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SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ-In a transaction worth $19.5 million, Crow Holdings has picked up two industrial buildings totaling 470,315 sf here. The sale price for the buildings, which are located in the New Jersey Turnpike Exit 8A submarket, factors out to more than $41 per sf.

Crow Holdings, of course, is the Dallas-based company that owns and directs the investments of the Trammell Crow family and its investment partners. The acquisition was made on behalf of its Crow Holdings Realty Partners II LP, a $365 million limited real estate investment partnership.

The seller was the JP Morgan Special Situation Property Fund, a commingled pension trust fund managed by JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management. The JP Morgan fund had earlier acquired the 224,787-sf 114 Melrich Rd. and subsequently built the adjacent 245,528-sf 112 Melrich Rd.

The sale was arranged for the JP Morgan fund by Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Financial Services Group (FSG), based in East Rutherford, NJ. According to Andrew J. Merin, who heads the FSG, FNS Logistics Services recently leased the entire 112 Melrich Rd., while 114 Melrich Rd. sat nearly 90% vacant during the marketing of the two buildings. A 75,000-sf lease with Federal Express, pending during the marketing process, has since been signed. Approximately 125,000 sf currently remains available at 114 Melrich.

“The vacancy at 114 Melrich presented marketing challenges, despite the property’s prime New Jersey Turnpike Exit 8A location,” says Gary Gabriel, FSG senior director who headed the marketing effort. “To compensate for that, we priced the offering with Federal Express coming in. JP Morgan agreed to fit out the space as part of the deal.

“For JP Morgan, the sale yielded a positive rate of return on its initial investment in the two buildings,” Gabriel continues. “And Crow Holdings added a well-located, quality asset to its growing portfolio while achieving a relatively low per-sf price as a function of the occupancy.”

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