MEPT ACQUIRED THE FORT POINT CREATIVE PORTFOLIO AND NECCO GARAGE FOR A TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE OF $161.9 MILLION IN JANUARY. The portfolio is comprised of three, well-leased, mid-rise office buildings totaling 217,861 square feet in Boston’s Fort Point Channel submarket of the Seaport District. Additionally, in a separate transaction, MEPT acquired the adjacent Necco Garage, a six-level, 588 space parking facility. The Fort Point Channel area is a vibrant mix of historic warehouse buildings renovated into office, residential, and hotel uses. The submarket is transforming into a true "live/work/play" location and providing a unique alternative to the traditional office space in other Boston submarkets. The brick-and-beam style of these early Boston buildings with exposed timber beams, duct-work and brick walls provides a loft-like work space that is particularly appealing to technology and creative tenants such as software, digital media, architecture and marketing firms who desire to be in the submarket. The acquisition increases MEPT’s investment in Boston and furthers the Fund’s strategic plan to acquire office properties in urban locations in innovation-driven markets. The adjacent Necco Garage provides an ancillary benefit to the office buildings through the ability to control parking for potential tenants while it also serves office tenants in the surrounding submarkets and visitors to the nearby cultural and entertainment sites.
IN FEBRUARY, MEPT ACQUIRED MIDTOWN CROSSING, AN URBAN RETAIL CENTER IN LOS ANGELES, FOR $186.9 MILLION. The retail center is well-leased and anchored by Lowe’s Home Improvement, with a variety of other nationally recognized tenants, including Sports Authority and PetSmart. The 314,858 square foot Midtown Crossing is comprised of six, two-story buildings and sits on 11.4 acres with very good visibility in a highly-trafficked area. Situated between Downtown Los Angeles and West Los Angeles, the center benefits from its location in one of the most densely populated areas with 0.5 million people in a 3-mile radius and 1.2 million people in a 5-mile radius. Built in 2006 and renovated in 2012, Midtown Crossing is one of only two retail centers over 200,000 square feet to be built since 2000 in Los Angeles. Given the infill location and high land prices, it was a rare opportunity for MEPT to acquire this modern shopping center and furthers MEPT’s strategic goal of increasing retail exposure to in-fill locations within primary markets.
DURING THE QUARTER, MEPT COMMITTED $73.5 MILLION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF LINCOLN CROSSING IN THE NEW YORK MARKET. MEPT acquired the 19.9 acre land parcel located in the Meadowlands submarket in Northern New Jersey with plans, contingent on achieving site entitlements, to build a 347,053 square foot Class A warehouse/distribution facility. Lincoln Crossing is easily accessible from the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) and is only two miles from the Lincoln Tunnel, the preferred entry point into Manhattan for truck traffic. Within 10 miles of Newark Liberty International Airport and the Ports of Newark/Elizabeth, the site is a prime location for a large bulk-distribution facility. The Meadowlands submarket has strong market fundamentals and is out-performing the broader Northern New Jersey market with 11.0% availability (and just 4.4% direct vacancy). The submarket currently consists mostly of older product with very few modern buildings. This project will increase the Fund’s allocation to modern distribution facilities situated near major population centers.
IN MARCH, MEPT SOLD THE VILLAGE OF BLAINE SHOPPING CENTER IN MINNEAPOLIS FOR TOTAL GROSS PROCEEDS OF $38.3 MILLION. MEPT acquired the 221,239 square foot retail center in 2005. The "main street" style shopping center has 194,606 square feet of retail space and 26,633 square feet of second-floor office space, in addition to two out-parcels. The retail center is anchored by grocer Cub Foods and supporting tenants include Michaels and Sally’s Beauty Supply. While the asset was relatively well leased, there were concerns about competition from a new grocery store being built nearby as well as a decline in demand for the vacant retail space. As a result, MEPT marketed the asset for sale. After receiving solid interest from buyers, MEPT selected an offer from a joint venture between Pine Tree Commercial Realty, LLC and the Davis Companies.