Commercial Real Estate: Lowenberg buys 314,000sf of wine warehouses

[caption id="attachment_96363" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Lowenberg Corp. expanded its North Bay industrial portfolio by 314,000 square feet with the purchase of two south Napa wine warehouses, including 21 Executive Way, shown here. (credit: Cushman & Wakefield)[/caption]

San Francisco-based real estate investor Lowenberg Corp., which has become among the North Bay's largest industrial landlords, expanded that portfolio further with the purchase of nearly 314,000 square feet of wine warehouse space in south Napa.

Lowenberg bought 21 and 37 Executive Way, located at the junction of highways 12 and 29 and Airport Boulevard, from Sacramento-based Live Oak Equities, LLC, on July 8 for $29.5 million. The seller was part of the investment group that backed Panattoni Development in the project in 2005 and 2008.

"My client was not looking to sell, but it was a good offer," said Greg Dyer, an attorney representing the family entity.

Trinchero Family Estates' Sutter Home Winery occupies all the 163,000-square-foot 37 Executive building and 76,000 square feet of the 150,000-square-foot 21 Executive building, according to Cushman & Wakefield's Glen Dowling, who represented both sides of the deal. The other half of 21 Executive is taken up by Collotype Labels USA, which recently renewed its lease and occupied another 22,000 square feet.

The purchase brings Lowenberg's North Bay portfolio to about 1.6 million square feet in 18 buildings in Napa, Solano and, recently, Sonoma counties. The investor's total holdings are approaching 5 million square feet.

"This transaction is further evidence that the region's industrial investment market is continuing to improve, particularly the North Bay submarket," Mr. Dowling said. "The Napa County industrial market continues to be very strong, with steady demand and a vacancy rate currently at about 4 percent. Well-leased industrial product continues to draw the attention of savvy investors looking for a stable market with strong barriers to entry."

The south Napa industrial real estate market has been tightening as the wine industry gathers momentum, and little construction has been completed. However, the vacancy rate inched up at the mid-year point to the upper single digits with the completion of a smaller industrial project, according to Colliers International. One American Canyon project has around 300,000 square feet of wine warehouses under construction, and several hundred thousand square feet are poised to come out of the ground in the surrounding area.***

[caption id="attachment_96364" align="alignright" width="300"] Cornerstone Properties' latest Sonoma County industrial property purchase was the 140,000-square-foot, 35-acre former Hosokawa Bepex plant in south Santa Rosa. (credit: Cassidy Turley)[/caption]

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