Brennan notes that nearly every
major industrial market in the US
has posted positive absorption.

CHICAGO-Locally based Brennan Investment Group and Gatehouse Bank plc have teamed up on a $155-million acquisition of industrial properties across 12 states. The 20 properties acquired from an affiliate of Austin, TX-based AIC Ventures represent a broad range of industries; what all have in common is that they’re 100% leased.

“Over the past year and a half, US industrial markets have demonstrated remarkable strength, with nearly every major market posting positive absorption and rising occupancies,” Michael Brennan, chairman and managing principal of Brennan Investment, said in a statement. “The acquisition of 20 critical use facilities, amidst resurgent tenant demand, provides our investment a high degree of predictability both now and in the future.”

Co-founder Robert G. Vanecko adds that the joint venture with Gatehouse illustrates his company’s ability to acquire functional, stabilized, mission-critical industrial assets in major metropolitan markets. Vanecko, who’s managing principal at Brennan Investment, adds that the company is actively pursuing both individual properties and portfolios in markets ranging from Los Angeles to Washington, DC.

The partnership with London-based Gatehouse represents Brennan Investment’s third JV in less than a year. This past August, Brennan Investment and TriGate Capital LLC, headquartered in Dallas, formed a programmatic JV to pursue industrial investments across the US. “These principals have extensive knowledge about the industry; I think together we’ll make a great team,” Brennan told this past September. The venture’s first purchase was a 137,635-square-foot industrial portfolio of three buildings in Austin, TX.

Last month, Brennan Investment joined forces with Columbia, MD-based Manekin to build a portfolio of opportunistic or value-add assets in the Mid-Atlantic. Manekin is bringing its local market knowledge to the JV, while Brennan Investment is kicking in capital along with expertise in making acquisitions.

Brennan told that the partnership with Manekin doesn’t have a set acquisition budget. “However, I would anticipate that the region is likely to support acquisitions that conform to our standards for anywhere from $75 million to $150 million a year,” he said. “The territory is that large and there is fertile ground for what we do.”

Bret Hardy and Greg Cizik of Colliers International represented the AIC affiliate in the Gatehouse-Brennan deal announced Monday. Arch Street Capital Advisors assisted Gatehouse Bank in this transaction.

Late last month, Brennan Investment bought a five-building warehouse portfolio in the Chicago suburbs of Harvey and Calumet, IL from Oshkosh Defense, a military vehicle manufacturer. The warehouse properties were vacant at the time of purchase, but Brennan told that the half of the portfolio has already been leased to wood products distributor Glu-Lam Inc. “We should be able to lease up the rest of the portfolio in less than a year,” he said.

Brennan commented that the time is right to buy, given that most of the major national industrial markets have posted positive space absorption. “It’s a good time to step out on the risk spectrum for value-add properties,” he told last month. “With more tenants taking more space, that makes me more comfortable doing these deals. This is the type of deal we wouldn’t have done in 2009 or 2010.”