By Barbra Murray
Brennan Investment Group LLC is in a buying mood, picking up its fourth industrial portfolio within the last two months. The company just acquired a 1.2-million-square-foot group of light industrial assets in the Greater Philadelphia area from Mack-Cali Realty Corp. Brennan purchased the properties without the assistance of mortgage financing. HFF marketed the properties on behalf of the seller.
Brennan faced more than a little competition in the bid to take on ownership of the assets. “This portfolio had a significant amount of interest give its size and the potential upside,” Jose Cruz, senior managing director at HFF, said in prepared remarks.
Located within two leading business parks near the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border, the portfolio consists of 24 buildings in Moorestown, N.J., and an additional two in Burlington, N.J. The group of properties has an average occupancy level of 91 percent, providing the upside potential Cruz described. “This acquisition is illustrative of our strategy to acquire functional, well-located assets, with the ability to increase cash flow through repositioning of the portfolio and additional leasing of the currently vacant space,” Chris Massey, managing principal at Brennan Investment Group, said in prepared remarks.
The timing appears right to put freshened-up offerings on the local market. According to a report by Colliers International, in the second quarter of 2017, the quarter-over-quarter vacancy rate in southern New Jersey dropped from 7.7 percent to 5.9 percent, average asking rents continued on the upswing, and “the lack of quality choices for smaller space requirements was beginning to impact activity.”
ONGOING BUYING BINGE
Brennan’s purchase of the Mack-Cali portfolio comes on the heels of quite an acquisitive summer. In September alone, the private real estate investment firm announced that it had bought a 2.1 million-square-foot industrial portfolio spanning nine states; joined Arch Street Capital Advisors in the $100 million purchase of a 2.5 million-square-foot group of industrial assets located in eight states; and snapped up a three-state, three-property industrial portfolio totaling 480,000 square feet.
The fall may very well prove as active a season as summer for Brennan. In addition to the Mack-Cali deal, the company recently completed the purchase of Total Logistics’ 84,500-square-foot facility in suburban Minneapolis in a sale-leaseback transaction with the logistics services provider.
Photo courtesy of HFF