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BISNOW EXCLUSIVE: BIG BUY IN B/W CORRIDOR

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BISNOW EXCLUSIVE: BIG BUY IN B/W CORRIDOR
TA Associates Realty has purchased the 445k SF Oakland Mills warehouse in Columbia just a week after its sale of the 600k SF Riverside Distribution Center in Belcamp closed. (It traded in afamily-size SUV for a sleeker, more efficient sporty warehouse.)
Jon Carpenter and Jay Wellschlager, September 2012, Columbia
Cassidy Turley's Jon Carpenter and Jay Wellschlager (along with colleague Jarred Testa and Tilghman Herring) repped the Boston-based asset manager in both deals. Interestingly, TA sold the Class-A, stabilized Riverside Distribution Center in Harford County north of the city and purchased the Class-B, 60%-leased Oakland Mills, which sits in the king of local industrial submarkets, the B/W Corridor. TA was looking for a value-add play there, and Cassidy Turley dug this one up for an off-market deal with Emory Properties, which built the pair of properties in the '70s (if you look hard enough, you'll find a copy of Saturday Night Fever in the walls). It's easier to find value-add plays in Harford County, Jon says, but if you can find one of the rare ones left in the Corridor, it's easier to underwrite since the submarket has a history of sharp recoveries.

BISNOW EXCLUSIVE: BIG BUY IN B/W CORRIDOR
Speaking of adding value, Tilghman and Jarred are leasing up Oakland Mills. Jarred says a lot of Class-A property in the submarket has been absorbed, making Class-B assets poised for a turn. Just check out vacancy's downward slope among 22- to 26-foot clear, front-loaded warehouses: 25% at the end of Q2 '10, 21% at the same point in 2011, and all the way down to 14% at the end of this past June.
Oakland Mills, Columbia
Here's a shot of Oakland Mills. The Riverside deal, meanwhile, was a litmus test for Harford County. Jon tells us his team wondered whether industrial property north of the city would pull in a full roster of tours, and indeed it did: 20 in five weeks. (Exeter Property Group was the winner, paying $31M for the six-tenant property.) The B/W Corridor may be more active, Jon says, but interest in Harford County indicates that investors and tenants are getting priced out of the Corridor and willing to go elsewhere.