Story originally published in the Feb. 6 edition of Orange County Business Journal
Irvine-based business park and industrial investor and developer CIP Real Estate LLC said 2022 was its most active year to date, with a series of acquisitions that pushed its portfolio pass $1 billion.
The company, founded in 1995, remains active in 2023, with plans to invest north of $100 million in the first half of the year for industrial assets.
“With vacancies low and demand steady, we expect another strong year for industrial product in 2023, and plan to make additional purchases—including in our local area of Southern California,” CEO Eric Smyth said.
In the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, CIP acquired two industrial and flex assets totaling $100 million, including the company’s first entry into the Florida market.
Last year also brought the start of CIP’s first ground-up development project in Georgia, where the firm is adding to its 1.3 million-square-foot Gwinnett Commons complex with a pair of 90,000-square-foot industrial buildings.
Both buildings have been pre-leased, with one to be used by Hyundai L&C USA, a countertop distribution company not to be confused with Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America. Hyundai L&C is the North American subsidiary of Hyundai Department Store Group, which is based in South Korea.
Walgreens is the occupier for the latter building at the larger complex, which is fully leased with higher rents than CIP originally projected, the company said.
In November, CIP paid $74.3 million for two business parks in East Tampa, Fla. totaling 405,772 square feet.
“Tampa is a very desirable market, and land parcels for this product type and size of park are becoming increasingly rare, due in part to lack of available land and local industrial zoning restrictions,” Smyth said.
That same month, CIP acquired a 10-acre Atlanta business park for $22.6 million. Kennesaw Mountain Business Park includes two industrial buildings totaling 144,130 square feet.
CIP’s Atlanta metro portfolio totals 1.6 million square feet. Other notable area projects include the 223,000-square-foot Mansell Commons; CIP invested nearly $750,000 in capital improvements on the project last year.
Over the next year, CIP plans to start three additional ground-up industrial projects in Charlotte, N.C., totaling over 250,000 square feet.
“This development pipeline will exceed $62 million over the next 18 months,” the company said.
It plans to sell office and flex properties this year and next to finance future industrial deals.
CIP’s portfolio that began in October 2019 with Almanac Realty Investors counts a value topping $1 billion across 15 projects totaling nearly 5.6 million square feet and more than 2,000 tenants. Markets include regions in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and California.
It counts several Orange County industrial properties in Orange and Anaheim. Its last local investment was in 2016 when it paid $12 million for a 91,000-square-foot business park near Honda Center in Orange.