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Amazon-Leased Buildings Fetch $520M for Greenlaw

Brea warehouse plans disclosed

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Irvine-based real estate investor Greenlaw Partners has completed a major portfolio sale of eight industrial properties in California and Utah that are leased to Amazon for its sprawling distribution network.

Local brokerages put a $520 million price tag on the entire portfolio.

The bulk sale, to South Korean institutional investor Mirae Asset Global Investments, is among the larger industrial deals in the Western U.S. this year and comes amid a changing landscape for warehouses and e-commerce distribution centers, as well as their ownership groups (see story, page 17).

The deal brings privately held Greenlaw’s haul for sales of industrial sites either leased to Amazon or sold directly to the $1 trillion-valued e-commerce giant (Nasdaq: AMZN) for future development to nearly $1.2 billion since last year, according to Business Journal data and industry sources.

 

Family Office

Commercial brokerage Newmark said earlier this month that it worked on the sale of a nearly 1.2-million-square-foot industrial portfolio 100% triple net leased to Amazon to Korea’s Mirae, which counts over $230 billion of assets under management.

Only six of the eight buildings trading hands in the $520 million deal have been identified to date; none are in Orange County.

Newmark, which worked on the four identified California properties that traded hands as well as two properties in Utah, cited an “Orange County family office” as the seller.

Multiple sources tell the Business Journal that Greenlaw, which also invests in offices and apartments among other property types, was that seller.

The family office is retaining property management of the buildings post-sale to Mirae, according to Newmark.

Fellow brokerage Cushman & Wakefield worked on two of the Utah property sales involved in the portfolio—which sold for about $188 million combined—and confirmed Greenlaw’s involvement in those two transactions.

The total $520 million cited being paid by Mirae for the entire Greenlaw industrial portfolio works out to a price of nearly $450 per square foot on a combined basis—a price roughly on par with a high-end, well-leased office in Orange County pre-pandemic.

 

Bakersfield, IE

While Greenlaw often partners with institutional buyers on deals, the eight properties sold to Mirae in California and around Salt Lake City were solely owned by the Irvine firm, according to real estate sources familiar with the deal.

California properties reported to be trading hands include a 94,500-square-foot facility in Bakersfield, a 112,000-square-foot facility in Riverside, a 126,400-square-foot facility in Victorville and a 122,156-square-foot facility in Cathedral City.

All the California properties were bought vacant and subsequently leased to Amazon, according to sources.

 

Cypress, Brea Site Plans

In addition to the eight-building portfolio sold to Mirae, Greenlaw has completed several other highly profitable sales of Amazon-related properties of late, including a pair of OC sites.

In Cypress, Greenlaw worked to get Amazon as a tenant for a portion of the former Mitsubishi Motors America campus, before selling the site to industrial developer Duke Realty a little more than a year ago.

Last November, the Business Journal was first to report on Amazon making its largest reported real estate buy in OC, paying $165 million for the 30-acre office site in Brea that long served as a call center for Bank of America.

That site was sold—at a price of nearly $5.5 million an acre—by a venture between Greenlaw and New York-based investment firm Cerberus Capital Management LP. Greenlaw and Cerberus paid a reported $110 million for the site in 2014.

The Valencia Avenue facility is located north of Imperial Boulevard, close to other industrial properties near the La Floresta mixed-use development. The campus was said to be the largest leased, single-user office building in OC when used by BofA.

City documents indicate that architecture firm Ware Malcomb has filed early stage plans to demolish the existing three-story, 637,503-square-foot office building previously occupied by BofA and construct a new 181,500-square-foot warehouse building “that will be used as Amazon’s parcel delivery facility.”

 

Other Sales

Other recent Amazon-leased building sales for Greenlaw include a $128 million transaction last October in Simi Valley, one of the larger commercial real estate deals seen in the San Fernando Valley area over the past year, as well as a $154 million deal in Camarillo in March 2021.

Greenlaw still counts a sizeable industrial portfolio and is actively looking for other investment opportunities, sources tell the Business Journal.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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