W.P. Carey's Gino Sabatini

CHICAGO—W. P. Carey Inc., a New York-based REIT, has just purchased from Exeter Property Group an 824,624-square-foot distribution facility in south suburban University Park for about $48 million. Located at 300 Central Ave. and leased to a subsidiary of the J.M. Smucker Co., the buy is just the latest big purchase by W.P. Carey or its affiliates of top industrial product net-leased to high credit companies.

Earlier this year, GlobeSt.com reported, for example, that CPA®:18 – Global, a non-traded REIT affiliate of Carey, completed an $85 million acquisition of the giant Dart Container/Solo Cup National Distribution Center located just down the street at 701 Central Ave. At 1,552,475-square feet, it was the largest Chicago-area transaction involving corporate distribution space since early 2006.

Properties acquired by W.P. Carey typically are the most modern, up-to-date facilities with long-term leases to companies that consider the assets critical to their operations. The Smuckers building is no exception. The original 575,024-square-foot structure was finished in 2008. In 2013, Exeter expanded the facility, which has 32′ clear height, by 249,600-square-feet. And it is one of only six distribution centers operated by Smuckers in the US.

“This investment represented an opportunity to acquire a new class A logistics facility that serves as a primary distribution center for all of Smuckers’ varied products,” according to W. P. Carey managing director and co-head of global investments Gino Sabatini.

“Chicago’s South Suburban submarket—which includes 71-million-square-feet of industrial warehouse space and has a general vacancy rate of 10.8%—has a diverse inventory of big-box distribution and manufacturing facilities and has seen a steady increase in activity as the market as a whole continues to improve,” he adds.