CHICAGO—W. P. Carey Inc., a New York-basedREIT, has just purchased from Exeter PropertyGroup an 824,624-square-foot distribution facility insouth suburban University Park for about $48 million. Located at300 Central Ave. and leased to a subsidiary of the J.M.Smucker Co., the buy is just the latest big purchase byW.P. Carey or its affiliates of top industrial product net-leasedto high credit companies.

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Earlier this year, GlobeSt.com reported, for example, thatCPA®:18 – Global, a non-traded REIT affiliate ofCarey, completed an $85 million acquisition of the giantDart Container/Solo Cup National DistributionCenter located just down the street at 701 Central Ave. At1,552,475-square feet, it was the largest Chicago-area transactioninvolving corporate distribution space since early 2006.

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

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"This investment represented an opportunity to acquire a newclass A logistics facility that serves as a primary distributioncenter for all of Smuckers' varied products,” according to W. P.Carey managing director and co-head of global investmentsGino Sabatini.

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"Chicago's South Suburban submarket—which includes71-million-square-feet of industrial warehouse space and has ageneral vacancy rate of 10.8%—has a diverse inventory of big-boxdistribution and manufacturing facilities and has seen a steadyincrease in activity as the market as a whole continues toimprove," he adds.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.