BAYTOWN, TX—While industrial is better positioned than othercommercial sectors to weather COVID-19 challenges, the tremendouseffects on the energy industry and a lack of overall commerce willreverberate through the market in the coming quarters. On apositive note, e-commerce expansion and hiring during this time mayhelp offset some of the negative impact, says JLL's first quarterindustrial report.

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One property that exemplifies e-commerce demand is CedarCrossing Distribution Center, a 100% leased single-tenant129,527-square-foot distribution facility in the Houston-areacommunity of Baytown. High Street Logistics Properties recentlypurchased the asset for an undisclosed acquisition price.

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Completed in 2009, Cedar Crossing Distribution Center is fullyleased to Merih Cotton Corporation, a family owned and operatedHouston-area cotton distributor in business for upwards of 35years. The front-load building features a 24-foot clear height, 33dock-high doors, one drive-up ramp and low office finish.

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Situated on 7.37 acres at 3710 Cedar Blvd., the propertyprovides access to the Port of Houston's two dedicated containerterminals, Barbour's Cut (5.6 miles) and Bayport Container Terminal(9.4 miles). Cedar Crossing Distribution Center is also within the15,000-acre Cedar Port Industrial Park, which is the largestmaster-planned rail-served industrial park in North America.

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JLL capital markets marketed the property on behalf of thesellers, Mountain West Industrial Properties and American NationalInsurance Company. The JLL team was led by managing director TrentAgnew, senior managing director Rusty Tamlyn, director CharlieStrauss and analyst Ethan Goldberg along with senior vice presidentRichard Quarles, who leased the building on behalf of theseller.

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"The Southeast Industrial submarket lacks optionality forsmaller tenants, as most development in the area is focused onbig-box buildings, so Cedar Crossing will always have significantinterest from tenants that need to be near the Port of Houston,"says Agnew. "We were extremely pleased with both the buyer's andseller's ability to execute this transaction during the COVID-19pandemic."

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The Port's demand was one of the largest determinants for thetransaction, even during the health crisis, Strauss says.

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"The Port of Houston continues to be a major driver for the cityas we have seen consistent double-digit growth in container volumeyear-over-year," Strauss tells GlobeSt.com. "With most of thecurrent speculative development in the submarket focused on largerscale tenants, Cedar Crossing fills the void for that smallertenant base."

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In 2019, the metro's biggest concern was potential overbuildingin the market. Five months later, Houston is very much inwait-and-see mode with global economies struggling to navigate thepandemic, according to JLL.

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of GlobeSt.com. She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.