, which released the purchase price, estimated the capitalization rate at approximately 6.3 percent.

“This investment adds diversification to our industrial property portfolio while allowing us to achieve stable income returns on a long-term, fully-leased asset in one of our targeted warehouse markets,” Allan Swaringen, president & CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Income Property Trust, said in the REIT’s release. “The acquisition of Joliet Distribution Center reflects our approach to grow the company’s portfolio with higher-quality properties that are well-leased to strong tenants in attractive markets and also is consistent with our investment strategy of acquiring core, income-oriented assets.”

The REIT, which owns and manages office, retail, industrial and apartment properties primarily in the United States, made a second warehouse purchase in July. The company bought Suwanee Distribution Center in Northeast Atlanta, a 560,000-square-foot facility that serves as the national headquarters for Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, for approximately $38 million, according to a news release. The recently constructed distribution center is leased to Mitsubishi Electric for 10 years. The REIT estimated the capitalization rate at 5.8 percent.

“The Suwanee Distribution Center is fully leased through July 2023 with built-in rent escalations which provides a steady and growing income stream and fits well with the company’s investment objectives of acquiring core, income-oriented assets,” Swaringen said in the release.

Both warehouses are located in key distribution hubs with excellent accessibility to major interstate highways near large metropolitan areas. The I-80 Corridor in Joliet has been particularly active with vacancy dropping by the end of the second quarter to 10.73 percent compared to 12.04 percent in the first quarter, according to Colliers International’s Chicago Industrial Market Overview Q2 2013. The report also noted that second quarter net absorption reached positive 2.2 million square feet –the most of any Chicago area submarket.

“The last time the I-80/Joliet Corridor’s net absorption surpassed 2.0 million square feet was during the third quarter of 2006 when absorption reached 2.9 million square feet,” the Colliers report stated.

In another important sign of increased industrial market activity, three build-to-suit projects totaling 446,000 square feet broke ground in the I-80/Joliet Corridor in the second quarter, according to the report.

Build-to-suits were also driving the Atlanta industrial market. The Mitsubishi Electric warehouse built by IDI on a 33-acre site in the 238-acre Huntcrest Business Center was among the more than 3.8 million square feet delivered to the Atlanta industrial inventory in the second quarter, according to Collier’s Q2 2013 Atlanta Market Report. The Northeast submarket had a vacancy rate of 11.8 percent down slightly from 12.1 percent the previous quarter. Colliers reported that Atlanta’s overall vacancy rate was down 100 basis points in Q2, the lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2008.