Blackstone Group succeeds as one of the largest warehouse landlords in the US- report

December 3
2:23 AM 2013

Blackstone Group has succeeded in establishing one the largest warehouse landlords in the US. According to a Bloomberg report, Blackstone's IndCor Properties Inc has grown to over two times its size and has kept on making acquisitions. IndCor Properties is an industrial real estate company formed three years ago in Chicago. With the recovery of consumer and business spending, demand for warehouse space in the US has grown faster than construction. This has led to increased rates for leases and lower vacancies.

In a phone interview, Blackstone Group's Frank Cohen told Bloomberg, "It's an essential part of the economy as we move goods around the country. You don't just need it in New York or Los Angeles. You need toothpaste everywhere. The tile guy needs tile, or plumbing supplies, everywhere." Cohen is Blackstone's senior managing director that oversees industrial investments.

Blackstone started acquiring industrial property when the market was depressed. Most of the assets they bought were from owners who had acquired the assets near 2007 when the market was at its peak, but went down in value when the credit crisis happened, said the news agency.

According to the report, the crown jewel of IndCor are the warehouses it acquired from Walton Street Capital through its positions in the firm's debt. The warehouses, which had a total area of 20 million square feet or 1.9 million square meters, are located mostly in California.

Cohen said, "Traditional, high-quality industrial has been very sought after by investors, so it was very hard for us to buy it prior to the market downturn."

The report added that investors are also looking at the hotel, retail and rental-housing agreements made by the real estate arm of Blackstone. One of its portfolio firms, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, is set to raise USD 2.4 billion in its planned initial public offering, a regulatory filing revealed. 

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