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BOSTON-Continuing its campaign to assemble an industrial-focused portfolio that will eventually be offered to institutional investors, the Boston-based APCA Property Fund I has closed on a cold storage warehouse in Philadelphia, paying $7.7 million for 3435-3535 Front St. The 85,000-sf facility is fully leased to Brooks Provisions, a major food distribution company in the mid-Atlantic region.

“We’re very happy to buy this property,” relays Paradigm Capital Advisors principal Steve Allison, whose Boston firm has teamed up with the Ashforth Co. to form the APCA Property Fund I. The building has “a fantastic location” off Interstate 95 near the Walt Whitman Bridge in the 500-acre Philadelphia Food Distribution Center, relays Allison. The full-building lease still has several years of term remaining that will provide welcomed cash flow until the disposition strategy is realized, Allison explains, citing that as another reason APCA was “aggressive” in pursuing the competitively bid asset. The building was traded via a marketing process handled by Steve Marzullo of CB Richard Ellis.

APCA’s ardor for 3435-3535 Front St. was enhanced by a determination that the lease is below market and should offer upside once it rolls, and was also spurred by the firm’s belief in the Greater Philadelphia industrial sector, reports Allison. The company last year acquired a three-building, 420,000-sf portfolio in the market and has already managed to fill the vacant portion of the properties, whose purchase was reported by GlobeSt.com. “Hopefully, we will be buying some more down there,” says Allison.

As for the exit strategy, Allison says he is encouraged by APCA’s progress buying a portfolio offering the size and stability to attract institutional sources. The fund now owns eight buildings and has another three slated to close over the near term. “We’re feeling pretty good about it,” says Allison. But while the heft might soon be there, Allison stresses APCA will not rush a sale if market conditions deteriorate, having acquired properties that offer ongoing yield. On the flip side, the fund has already jettisoned a Boston office building, 263 Summer St., barely a year after acquiring the property when a suitor offered $16.1 million, well above the $10.3 million APCA had paid for the eight-story, 57,000-sf building.

Paradigm and Ashforth launched APCA Fund I in the spring of 2007, as reported by GlobeSt.com. Assets are now located in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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