SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ-Opus East, based in Bethesda, MD, has sold a 526,400-sf warehouse/distribution facility here to Allianz Life Insurance Co. Allianz of America, Inc., Westport, CT, served as the advisor for the buyer. Both are units of Europe-based Allianz AG. The terms and sale price of the transaction were not disclosed.

The asset is the first phase of Opus East’s new Turnpike Crossing, a master-planned business park that, at build-out, is expected to total more than 1.2 million sf of class A warehouse space in three buildings. The park is located at Exit 8A of the New Jersey Turnpike in Middlesex County.

The Fleming Cos. of Oklahoma City is the sole tenant of the facility, having leased all of it in May of this year. Fleming is one of the largest food wholesalers in the country, serving some 3,000 supermarkets, 3,000 convenience stores and almost 1,000 other businesses. The distribution center serves the company’s northeast region.

Allianz of America is a registered investment advisor that generally targets “investment-grade, general purpose distribution/warehouse buildings in established business parks” on behalf of its insurance company clients, according to Brian Brennan, the firm’s director of real estate acquisitions. “We also prefer well-tenanted, class A suburban office properties with a focus on quality and functionality.”

Allianz’ parameters for warehouse/distribution assets include locations in established parks, an age of 10 years or less and a size range of 150,000 sf and up. Central New Jersey is one of the firm’s target markets, along with Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. For all property types, Allianz has more than $20 billion in assets currently under management.

For its part, Opus East, a member of the Minneapolis-based Opus Group, is “actively pursuing build-to-suit industrial and office opportunities from Virginia to Maine,” according to Kevin Smith, who joined the company early this year as director of sales and finance. Besides Turnpike Crossing, its current projects include The Crossings in Allentown, PA and several major distribution centers in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

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