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BOSTON-Locally based Cabot Properties is securing an industrial portfolio–totaling 788,089 square feet–from TIAA-CREF in an all cash transaction. The portfolio consists of a single 111,191-square-foot distribution center in Baltimore and eleven properties–totaling 676,898 square feet–in Chicago. The price was not disclosed, but a source unrelated to the deal says the portfolio is close to $50 million. Vice chairman, Jack Fraker, VP Josh McArtor and Conor Feeney, senior associate, from CB Richard Ellis marketed the properties for TIAA-CREF.

“Contrary to popular opinion, the capital markets are open for business,” says Fraker, in a statement. “Institutional investors like Cabot are attracted to industrial real estate, given the strong fundamentals in this property type sector. Industrial real estate also offers potential for appreciation as rental rates continue to grow, especially for in-fill locations.”

The property in Baltimore is 2130 Baldwin Ave.–a FedEx Distribution Center. The Chicago properties are: 901, 925, 1011 and 1035 N. Hilltop Dr.; 869 and 901 S. Route 53; 3645-3668, 3950-3980 Swenson Ave.; 1549 W. Glenlake; 3701 Illinois Ave.; and 1055-1071 Kingsland Dr.

Andy Ebbott, EVP of Cabot Properties, tells GlobeSt.com that they had “tied [the properties] up in a different market” and were able to work through the problems presented by the current economic crisis–although he would not disclose the price, citing a confidentiality agreement with TIAA. Ebbott explains that the older, multi-tenant property fit Cabot’s focus, especially the fact that it was in-fill in Baltimore and Chicago.

According to Ebbott, the buildings were 97% leased when Cabot struck the deal–although CBRE cites the percentage a 94%–but “they are short-term leases” and the challenge will be to retain the tenants in this tough market.

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