HOUSTON-Ivest Inc., a local owner of industrial properties, has purchased the one-million-sf Clay Hempstead Business Park for $7.1 million from Minneapolis-based Thrivent Financial.

“Ivest’s asset are very concentrated in the northwest,” says Jeff Barbles, an investment broker with Marcus & Millichap’s Houston office, “and they were looking to buy larger assets in the same area.” He and Marcus & Millichap’s Rob Chandler represented Ivest in the purchase of the class B holding, a three-building complex on 12.1 acres at 8700 to 8758 Clay Rd. Seller Thrivent Financial, the institutional fund for the Lutheran Church, had Brian Gammill of Transwestern Commercial Services Inc. negotiating its terms.

Barbles tells GlobeSt.com that Ivest’s current properties are suited for smaller tenants, which means the company has not been able to accommodate tenants as they grow. “A lot of their tenant base had outgrown their existing buildings,” he says. “They wanted to upgrade and diversify to larger spaces.”

According to Barbles, the business park size is not the only thing that makes the acquisition unusual for Ivest. “Usually they buy buildings that are 20% vacant and then redo them,” he says. The firm is a long-term holder that’s owned most of its portfolio at least 10 years.

In contrast, Clay Hempstead Business Park is 82% occupied. “The park is in really good shape and Ivest plans to enter into a lease-up plan,” he says of the park, built in the late 1970s. “They’ve already got some tenants in their current buildings who are ready to move.” Ivest will lease and manage the asset, which is on the market for 30 cents per sf to 40 cents per sf.

According to Barbles, Ivest sold development land in the Northeast and teamed the 1031 Exchange gain with an assumption of an existing mortgage with Thrivent, which took over the asset in June by buying out the park’s minority partner. The local limited partnership acquired Clay Hempstead Business Park in March 2003.

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