SAN DIEGO-Those who follow @GlobeStcom on Twitter and @GlobeStLIVE may have seen a post teasing the announcement last night, but GlobeSt.com has learned that locally based Westcore Properties has increased its US commercial real estate holdings to more than 24 million square feet with its purchase of an 11.1-million-square-foot industrial portfolio in California and the Midwest from the Joe Benvenuti Co.
Westcore acquired the properties in a joint venture with a fund managed by DRA Advisors LLC, a New York City-based investment advisor. DRA has acquired $1.8 billion in real estate in 2012, across the retail, office, multifamily and industrial sectors in the U.S.
The 110 buildings include 8 million square feet in Sacramento, as well as 1.9 million square feet in St. Louis and 1 million square feet in Indianapolis.
As GlobeSt.com reported earlier this year, Westcore recently expanded its California focus with the opening of a new office in Orange County led by Neil Johnson, managing director. At the time, Johnson said that the new Orange County office would enhance the firm’s ability to identify and move quickly on assets, especially in the Orange County, Los Angeles and Inland Empire regions. Johnson oversees Westcore’s investment activity throughout the state
Westcore Properties has a track record of repositioning underperforming assets. “This acquisition brings a diversity of building types, from multi-tenant to flex to bulk, that allows us to incubate the future growth of our tenants in a closely held environment,” says Johnson.
Westcore Properties, DRA and the seller, JB Properties, were represented by Mark Demetre, Bill Niethammer, Matt Lofrano and Mike Zimmerman of Jones Lang LaSalle‘s Sacramento office.
According to a prepared statement, the $600-million transaction is the largest industrial real estate acquisition in California in 2012 and the second largest industrial acquisition in the US over the same period, according to JLL, who could not respond to GlobeSt.com inquiries by deadline.
“We have been long-term believers in industrial markets supported by ports and agri-business, which has led us to invest heavily in greater San Francisco as well as the San Joaquin and Central Valley areas of Northern California,” says Marc Brutten, chairman and founder of Westcore Properties, in a prepared statement. “This acquisition gives us a strong foothold in Sacramento, a stabilizing market that has an outstanding distribution and transportation network.”
DRA has always been an active investor in industrial space, typically acquiring individual, value-added opportunities, explains David Luski, president of DRA Advisors, in a prepared statement. “We are pleased to have made two larger portfolio acquisitions in the sector this year, as we like the cash flow attributes and opportunity to add value operationally, while benefiting from improving market conditions.”
According to Don Ankeny, Westcore Properties’ president and chief executive officer, “The acquisition of such a sizeable portfolio of institutional-grade industrial properties in core West Coast markets underscores our commitment to growing our base and scope of operations into a regional powerhouse.”