Sale of Amazon-Leased Warehouse in Austin May Be Among Priciest of Its Kind in Texas

Off-Market Deal Comes Amid Intense Competition for Properties

By Marissa Luck | CoStar News

A New Jersey investor scooped up an Amazon-leased distribution facility in Austin, Texas, in what could be among the most expensive deals in the Lone Star State as properties are snatched up and demand only increases in the capital city.

Four Springs Capital Trust, a private real estate investment trust based in Lake Como, New Jersey, purchased a 160,000-square-foot industrial facility in Austin’s MetCenter and an adjacent 20-acre parking lot from Dallas-based Mohr Capital, according to a statement. Mohr Capital had initially expected to keep the property for several years after buying it as a part of a $100 million, or about $247 per square foot, five-building portfolio deal in 2019 from Zydeco Development.

But the sale to Four Springs Capital was for a higher price than what Mohr Capital bought it for just over 18 months ago, said Rodrigo Godoi, managing director of Mohr Capital. Godoi declined to disclose the price but said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if it was among the pricier warehouse trades in Texas. For reference, industrial buildings in the Austin industrial market traded for about $351 per square foot in the first quarter across publicly known deals tracked by CoStar.

A relative lack of properties on the market in hot cities for investors such as Austin has been driving up prices for real estate this year, according to CBRE’s “Americas Investor Intentions” survey.

Austin ranked No. 1 as the preferred market for investors of all sizes in 2021, as well as the top market for large investors with more than $50 billion of assets under management and midsize investors with between $10 billion and $50 billion of assets under management, according to CBRE’s survey.

“We had no intention of selling, we just got a good deal and decided to make it work,” Godoi said about the Amazon-leased building. “Originally we were looking to get the building refinanced. We just made the decision to deploy that capital elsewhere.”

The property is within the MetCenter, a 550-acre, mixed-use business park about 8 miles from downtown Austin and near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport with immediate access to the city’s major thoroughfares, including state Highway 183, U.S. Route 290, state Highway 130, state Highway 71 and Interstate 35.

When Mohr Capital bought the portfolio in 2019, the deal included the 160,000-square-foot industrial building at 7000 Metropolis Drive that at the time housed Uber Advanced Technologies and Amazon, and four office buildings totaling 244,000 square feet.

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