JLL Capital Markets has closed the sale-leaseback of two cold storage facilities totaling 262,904 square feet, in Miami and in metro New Orleans, for Quirch Foods.
JLL represented Quirch in the sale to an undisclosed third party. Quirch occupies both facilities. Financials on the deal were not disclosed.
The Miami property is on 15 acres at 7600 NW 82nd Place and totals 178,428 square feet. The facility is accessible from Florida’s Turnpike, U.S. 27 and State Road 826 (the Palmetto Expressway) and is close to Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami.
The metro New Orleans facility is on 19.4 acres at 11502 Scariano Lane in Hammond, La., and totals 84,476 square feet. It’s near the intersection of Interstates 12 and 55 and has efficient access to several Gulf Coast ports.
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The JLL Capital Markets team representing Quirch was led by Director Max La Cava, Senior Managing Director Brian Shanfeld, Managing Directors Jason Dewitt and Luis Castillo, and Vice President Steven Okon.
Quirch is a portfolio company of Palladium Equity Partners, a New York–based mid-market private equity fund.
Quirch touts itself as one of the largest distributors of food products in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, whose customers include independent and chain supermarkets, foodservice distributors, processors and manufacturers, cruise lines and restaurants.
The company operates a fleet of nearly 500 refrigerated trucks and occupies more than 2.3 million square feet of distribution space in 23 facilities across 10 states and Puerto Rico.
Cold storage industrial remains a heavily in-demand asset class among investors, La Cava commented in a prepared statement, adding that long-term leased product provides investors with attractive yields and surety of cash flow.
“Despite broader market volatility that occurred over the summer, JLL saw a remarkable level of interest from an array of investors that aggressively pursued the opportunity,” he said.
The ongoing growth in demand for cold storage assets is undeniable.
In March, Bridge Industrial landed FreezPak as a full-building tenant for its then-still-uncompleted and initially speculative Bridge Point Cold Logistics Center, in Hialeah, Fla. The 321,000-square-foot facility is a joint venture with PGIM Real Estate.
And in May, Bain Capital and Barber Partners LLC formed a joint venture to develop 15 Class A cold storage facilities across the country, to be operated under Barber’s newly launched Chill Storage brand. The partners planned to invest $500 million of asset value in the joint venture.
Despite barriers to entry such as high construction costs and complex user requirements, the cold storage sector continues to thrive, as does investor interest, according to a June report from CBRE. As of the second quarter, 3.3 million square feet of speculative cold storage development was underway in the U.S., up from only 300,000 square feet in 2019, the report noted.