Bahraini firm buys Northeast Ohio industrial portfolio

November 13, 2018

Bahraini firm buys Northeast Ohio industrial portfolio

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Bahraini investment firm has purchased a seven-building industrial portfolio in Northeast Ohio through a joint venture with locally owned Weston, Inc.

Arcapita, which focuses on real estate and private equity, said Tuesday that it had bought the buildings for an undisclosed price. The sales closed late Friday but have not yet appeared in public records in Cuyahoga and Summit counties.

The properties, in Oakwood, Parma and Twinsburg, total 655,000 square feet and are 95 percent leased, said T.J. Asher, chief executive officer of Weston, a family-owned real estate company based in Warrensville Heights.

Asher confirmed that Weston is the minority partner in the Arcapita joint venture, but will handle leasing and management of the buildings.

The seller was an affiliate of Biynah Industrial Partners LLC, a Minneapolis-based private equity firm that bought the buildings as part of a $43 million, nine-property deal in 2014. Biynah unloaded a small Twinsburg building for $1.5 million in 2015 and sold a single-tenant building in Valley View in February for $8.25 million, public records show.

The seven buildings sold this month are: 5575 and 5565 Venture Drive in Parma, 12875 Corporate Drive in Parma, 26400 Broadway Ave. and 2 Thermo Fisher Way in Oakwood and 2477 and 2479 Edison Blvd. in Twinsburg.

“We expect the industrial sector to experience attractive growth on the back of strong and continued demand from tenants in the e-commerce and manufacturing supply-chain segments,” Martin Tan, Arcapita’s chief investment officer, said in a news release. “We have recently expanded our U.S. team, and this acquisition highlights the depth of our asset-sourcing network ... and our commitment to the market.”

The deal is a bit unusual for Weston, which tends - unlike Arcapita and other firms in the private equity business - to be a long-term landlord.

But teaming up with an out-of-town buyer allows Weston to grab a piece of a larger, costlier portfolio than the company might take on independently. Rob Namy, Weston’s chief operating officer, sees potential upside in leases that will come up for renewal over the next five to seven years.

The JLL real estate brokerage, from its Chicago office, marketed the buildings with an assist from Cushman & Wakefield/Cresco Real Estate of Independence. Sean Devaney, a JLL managing director, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The purchase is Arcapita’s first step into the Cleveland-area real estate market but not its only investment here. In January, Arcapita bought a controlling stake in MC Group, a signage and lighting company based in Mentor.

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