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CARLSTADT, NJ-Since it was founded only nine months ago, Whitehall Industrial Properties, based in Edison, NJ has become one of the key players in that property sector in New Jersey. The firm’s holdings just got a lot bigger with its buy-up of a 12-building industrial portfolio in this Meadowlands submarket town. David Ferber of SBWE represented Whitehall in the transaction; the seller was a private investment group.

Altogether, the latest dozen add up to some 650,000 sf of space; the buildings, which range from 17,000 to 100,000 sf, are 85% leased. Because the Meadowlands industrial market is one of tightest in the country with a vacancy rate of under 3%, Whitehall plans to launch a major interior and exterior upgrade to help get the remaining 15% leased up, according to company president Michael Nachamkin. Plans include new landscaping, facades, common areas and electrical and mechanical upgrades.

As part of the deal, Whitehall also acquired 30 acres of land with a development potential of 425,000 sf. The company has necessary approvals already in place and expects to start construction of a new 350,000-sf industrial building. The facility will be available for sale or lease as a build-to-suit.

“The Carlstadt portfolio represents our core strategy of obtaining value-added industrial properties,” according to Nachamkin. He notes that Whitehall has acquired a total of 1.5 million sf of assets in its core market, which encompasses the Boston-to-Baltimore/Washington corridor.

“This portfolio can accommodate a variety of users,” adds Whitehall SVP/director of leasing and marketing Mark McConnell. “We expect demand to be significant.”

As a matter of course, Whitehall’s strategy is to acquire existing industrial facilities it feels are underperforming. The firm was started up at the end of last year, funded with an initial equity investment of $75 million by the Whitehall Street Real Estate fund, which is managed by Goldman Sachs.

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