LaSalle offering Howard County buildings for sale


Hoping to capitalize on a regional surge of interest in industrial real estate, pension fund consultant LaSalle Advisors Ltd. has put up for sale a $48 million portfolio of mid-Atlantic properties.

The 11 warehouse and "flex" office buildings being offered by the Baltimore-based pension fund adviser are located in Howard County and New Jersey, according to an investment package being circulated.

"They're two different and distinct product types in two different markets, but all in all, it's a good package with quality, well-leased buildings," said Brian R. Harringer, a regional manager of Cabot Partners Inc., a Boston-based pension adviser active in the Baltimore-Washington market.

Six Howard warehouses -- which represent most of the 1.1 million-square-foot package -- are contained in the 138-acre Meadowridge Industrial Park in Elkridge and the 286-acre Corridor Industrial Park in Savage.

The balance of the package comprises projects in the Greentree North Business Center, in Burlington County, N.J.

LaSalle projects the 11 buildings will generate $4.5 million in rental income this year and in 1996. The projects are 88 percent leased to a variety of tenants, including Boise Cascade Inc., Office Depot, Delsey Luggage and Associated Stationers.

LaSalle, a $12.5 billion fund created last year in a merger between Alex. Brown Kleinwort Benson Realty Advisors and LaSalle Partners of Chicago, is selling the properties on behalf of Oregon's public retirement fund. LaSalle executives declined comment.

LaSalle's decision to sell the properties comes amid one of the most active industrial real estate climates in the past two decades. Vacancy rates for warehouse projects in the Baltimore/Washington corridor have dropped to roughly 8 percent, for instance, down from 13 percent two years ago.

At the same time, institutional investors flush with cash have seized upon industrial projects because of their relative stability and potential for solid returns.

"I think owners realize it's a good time to sell in part because there's a lot of capital out there and few quality projects," said Jane L. Harris, an executive with AMB Institutional Realty Advisors Inc., a San Francisco-based pension consultant.

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