Phoenix Investors Buys Former Plants in Texas, Virginia

The firm’s latest acquisitions total 1.8 million square feet of industrial space.

Former Titan International tire plant in Brownsville, Texas. Image courtesy of Phoenix Investors

Phoenix Investors made back-to-back industrial investments this week announcing the acquisitions of a former Texas tire factory and Virginia printing plant. The deals come one month after the Milwaukee, Wis.-based commercial real estate firm purchased three properties in Tennessee and continues a very active investment period.

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The larger of the two acquisitions this week occurred in Brownsville, Texas, where an affiliate of Phoenix Investors acquired the former Titan International Inc. plant at 6700 Paredes Line Road. Originally built in 1997, the 1 million-square-foot property was converted to multi-tenant use after Titan ended production of tires in 2003. Phoenix has finalized leases with all the current tenants at the 108-acre property and is planning to build new space in 2021 on part of the surplus land. David Marks, president & CEO of Phoenix Investors, said in a prepared statement the firm plans to make improvements over the next six months for the tenants and have new space to lease to industrial companies in late 2021.

The transaction was brokered by Michael Reid, senior managing director at Newmark.

The second deal announced this week was the acquisition of a former printing plant owned by LSC Communications Printing Co. in Lynchburg, Va. Based in Chicago, LSC was spun off from RR Donnelly in 2016 and later agreed to be sold to Quad Graphics. After the Department of Justice ruled it would block the purchase, the two companies terminated the merger. LSC and 21 affiliated debtors later filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Frank Crivello, chairman & founder of Phoenix Investors, said in a prepared statement the firm also plans to purchase LSC’s former plant in Mattoon, Ill., before the year end and is working with LSC as it sells other shuttered plants across the U.S. Phoenix Investors’ core business is revitalizing former manufacturing facilities like those owned by LSC and Titan.

The Lynchburg property is located on 50 acres at 4201 Murray Place. The first phase of the 760,000-square-foot property was built in 1970. The asset has 32 loading docks, 62 slots for trailer storage, 523 passenger parking spots, eight drive-in doors and two interior rail spurs with interior loading and six-railcar capacity that is supported by Norfolk Southern. Marks said the firm was attracted to the LSC property because of the robust infrastructure of the facility. He said it will be able to support a wide range of tenants for distribution or manufacturing once improvements are made to the property over the next year. Marks added they will also be exploring build-to-suit projects in 2021 for the surplus land acquired.

The transaction was brokered by Daniel Knopf and Armando Nuñez, both senior vice presidents at CBRE.

Previous deals

In recent months, Phoenix Investors has made numerous acquisitions throughout the U.S., including the purchase last month of three properties in Church Hill, Dresden and Kingsport, Tenn., totaling 1.6 million square feet from Frog Properties. The largest property comprised 857,056 square feet across three buildings in Church Hill that also had a rail spur that allows access onto the Norfolk Southern Rail. Crivello told Commercial Property Executive at the time that two of the properties will be used to accommodate the growth of an affiliated company, Phoenix Logistics.

In June, Phoenix Investors acquired a 1.6 million-square-foot industrial portfolio with four properties in Kentucky and Pennsylvania that it plans to renovate. Also in June, the company completed the acquisition of a partially constructed distribution center in Normal, Ill., and planned to invest about $16 million to complete the 500,000-square-foot project.

With the latest transactions, Phoenix’s affiliate companies hold interests in industrial, retail, office, and single-tenant net-leased properties totaling approximately 34 million square feet and spanning 22 states.

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