KS Trades Fordham Park for $27M+ to Carlisle; Colliers Exclusive Agent of 302,000-SF ComplexSeptember 06, 2018 — By Joe Clements
WILMINGTON—Every decade it happens—Fordham Business Center gets sold—and the 2010s continue that tradition as the four-building complex located along Interstate 93 North has transferred from KS Partners to Carlisle Properties, a New Hampshire firm with other Wilmington holdings which paid $27.1 million for 100-110 Fordham Rd. backed by Bank of America financing. Colliers International was exclusive broker advising KS and procuring the winning bidder who outpaced a determined lineup of capital competitors angling for the 302,000-sf package.
“We had a lot of interest, and there was a pretty hard push at the end,” Colliers Capital Markets principal Douglas Jacoby recounts to Real Reporter in acknowledging conclusion of a process which fomented over two dozen tours and had a quintet of finalists he declined to identify beyond confirming the victorious entrant. “They were excellent to work with,” Jacoby says of Carlisle, a Portsmouth company led by William H. Binnie which also owns 234 Ballardvale St. in Wilmington, that 100,225-sf asset another listing of the Colliiers team led by Jacoby and Scott Dragos which Carlisle acquired in June 2013 for $10.5 million.
“Carlisle is a very knowledgeable investor and a long-term holder,” relays Jacoby, adding, “I think they are going to do very well there.” Calls to Carlisle President Mark M. Rogers and KS Partners founding principal Kambiz Shahbazi were not returned by press deadline.
Joining Jacoby and Dragos on the assignment were Assistant VPs Anthony Hayes and Timothy Mulhall plus Associate Daniel Hines. Jacoby says beyond being a well-maintained park which KS Partners had held since March 2007, its generous portion of flex and industrial inventory appeals to both tenants and investors alike.
“That product is very popular right now and getting harder to find,” Jacoby explains, and the improving market fundamentals are encouraging given one-third of the facility—the 100,200-sf Building D—is currently empty, its constitution a flex function. Colliers pegs the submarket’s current vacancy rate at 3.4 percent versus a metric of 9.3 percent for the entire region. “Building D is highly desirable flex product,” Colliers declares in marketing materials and observing that “the vacancy . . . offers an opportunity for investors to realize value quickly through an aggressive leasing campaign. Carlisle is said to be interviewing agents for the leasing exclusive.
In the glass-is-two-thirds-full-department, Colliers notes that having two-thirds of the business center committed into the next decade provides its new stewards a stream of cash flow centered around the anchor tenant, Red Thread, sole denizen of Building B, a 121,825-sf warehouse committed to December 2025. Lake Region occupies 23,200 sf of flex space in Building A and 21,525 sf in Building C, the latter an office building which is also leased to World Travel Holdings. That firm is in 20,800 sf in a lease running to May 2022, with Lake Region’s lease expiring later the same year in October.
Carlisle Properties is part of Calisle Capital Corp. Its website describes Carlisle as a private investment firm possessing a track record in acquiring, managing, and owning assets with a long-term strategy as alluded to by Jacoby. Since its inception in 1984, Carlisle has completed billions of dollars of transactions, acquisitions and financings in a number of different industries, the website outlines, its holdings cresting 1,000,000 sf spread between hospitality, industrial, laboratory, multifamily and office sectors in multiple states and even overseas, with 15 countries having been invested in over the years.
Wilmington has been a popular destination for Carlisle capital since April 2002 when the firm paid $10.5 million for 220, 230 and 240 Ballardvale St., those flex/industrial buildings totaling just under 155,000 sf. The latest investment was secured with a $27.5 million mortgage from Bank of America.
Despite buying Fordham Business Center at the top of the market, KS Partners managed to reap a profit via its trade, no mean feat given the number of properties in that span which struggled from the 2008 recession, especially in suburban locations. It also continued a streak of appreciation of FBC through the years and in having a series of top landlords that include the likes of Prudential Insurance of America and Clarion Partners preceding the KS tenure. One potential allure highlighted by Colliers is the chance to construct another 75,000 sf at the park.
Initially constructed as a suburban campus for Volkswagon in the late 1960s, 100-110 Fordham Rd. was later converted to a multi-tenanted complex and sold for $5.0 million in Feb. 1979, then fetched $9.99 million in June 1983 and $19.5 million in Dec. 1997. That buying entity, Clarion, held the park until KS Partners paid $26.0 million in March 2007. “I think they are happy with it,” Jacoby says of the result, praising KS for maintaining FBC sufficient to weather the downturn and cash out on an up note.Douglas Jacoby Scott Dragos Kambiz Shahbazi Daniel Hines Timothy Mulhall Anthony Hayes