EXCLUSIVE: Opus Group building 2 huge spec warehouses

Dec 31, 2014

Opus Group is getting ready to build not one, but two huge industrial buildings in West Chester and Fairfield.

Opus Group, a Minneapolis-headquartered family of commercial real estate development, construction and design companies, will develop and build a 260,000-square-foot industrial building and a nearly 548,000-square-foot industrial building at Port Union Commerce Park. Andy Finn, vice president of acquisitions and investments for Founders Properties LLC, which will own the properties, said both buildings will break ground soon, and neither has a signed tenant, yet.

“There’s just not a whole lot of options if you’re 75,000, 100,000 square feet and want to move into brand-new class A space,” Finn told me.

While Finn would not disclose the cost to construct the two buildings, it is likely a more than $15 million development. Finn expects both buildings to break ground soon and be delivered by late summer or early fall 2015.

“Hopefully they will be full of tenants at that time,” Finn said.

Opus Group will provide construction and development services for the project. Founders Properties also purchased the two existing building in Port Union Commerce Park.

Founders Properties, a Minneapolis-based company that provides acquisition, financing, asset management and investment services for high-net-worth investors, purchased 4300 Port Union Road, 4260 Port Union Road and 46 acres of land from DCT Industrial Trust Inc. for more than $42 million through its Founders Income Fund III. A separate entity also controlled by Founders purchased the land adjacent to the existing buildings.

The larger building will be located at 4350 Port Union Road in West Chester, while the smaller of the two will be located at 4250 Port Union Road in Fairfield.

Mike Lowe, Doug Whitten and Tim Schenke with CBRE are the listing agents for the new Port Union Commerce Park buildings.

Adding more than 800,000 square feet of industrial space without any tenants in tow might seem like a risk, but Finn is confident the demand from regional and national tenants looking at the Cincinnati market will help fill the buildings.

The lack of industrial space in Greater Cincinnati is something I have been tracking. I wrote about the need for more development back in October.

Finn said with Cincinnati’s bulk warehouse vacancy rates below five percent, it makes sense to put these buildings up speculatively.

“We think you’ve got a very healthy economy there,” Finn told me. “The Cincinnati market is a great place to invest in real estate.”

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