Fundrise Sinks $130M Into Co-Warehousing Startup Saltbox's Expansion
Fundrise plans to acquire warehouse-turned-Saltbox locations in cities across the nation, starting with Atlanta and Alexandria, Virginia. The facilities will range in size from 50K to 150K SF, the company said.
Saltbox has so far opened six co-working and warehouse spaces, including in Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Seattle and Atlanta. The company expects to more than triple its footprint by the end of this year with 1M SF of space across 15 locations, Director of Real Estate Steve Sawicki said.
The companies’ closely aligned values and mission are what Sawicki said made Fundrise the ideal partner to help see Saltbox’s expansion plans to fruition.
“Both of us are trying to democratize access in our own way,” Sawicki told Bisnow. “Them, for normal retail investors to different real estate offerings, and us, for our members, who have been excluded in a lot of ways from the real estate and logistics ecosystems that are really necessary to running their business.”
Sawicki pointed to Fundrise’s abundance of capital, combined with its entrepreneurial approach, as a means of putting Saltbox’s real estate ambitions on the fast track. He said the companies are considering a wide range of assets, from ground-up developments to building conversions.
“Already with Fundrise, we’ve got three locations in the works, and we are actively looking for more,” he said. “[We can] leverage their learning and their deep understanding of the real estate market and trends within industrial. They’ve been great thought partners for us as well.”
Fundrise, a platform that lets everyday people become real estate investors by offering first-time investments as low as $10, has been eyeing last-mile logistics warehouses as e-commerce continues to push demand for industrial real estate to historic highs. According to JLL, the U.S. industrial market absorbed close to 496M SF in 2021.
“The real estate we are looking at is where there is a lot of growth and more activity,” Fundrise Chief Operating Officer Brandon Jenkins told Tech Crunch. “Saltbox is doing industrial in an interesting way, mashing up asset classes and companies and coming at it from a new direction. This was a unique way we brought partnership together — it is usually not done in this way.”