Pension fund plans Napa wine warehouses

NAPA -- A San Francisco-based investor for construction trade union pension funds is making a big statement on prospects for building wine warehouses in Napa Valley.

MNCVAD-Ind Greenwood CA, managed by McMorgan & Company and New York Life Real Estate Investors, purchased the 18-acre former Greenwood Commerce Center project at 1535 Airport Rd. near Napa County Airport from a lender for an undisclosed amount. An institutional investor on a speculative Napa Valley project is unusual, according to real estate agents involved in the deal.

It's the first investment for the Northern California Value Add/Development Fund, launched in June with $91 million from six pension funds, according to Mark Taylor, a McMorgan partner. Attractiveness of the deal came from a lack of uncertainty in a project with entitlements and clearances for zoning and wetlands in place along with the tight marketplace for wine warehouse space, he said.

"There is uncertainty up there with vintners needing to or wanting to store wine for 'Napa Valley' on the label in a market with 5 percent vacancy," Mr. Taylor said.

The first phase would have 228,000-square-foot building and be finished next year. A second 75,000-square-foot building is planned. The projected cost of the project is more than $20 million.

Brooks Pedder, Bill Kampton, Phil Garrett and Steve Crocker of Colliers International's Fairfield office represented buyer and seller in the July 30 deal and are marketing the planned warehouse space.


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