BOSTON-In a major boost for one of the state’s busiest REITs, General Electric Capital Real Estate has announced a $250-million joint venture with Cabot Industrial Trust to buy and develop industrial properties throughout the country. In conjunction with the arrangement, the partnership has made its first acquisition, a $12-million purchase of five buildings in Atlanta.

“We believe that Cabot is one of the better operators in the industrial sector, with its proven track record of operating and investing in industrial properties,” GE Capital CEO Michael Pralle said in unveiling the union. “This strategic alliance between GE Capital and Cabot will enable us to pursue opportunities in an area we believe will provide strong returns given the continued growth of the US economy.”

Cabot President Robert Patterson says the partnership will primarily acquire properties, with GE committing 80% of the equity, or $100 million, and Cabot the remaining 20% of the equity, or $25 million. The balance will be funded by debt for a target leverage rate of 50%.

Patterson adds that the focus will be on workspace and multi-tenanted facilities, similar to the Atlanta assets, which have 15 tenants in 334,000 sf of space. Entering into the joint venture will allow Cabot to re-deploy capital from stabilized assets into development and other joint venture programs, says Cabot CFO Franz Colloredo-Mansfeld.

By concentrating on the industrial market, Cabot has been able to grow its portfolio quickly since going public in early 1998. Founded by Boston real estate legend Ferdinand Colloredo-Mansfeld, the REIT now has 350 properties in 22 states, with its portfolio now exceeding 42 million sf. The company manages an additional 10 million sf for investment advisory firms.

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