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ST. LOUIS-Locally based Bianco Properties has purchased the Trade Center III Distribution Center for $14.2 million from Principal Life Insurance Co. The 320,000-sf building is in the 1,200-acre Earth City business park, which has six million sf of office and industrial properties.

The company was glad to get a property close to home, says Daniel Wolk, VP and director of acquisitions for Bianco. He says the firm’s purchases have been out of town recently, including a two-building industrial warehouse buy from First Industrial Realty Trust in Indianapolis at the end of 2007. “This St. Louis property is a great buy, it’s just to the north of Interstate 70 and close to the airport, and it’s right in our backyard,” Wolk tells GlobeSt.com.

The building is 100% leased by tenants such as Best Buy and American TV and Appliance. Wolk says he can’t comment on the exact lease terms, but that market rents in the neighborhood are at about $3.75 to $4.25 per sf, triple net. Wolk says. Paul Hilton and Mike Hanrahan with Colliers Turley Martin Tucker represented the seller in the transaction.

Bianco also owns Riverline Campus, a 280,000-sf, multi-tenant industrial campus just down the road from Earth City. “It’s a six-building property, with flex and office warehouse buildings, and one larger bulk building. We’ve been there since 1990, and have continued to look for opportunities in the area,” Wolk says.

He says the company plans to hang onto the building long-term. “Industrial warehouse property in St. Louis is relatively stable, it’s not experiencing some of the extremes that some of the other markets such as Florida and Detroit are experiencing,”

His firm has acquired more than one million sf of retail, industrial and land valued at more than $65 million since 2006, including 11 shopping centers and three industrial campuses. The company also owns 1,375 apartment units in seven complexes, in areas such as Seattle, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Dallas and Tulsa, OK.

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