EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-A partnership formed by the Brooklyn, NY-based JFR Global Investments and investor Rubin Schron of Cammeby’s International has acquired a portfolio of 36 office and industrial properties in 14 states. The two privately owned investment and development firms are paying a reported $350 million for the assets.

The seller was a fund operated by First Industrial Realty Trust, based in Chicago, and Kuwait Finance House, Kuwait City. The two companies launched the fund three years ago to buy stabilized properties developed by First Industrial. According to Jim Carpenter, the latter’s executive director of investments, the expectation was that with low interest rates driving record pricing for industrial assets around the country, selling in the current market would generate very favorable returns.

And while the 6.2-million-sf portfolio does include both office and industrial properties, it’s heavily weighted toward the industrial side. The final sale price computes to just under $56.50 per-sf portfolio-wide.

The deal was arranged for the sellers by Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Investment Services Group, based here. Andrew J. Merin headed the team effort, which also included the firm’s Mike Davis in Tampa, David Meline in Atlanta, Patrick Sullivan in Chicago and Jim Vesey in Philadelphia.

“It was a great competitive process, with more than a dozen major institutions and private individuals bidding for the package,” Merin says. “Our client ultimately achieved the aggressive pricing we anticipated. And JFR Global Investments continued its aggressive expansion by adding three dozen quality assets to its portfolio.”

Altogether, more than 40 C&W people were involved in the transaction in one way or another. Besides New Jersey, the various assets are located in Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida, Texas, West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania. The portfolio is currently 98% occupied.

“It’s one of the largest assignments we’ve handled in terms of both scope and geographic reach,” Merin says. “Each site was supervised, underwritten and toured by a local ISG representative, Cushman & Wakefield leasing broker and First Industrial asset manager. The marketing included computer-generated aerial tours of all 36 properties, a portfolio website and a due-diligence website.

“In essence, we implemented a ‘parenting’ concept to achieve comprehensive coverage for this portfolio,” he continues. As part of the deal, Bank of America provided a total of $222 million in financing.

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