LA Industrial Player Rexford Buys $150M more

Rexford’s Michael Frankel (left) and Howard Schwimmer (right) with 14200 Arminta Street (Rexford, Loopnet)

Just weeks after closing one flurry of six SoCal purchases, the L.A.-based firm Rexford Industrial Realty has again extended its months-long buying spree.

The REIT bought four more properties in May that total $164 million, the firm announced on Wednesday.

“Our year-to-date investments total $774 million,” Rexford’s co-executives, Howard Schwimmer and Michael Frankel, said in a statement, adding that SoCal’s infill sector was “the nation’s lowest-supply and highest-demand industrial market.”

The four new purchases were spread around Southern California: The REIT bought a roughly two-acre parcel of land in Compton for $10.8 million; a 200,000-square-foot Class A building in Panorama City for $90.2 million; a 44,000-square-foot Class-A building in Ontario for $17.8 million; and a roughly seven-acre piece of industrial land in Fullerton for $45 million.

The Panorama City purchase, at 14200-14220 Arminta Street, came out to $451 per square foot. Rexford was drawn to the space because of the area’s “incredibly low vacancy rate” and the building’s “high-quality tenant,” a long-term lessee who has also made numerous improvements to the space, Michael Bogle, a vice president at CBRE who represented Rexford on the deal, said in a statement. The tenant appears to be Mission Foods, the Texas-based tortilla brand with significant operations in Southern California.

“This was a true flight-to-quality play,” Bogle added.

With its Fullerton purchase, in northern Orange County, Rexford intends to redevelop a recently shuttered hotel into a warehouse. The firm’s purchase in Ontario — a deal that came out to $404 per square foot, for a one year-old building with a single tenant — is part of a larger trend of surging industrial demand in the two-county Inland Empire, where a flurry of new warehouse construction has also prompted a civic backlash.

Rexford’s $164 million in spending was the latest flurry in what’s been an extended buying spree: In April and early May the REIT bought six properties for a total $153 million, including a 35,000-square-foot building near the Ontario airport for $14.2 million; a roughly six acre storage site in Fontana for $26.2 million; and a 56,000-square-foot building in Santa Fe Springs for $15.5 million.

In December the REIT also spent $270 million to pick up more than 650,000 square feet of industrial space around SoCal, and the firm’s purchases earlier this year included a warehouse in Santa Clarita, an industrial building along the L.A. River and a business park in Long Beach.

Rexford now has over 300 properties that comprise nearly 40 million square feet of rentable space, according to a release. Its recent purchases were made both with cash on hand and the company’s credit line; in the first quarter, the company reported $43.9 million in net income — a 76 percent jump compared to a year earlier that was due to “extraordinary tenant demand,” Frankel said on an earnings call.

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