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Bascom Venture Pays $100M For Wisconsin Buildings

Irvine-based Bascom Group wrapped up 2020 with its largest commercial acquisition of the past year.

The privately held real estate investor recently shelled out $100 million in a partnership with London-based Capital Trust Group to buy two properties totaling nearly 500,000 square feet in the Milwaukee-area community of Menomonee Falls, Wis.

The purchase includes a newly built 372,856-square-foot industrial facility and a nearby 118,620-square-foot office.

The deal marks the first partnership between Bascom and Capital Trust, and the first buy for Capital Trust in the United States for over two decades. The duo expects additional joint deals to be made going forward.

JLL arranged the joint venture on behalf of Bascom Group and also secured a 10-year, fixed-rate $63.7 million loan with Citigroup.

“We are excited about our new partnership with Capital Trust to acquire credit-tenant, triple-net-leased properties in the United States,” Jerry Fink, managing partner of Bascom, said in a statement.

Bascom’s founders, who also include David Kim and Derek Chen, met in the real estate program at the University of Wisconsin, not far from the just-bought properties. The company’s name refers to that business school’s “Bascom Hill.”

R&D, Office

The larger of the two buildings is a research and development, manufacturing and testing facility that was built last July as a build-to-suit for Leonardo DRS’ naval division.

The company, a unit of the Virginia-based defense contractor, has been based in Milwaukee since 1899 and also occupies the adjacent three-story office building. The R&D facility is used to design, test, and produce naval and marine products for the Navy.

Bascom Partnerships

Bascom is best known for investing in existing apartment properties across the country but frequently partners with other real estate firms, including several in Orange County, for new commercial projects.

The company partnered with Newport Beach-based based Real Estate Development Associates LLC on industrial development deals in Southern California, entitling more than 6.5 million square feet of logistics and warehouse facilities in the past 48 months.

This March, the partnership will break ground on the development of the Ontario Ranch Business Park, a two-phase project will total over 3 million square feet across 12 buildings.

Also in OC, Bascom has worked with Long Beach’s Harbor Associates to buy a string of offices in OC the past few years, and also backs Irvine’s Premier Workplaces, one of the area’s largest owners of executive office suites.

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