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New York
Gene Preston and Eric Witmondt
A new industrial player expects to sign an institutional investment partner by year's end, raise $300M, and then buy 8M SF to 10M SF of warehouses in high-barrier-to-entry East Coast seaports. That means Baltimore, Newark/Elizabeth, and Miami. Gene Preston and Woodmont Properties CEO Eric Witmondt (above), along with Romark Logistics CEO Marc Lebovitz, launched Woodmont Industrial Partners last week. Eric tells us Cushman & Wakefield is playing matchmaker with investment partners, and the WI Partners principals are also investing their own money and will co-invest in each purchase. (They're the real Millionaire Matchmakers.)
former KB Toys warehouse in Clinton, NJ
Their targets are the Americas' three largest consumer markets: the DC-Baltimore corridor, the NYC metro, and through Miami, the region of South America and the Caribbean. They also expect to close their first acquisition, a 729k SF warehouse in Clinton, NJ, formerly owned by KB Toys, by year's end. Eric tells us that while the venture wants quality product, it'll consider elderly buildings in can't-beat locations—say, right on the port. The Clinton building, though, is a different kind of unique location. Clinton won't become an industrial submarket (thanks to limestone caverns/sinkholes and Highland Water Protection and Planning Act), but this site sits just off I-78 on solid ground and has toll-free access to the Lehigh Valley and the Port of Newark.