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Stern steering Hartz in southerly direction

New Jersey-based Hartz Mountain Industries is continuing its push into southeastern US markets impacted by the Panama Canal expansion.

The company — which owns one of the largest privately held commercial real estate portfolios in the United States — has paid $129 million to acquire a 2.5 million square foot portfolio of 35 buildings in North Atlanta.


“The Panamex expansion of the Panama Canal created additional transportation options to and from the Orient and the West Coast, making East Coast locations in large and growing areas more relevant,” said Emanuel Stern, COO and president for Hartz Mountain Industries.

“Population growth in cities like Charlotte and Atlanta make Baltimore and other markets in the Southeast more appealing for us and other companies to expand their businesses into as well.”

Jeffrey Dunne, vice chairman of CBRE’s New York Institutional Group, collaborated with Brian Budnick, Chris Riley and Frank Fallon of CBRE’s National Partners Team in completing the sale of the North Atlanta Distribution Portfolio (also known as Peachtree Corners and Kennestone Corners). Jim Gunning and Val Achtemeier of the Capital Markets Debt & Structured Finance team, secured financing from Prudential for the purchaser. Dunne represented the buyer, an entity controlled by Hartz Mountain Industries, while the seller, Clarion Partners, was represented by National Partners.

The deal follows Hartz’ recent purchase of a 575,718 s/f Class A warehouse occupied by Hanes Brand at 219 Commerce Blvd. in Kings Mountain, NC, just west of Charlotte, and a 278,586 s/f industrial property in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor at 7448 Candlewood Road in Hanover, MD.

These are the first transactions for Hartz in Atlanta and Charlotte and the third in the Baltimore port market, bringing its nationwide portfolio consisting of warehouse/industrial, data center, office, retail and hospitality assets to more than 35 million square feet.

The North Atlanta portfolio consists of three developments that are more than 93 percent occupied. Hartz found them appealing both for their proximity to major interstates 1-75, 1-575 and 1-285, the airport, and two railroad systems, and their location within a market with limited room for additional development, which will reduce competition for future warehouse business.

219 Commerce Blvd. in Charlotte is situated within a one day’s drive of 60 percent of the country because of its proximity Interstate 85, widely considered the industrial backbone of the Southeast, Interstate 77, and Interstate 40, one of the nation’s largest interstates that runs from North Carolina to California.

Hanes Brand, Inc. recently signed a long-term lease and, since moving into this location in 1999, has expanded twice.

Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc. owns and manages some 200 properties totaling more than 35 million square feet in the northern New Jersey/New York area as well as Chicago, Seattle and Austin, Texas.

The company began its residential portfolio in 2010 with the acquisition of a four-property apartment portfolio in North Jersey which has since grown to over 3,500 units in New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Seattle and, most recently, Austin, TX.

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