JLL Income Property Trust is expanding its industrial holdings with the $95 million acquisition of a 1 million-square-foot, Class A distribution center in Louisville, Ky. The seller was Core5 Industrial Partners, according to Bullitt County records.
Located at 170 Clermont Road, the property is leased to McKesson Corp. for 10 years. Public records also indicate that Core5 Industrial took a $35.6 million construction loan with a three-year term from U.S. Bank in December 2019 to build the project.
The distribution center includes 40-foot clear heights, cross-docking, LED motion-sensor lighting, 234 trailer parking spaces and HVAC throughout the facility. The property is located in the South Louisville submarket within 20 miles of major distribution hubs including UPS Worldport (air distribution hub), UPS Centennial Hub (ground distribution hub) and the Louisville International Airport. Louisville is centrally located at the confluence of major highways that allows distribution to more than half of the U.S. population within a day’s drive of several interstate highways: I-24, I-64, I-71 and I-75. The location reinforces JLL Income Property Trust’s industrial strategy focusing on properties with primary access to critical distribution hubs and transportation infrastructure.
In a prepared statement, Allan Swaringen, JLL Income Property Trust president & CEO, cited the transportation infrastructure as well as the Louisville industrial market’s low vacancy rate of 4.2 percent among the reasons why the REIT acquired the asset. He also pointed to the property’s modern layout, significant building improvements made by the tenant, the tenant’s pedigree and long-term lease as positives that played into the decision.
LaSalle Research & Strategy also noted Louisville is “an overweight market whose merit is driven by an above average return outlook and strong rent growth expectations.”
Louisville recently placed 10th on a list of the top rental growth performers in North America, according to the 2020 Prologis Logistics Rent Index. A fourth-quarter 2020 report on the Louisville industrial market by JLL stated it had closed 2020 with another quarter of strong leasing activity. The Industrial Insight report said the market absorbed approximately 3.5 million square feet in 2020 and expected it to reach or exceed that level in 2021. More than 5.7 million square feet of new industrial properties were completed in 2020 and JLL expects more than 5 million square feet to deliver in 2021 based on existing projects.
“We expect the market to remain strong into 2021 as institutional buyers and developers continue to circle the market looking for opportunities,” the JLL report stated.
Earlier industrial deals
JLL Income Property Trust has $3.4 billion in portfolio assets. The Louisville acquisition brings its aggregate industrial allocation to nearly $900 million, or 28 percent of its portfolio. The REIT now has 34 industrial properties in 12 targeted warehouse markets. In late December, JLL Income Property Trust acquired a recently completed 350,000-square-foot industrial asset in Fort Worth, Texas, from developer Stream Realty Partners in an off-market transaction. The deal marked the REIT’s fourth transaction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Also in December, JLL Income Property Trust purchased a 720,000-square-foot distribution center near Indianapolis for $62 million. The seller wasn’t named but JLL said the property was fully leased to LifeScience Logistics and Lowe’s Cos.