Industrial demand remains strong


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By: Finance and Commerce Staff

The industrial building at 3711 Kennebec Drive in Eagan is part of the 22-building industrial portfolio acquired by Blackstone Group for $247 million this month. (Submitted photo: CoStar)

Minnesota’s industrial market saw heightened activity this year — a continuation of the trend from last year.

The Blackstone Group topped portfolio transactions again in 2021 with a 22-building acquisition worth $247 million in April. But Nicola Wealth’s first foray into Minnesota real estate nearly reached this amount, with its 22-building portfolio hitting $225.745 million. No other industrial portfolio or individual transactions reached nine figures this year.

The Blackstone Group also has a significant presence on the individual sales list for the industrial sector this year. It acquired the Plymouth Business Park for $82.3 million, easily ranking it first among individual property sales.

An industrial insight report from Marcus & Millichap highlights industrial trends in the market. The average price of an industrial sale has steadily increased from 2017 to the second quarter of this year.

This trend is evident when comparing this year’s top individual sales to last year’s top sales. Two of last year’s top individual industrial sales would not have made this year’s list.

The report also details average asking rent. Rent for an industrial property in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area has remained stable at around $6 per square foot. This includes the forecast rent through 2021.

In October, when discussing Blackstone’s purchase of a Brooklyn Park warehouse complex, CBRE’s Judd Welliver best described the state of the market:

“It’s no secret that industrial demand is at record highs and investors were seeking an opportunity like this in Minneapolis,” Welliver said.

Portfolio transactions

  1. Blackstone Group Inc. acquired a 22-building industrial portfolio for $247 million in April. The New York-based investment company secured 2.5 million square feet of industrial properties located in Rogers, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Eden Prairie, Shakopee and Eagan. The sale worked out to nearly $99 per square foot. San Francisco-based Prologis sold the properties. CBRE’s Senior Associate Bentley Smith and Executive Vice President Judd Welliver brokered the deal.
  2. With the final property sale now public, Nicola Wealth’s 22-building portfolio acquisition from October was worth $225.745 million. The portfolio spans 1.9 million square feet of properties in Chanhassen, Blaine, Plymouth, Rogers, Brooklyn Park, Fridley, St. Paul and St. Louis Park. The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Colliers represented the seller, who is related to Revantage North America, the real estate arm of Blackstone. This transaction is the buyer’s first time investing in Minnesota.
  3. Investcorp purchased a 13-building Ramsey County portfolio for $48.175 million in May. The Manama, Bahrain-based private equity company purchased the buildings from White Bear Lake-based Roberts Management Group LLC. The warehouse, industrial and industrial flex properties are in White Bear Lake, Roseville, Shoreview and Arden Hills.

Individual sales 

  1. Link Logistics purchased the Plymouth Ponds Business Park from United Properties for $82.3 million. The Chicago-based logistics real estate company acquired the business park, which sits on a 60-acre property at 17100 Medina Road, in June. With a combined total of 715,000 square feet, the deal worked out to over $115 per square foot. JLL Capital Markets senior directors Colin Ryan and David Berglund led the team representing the buyer.
  2. In April, Blackstone purchased several industrial buildings in Eagan for a total of $39.2 million. International real estate investment trust company Prologis sold the buildings to the investor. The buildings are located at 917 Lone Oak Road, 3169 Dodd Road and 3711 Kennebec Drive.
  3. The Blackstone Group purchased the 3-year-old Capstone Business Center in Brooklyn Park for $34.125 million in October. The two-building, Class A warehouse complex was sold by Boston-based TA Realty. In all, the property spans 218,770 square feet and was constructed in 2018. The deal worked out to $156 per square foot. CBRE’s Minneapolis Institutional Properties team of Judd Welliver, Sonja Dusil, Ryan Watts, Bentley Smith and Tom Holtze represented the seller.
  4. STAG Industrial, Inc., a Boston-based real estate investment trust, bought a St. Paul warehouse property for $30.5 million in November. Superior 3rd Party Logistics sold the property and uses the space as its headquarters. With nearly 313,000 square feet of space, in the two-story warehouse, the deal breaks down to over $97 per square foot.
  5. In September, STAG Industrial sold a 386,724-square-foot distribution center in Rogers to PCCP JV Partners. The Boston-based real estate investment trust bought the building, located at 19850 S. Diamond Lake Road, for $27.3 million, or less than $71 per square foot. The local office of CBRE arranged the sale and represented the seller.