CHICAGO, IL- The Sitex Group just announced that their latest investment vehicle helped them close on more than $60 million of industrial property during last year’s final quarter, and that they will pick up the pace throughout 2013.
“We would like to acquire and add 1 million to 2 million square-feet in 2013,” Cary Goldman, principal and partner in the firm’s Chicago office, tells GlobeSt.com. “We now have the equity to go get these deals done.”
Founded in 2001, Sitex now has 33 industrial properties totaling about 3.4 million square-feet, with 12 sites in the New York-New Jersey area and 21 in the Chicago metropolitan area, according to Goldman. They started their latest investment vehicle, Sitex Fund VII, with financing from a major state pension fund which does not want to be named, and expect to spend about $300 million in their targeted markets over the next two years.
“We try to get things that have been beat up a little bit,” says Goldman. That means looking for older properties that with better upkeep and more modern features will attract companies that can’t afford new facilities. And in the Chicago area, they focus on places in DuPage, Lake and Cook counties that were built out several decades ago.
For example, last August, Sitex bought the Wood Dale Industrial Center, a 280,947-square-foot, seven-building complex in Wood Dale, a suburb in DuPage County just west of O’Hare Airport.
After a purchase, Sitex revitalizes all systems in each building. They add new loading docks if needed, knock out and rebuild the office space and redo the exteriors in a more modern style. “We’re really trying to give them another life cycle of 20 to 30 years.”
“There’s a lot of businesses, even if they have the funds, that may not want to invest in these facilities,” he says, due to lingering worries about the slowly receding economic crisis. This has created a growing disparity between the sleek industrial spaces built between 1995 and 2008 and their older counterparts. “Now that the vacancy rate is coming back down there’s less functional space available out there.”
They even see opportunities in Lake County, even though developers carpeted it with new facilities in the run-up to the housing crisis. Goldman points out that the southern edge, including towns such as Buffalo Grove, has been used by many companies for years. “That’s getting to be an aging market.”