The Blackstone Group apparently can’t get enough of a good thing, and that good thing is industrial commercial real estate assets. Meanwhile, the investment firm also apparently thinks family-themed resorts have some potential.
It recently announced intentions to spend billions on both property types.
Colony Industrial Acquisition
Blackstone’s latest foray into the property type is a proposed $5.9-billion purchase of Colony Industrial, a Dallas-based company with 465 buildings totaling about 60 million square feet. The assets are in major markets across the country, with strong a strong concentration in the Florida, Jersey and Pennsylvania regions. Colony’s portfolio primarily consists of light industrial buildings that are about 95 percent leased.
This is the second major portfolio acquisition by Blackstone in the last few months. In June it agreed to purchase GLP and its 179 million square feet for $18.7 billion. Its acquisition of these urban logistics properties followed Blackstone’s purchase last year of Gramercy Property Trust and its 81 million square feet for $7.5 billion.
After purchasing Colony, Blackstone and its affiliate funds will own about 620 million square feet of industrial assets, inching closer to industry-leading REIT Prologis and its 786 million square feet.
It’s hard to question Blackstone’s purchasing spree. After all, industrial properties are on a torrid run. Vacancy rates were at a 4.9 percent at the end of the year’s second half, despite 125 million square feet of new construction coming online, according to a Colliers International report (download here).
Great Wolf Lodge Stake
At the other end of the real estate spectrum, Blackstone bought a 65 percent stake in Great Wolf Resorts, the operator of 17 indoor waterpark-hotel facilities across the country. It is reportedly valued at $2.9 billion, with Centerbridge Partners as the minority owner.
Great Wolf Lodge Arizona was the newest addition to the portfolio, opening in September, with 350 hotel rooms and an 85,000-square-foot waterpark, in Scottsdale. It also has a new resort under construction in Manteca, Calif., in the San Joaquin Valley.
Like its industrial purchase, the Great Wolf acquisition is not foreign territory for Blackstone. In June it and two other joint-venture partners spent $6.1 billion on the international Legoland theme-park portfolio.
Once the owner of Hilton Hotels & Resorts before bringing it back to the public market in 2015, Blackstone owns assets consisting of 144,000 hotel rooms around the world, including The Cosmopolitan hotel-casino, in Las Vegas.
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