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CLEVELAND-A venture made up of Harbor Group International LLC, Reuven Dessler and Cleveland Industrial Portfolio Capital LLC has bought the 10-property Geis Cos. portfolio of industrial and flex office properties. The portfolio, made up of properties throughout Cleveland, totals 815,315 sf. Sources say the sale price was about $51 million.

The properties are in the communities of Oakwood, Parma, Streetsboro, Twinsburg and Valley View. Eight of the buildings, including the 136,966-sf facility at 2477 Edison and the 59,300-sf building at 26400 Broadway Ave. in Oakwood Village, are 100% occupied, with tenants such as DuPont, Eaton, Standard Register, Lawyers Title Insurance and Cort Furniture. The 119,971-sf building at 5565 Venture Dr. in Parma is 80% leased, and the 130,350-sf 5575 Venture Dr. building nearby is 59% occupied.

Harbor president Richard Litton tells GlobeSt.com that his company, which only has investments in multifamily and office properties, was approached by the partners who know the local industrial area. The company already owns the 1.2-million-sf 200 Public Square office building in Cleveland, and was comfortable in looking for more opportunities in the area, he says. “We like the fundamentals of the market,” Litton says. “It’s got newer-built product and good historical occupancy. I think the prospects are good.”

He says the company isn’t looking to take over industrial properties under its own management. “Operationally, we’ll rely on our partners,” Litton says. “As a firm, when looking at these types of opportunities, we’re looking more for joint ventures or equity partners. This is an example of us being able to find different ways to place our equity and get our investors involved in more transactions.” Locally based Chelm Properties Inc. will manage the portfolio.

Though the company concentrates in other markets like Atlanta and Dallas, Harbor does own apartment buildings in Indianapolis and Cincinnati, and three office buildings in Chicago. “Those cities are where we have the most experience,” Litton says. “Clearly, the Midwest had its struggles in terms of general economy and job growth, but if you’re careful and buy the right asset, you can do well.

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