By Meghan Hall
As the Puget Sound continues to grow, equity partnerships have become popular amongst investors who wish to grow their portfolios or jump into the regional development industry. In a deal that closed at the end of October, but only just recorded, Exeter Property Group paid $48,892,815 to bring an equity partner on board as it moves forward with plans for an industrial site at 5210 196th St. E. in Spanaway, Wash., and $27.6 million for the former Ball Corporation building in Kent.
It is unclear what Exeter’s Plans are for the property. Pierce County records show that currently, the site is developed with a 300,942 square foot mega warehouse completed just this year. The building rises a single story and sits on about 18.82 acres of land.
The property is surrounded by a number of other industrial users, such as Toray Composite Materials America, Misui-Soko U.S.A., Potelco Fleet Services and Niagara Bottling. The property is about 30 minutes from downtown Tacoma and an hour away from Seattle.
In the second deal, Exeter brought on an equity partner for an asset currently occupied by Ball Corporation. The subject property, located at 1220 Second Ave. N., sits on approximately six acres and totals 130,615 square feet, according to public documents. Constructed in 1983, the structure is adjacent to State Route 167 and about 1.5 miles north of downtown Kent. Exeter acquired the asset in February of 2020 for $16.7 million.
EQT Exeter is an investment partner in charge of overseeing $10 billion of equity capital on behalf of global investors. The company manages the capital through private equity funds, joint ventures and managed accounts, according to its website. To date, the firm is approaching 250 million square feet of commercial property under management, and its assets are home to more than 1,200 different tenants.
The project site is just one example of how far south investors and developers have pushed to find suitable space for new projects, especially those that cater to industrial tenants. With close-in properties already developed or snapped up by buyers, demand continues to moved southward. A new report released by JLL shows that strong absorption continues to occur especially in Pierce County.
Currently, Pierce County has more than 80 million square feet of inventory–almost more than any other submarket. Total vacancy sits at just 5.7 percent, and more than 3.5 million square feet of new product is currently in the pipeline. JLL anticipates that new buildings will continue to be snapped up quickly; Port volumes are up 17.1 percent year-to-date, and in 2021, there have been eight tenants or owner-user leases of more than 500,000 square feet.