November 4, 2019— Stockbridge and Westmount Realty Capital have partnered to acquire a 1.7 million-square-foot light industrial portfolio in the Chicago region. Stockbridge acquired the portfolio on behalf of the firm’s Value Fund III, a closed-end value-add vehicle. The portfolio includes 38 buildings in some of Chicago’s most sought after submarkets including O’Hare, Lake County and Elgin. With this acquisition, Westmount now has more than 6.3 million square feet of industrial space in Chicagoland.
The light industrial portfolio is currently 95% leased to more than 280 tenants. The portfolio’s 38 buildings were constructed in the 1970s through 2000s.
“Westmount is purchasing a large quantity of well-located light industrial assets,” said Brian Scruggs, managing director –industrial acquisitions of Westmount. “Increasing our already strong presence in the Midwest, both as an owner and manager, we will apply economies of scale to maximize the value potential of this investment.”
Approximately half of the portfolio (757,557 square feet) is in Elk Grove Village immediately adjacent to the northwest side of O’Hare International Airport and alongside the O’Hare Western Access Project. Designated a “Project of National and Regional Significance” by federal transportation legislation, this multibillion-dollar infrastructure project provides 17 miles of new roads, including a new roadway around the western border of O’Hare, linking I-90 and the Tri-State Tollway. The O’Hare assets are located on approximately 47 acres of contiguous land.
The remainder of the portfolio is located in three separate business parks in the northern suburbs of Buffalo Grove (405,995 square feet) and Vernon Hills (281,246 square feet), and the western suburb of Elgin (236,720 square feet).
The Buffalo Grove and Vernon Hills assets are in Lake County. This submarket is home to many corporate headquarters, specifically in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, which benefit from both a highly skilled labor force housed in the north-shore neighborhoods as well as semi-skilled labor in nearby affordable housing.
Elgin remains one of the top industrial locations in the Chicago market and is poised to lure more businesses from other communities due to its immediate access to I-90. Within northern Kane County communities, Elgin has the largest supply of industrial product with more than 36 million square feet of industrial space.
“The portfolio is an ideal strategic fit for our value-add fund series, providing the opportunity to acquire four well-located industrial parks and enhance operations through a light renovation program,” said Dan Weaver, managing director, Stockbridge.
“Westmount has remained bullish on the Chicago industrial market and we are actively looking for off-market industrial deals in key submarkets in the region,” said Clifford Booth, CEO of Westmount. “With this acquisition, we are also looking to expand our Chicago regional office with the addition of nearly a dozen new positions.”