New Jersey Industrial Portfolio Sells for $178M

Hampshire Real Estate Cos. sold the assets into a new joint venture with an affiliate of Colony Capital. The complex transaction was arranged by CBRE.
700 Blair Road in Carteret. Image courtesy of CBRE
700 Blair Road in Carteret. Image courtesy of CBRE

Hampshire Real Estate Cos. has sold a 1.3 million-square-foot New Jersey industrial portfolio to Colony Industrial, an affiliate of Colony Capital, through a joint venture structure. The assets consist of 30 buildings and three development sites. As noted in a second-quarter 2019 report by CBRE, the portfolio traded for approximately $178 million.

Hampshire had tasked CBRE with securing a partner for the sale of the properties into a new joint venture. The collection of properties, which is 99 percent occupied, consists of assets in Northern New Jersey, including the 180,000-square-foot warehouse at 41 Slater Drive in Elmwood Park, the 235,000-square-foot property at 700 Blair Road in Carteret, as well as 231-232 Main St., a facility in Little Falls. The three developable sites included in the transaction account for an aggregate 46 acres in Carteret and West Caldwell.

“In Northern New Jersey, the ability to purchase a portfolio of last-mile, infill warehouses, along with future development, is extremely rare,” Brian Fiumara, executive vice president with CBRE, told Commercial Property Executive. “When you couple that with the chance to have a partner like the Hampshire Cos., it makes the venture irresistible to any investor attempting to have a presence in the extremely competitive Northern New Jersey market.” In addition to Fiumara, the team that orchestrated the complex transaction on Hampshire’s behalf included Michael Hines, Brad Ruppel and Lauren Dawicki of CBRE Capital Markets’ Institutional Properties group, along with Thomas Monahan, CBRE vice-chairman.

Industrial space wanted

Hampshire and new joint venture partner Colony have not revealed plans for construction on the three development sites included in the portfolio transaction. However, having the option to build in the high-demand New Jersey market is a coveted opportunity. “The hardest thing to find in the Northern New Jersey industrial market is well located, entitled land sites. There is an insatiable appetite for development from every source of global capital due to the robust market fundamentals and continued demand from users for new, Class A warehouse facilities,” said Fiumara.

Market statistics support the assertion that the call for industrial accommodations in New Jersey remains loud. The average asking rent reached $7.39 per square foot in the second quarter of 2019, a record high for the Garden State, with asking rents in Northern New Jersey reaching new heights at $8 per square foot, per the CBRE report. Leasing activity totaled 6.7 million square feet and net absorption totaled 3.6 million square feet. Any new industrial product would likely be met with a warm reception.