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INDIANAPOLIS-As expected, a joint venture of CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust, a non-listed REIT, and locally-based Duke Realty Corp. have purchased three industrial properties totaling about 2.2 million sf, in Dallas, Jacksonville and here in Indianapolis. However, the venture went beyond its plans for $800 million in industrial development in three years, and bought a 180,147-sf office building fully leased by Verizon Wireless in Nashville, TN. All the properties were build-to-suit projects by Duke, and were sold into the venture for $139.1 million.

The venture was created in May, basically existing to buy up current Duke industrial build-to-suit projects, as well as those planned for the next two years. The developer keeps a 20% interest in its former properties. The JV already purchased one other build-to-suit, the 604,678-sf Buckeye Logistics Center in Phoenix, occupied by Amazon.com.

GlobeSt.com already reported that the JV planned to spend $250 million on the portfolio. The Buckeye purchase was about $34.6 million, says Phil Kianka, COO of the REIT. The recent industrial purchases included an 822,550-sf facility in Hutchins, TX leased to Unilever, a 772,210-sf facility in Jacksonville, FL leased to Unilever and a 630,000-sf warehouse at the Allpoints at Anson park here, also leased to Amazon.com.

Kianka tells GlobeSt.com that two more warehouse purchases for the JV will happen in December. These are expected to be the 1.2-million-sf Prime Distribution building occupied by Prime Distribution in Plainfield, IN and a 1.1-million-sf building occupied by Kellogg’s in West Jefferson, OH.

However, the recent office building buy was not expected, says Chuck Hessel, director of investments for the REIT. “It was under construction, and though it doesn’t fall under our industrial plan, we like the building tenant and the market, and we pulled that Duke property into the venture as well,” he tells GlobeSt.com. The office is in the Aspen Corporate Center near Cool Spings.

All the properties are strategic for their tenants, have long term leases and have room for expansion, making them a perfect buy, says Kianka. He says he can’t tell what properties will be acquired in the future. “It’s all a matter of what Duke presents to us, how the markets react and what their pipeline continues to be for build-to-suit properties,” he says. A Duke spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Cassel says that his trust is enjoying the recent economic downturn, because there’s a lack of competition. “We’re getting quality assets at very attractive pricing,” he says. The trust has the 80% interest in the properties, though Duke will receive asset management, property management, construction management, development and leasing fees in connection with services provided to the venture, which expects to hold the sites for at least 10 years.

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