Rockpoint Group, Industry Veteran Form Industrial Partnership

The firm is joining forces with Benjamin Harris, formerly CEO of Blackstone's Link Logistics Real Estate, to invest in assets in high barrier-to-entry locations across the U.S.
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Rockpoint Group LLC has decided to make a big move in the industrial sector with the establishment of an exclusive strategic partnership with two-decade industry veteran Benjamin Harris.

Acting on behalf of Rockpoint-sponsored funds, the team will invest in industrial assets in demand-driven, infill markets across the U.S.

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Rockpoint declined to comment further on the parameters of the venture, so it is unclear how long the firm and Harris will engage in acquisitions and how much they plan to spend on purchases. However, the real estate investment management firm noted in a press release that the partners will focus on high-quality facilities, with an eye on high barrier-to-entry locations in primary gateway and growth markets. They anticipate repositioning and developing older assets in highly desirable locations and developing new product on a selective basis as well.

The new partnership with Harris—who joins Rockpoint after having served as CEO of Link Logistics Real Estate, the U.S.  industrial operating platform of Blackstone—has materialized on the heels of major Rockpoint transactions in other sectors. In October 2020, Rockpoint and The Swig Co. closed the sale of 300 Lakeside , a 1 million-square-foot office complex in Oakland, Calif. And days earlier, the company had established an exclusive $250 million joint venture with Resicap for the acquisition, renovation and leasing of as many as 5,000 high-quality single-family rental homes. However, industrial has been on the company’s radar for some time. In a prepared statement, Bill Walton, co-founder of Rockpoint Group, said, Rockpoint has actively been evaluating the optimal approach to invest in the space in a differentiated, value-enhancing manner.

Industrial is in

“Overall, investors are expecting the industrial market to lead the charge in 2021,” according to Colliers International’s 2021 Investor Sentiment Survey. “Investors are going to target all types of industrial, with big box and last-mile distribution the top two choices.” Additionally, the investment community expects the sector’s core values to increase by as much as 20 percent.

New partnerships intent on capitalizing on the anticipated continued success of industrial in the U.S. have been coming to the fore. Near the end of 2020, Stockbridge announced it had formed a new joint venture with the National Pension Service of Korea to acquire core logistics assets, starting with the purchase of a 14.3 million-square-foot portfolio of Class A facilities. Additionally, in January 2021, ElmTree revealed the establishment of a $600 million partnership with Guggenheim Funds for the purpose of acquiring e-commerce properties.