Axos Bank originates $132m refinancing for 22-asset industrial outdoor storage portfolio

Criterion Group and Columbia Pacific Advisors will use the funding for a portfolio of last-mile logistics centers across 9 states.

Axos Bank originated a $132.3 million refinancing package last week for 22-property industrial outdoor storage portfolio owned by a joint venture between Columbia Pacific Advisors and Criterion Group.

The August 2 deal encompassed 22 assets across 9 states and demonstrated how momentum is holding up for in-demand niche sectors, including industrial outdoor storage, despite the broader volatility that has slowed the wider landscape’s deal momentum.

“With the growing necessity of last-mile logistics due to the continued growth of e-commerce, leasing for industrial outdoor storage assets has started to shift from typically non-credit, local tenants to national credit tenants, thus attracting a more institutional investor-set as well,” said Peter Rotchford, managing director at Chicago-based advisory JLL.

Rotchford was a member of the capital markets advisory team that arranged the five-year, floating-rate loan alongside JLL senior managing director Christopher Peck and vice-president Christopher Pratt. Sites across the 230-acre portfolio average to be about 10.5 acres each in size and are located in the distribution markets of the US Northeast, Southeast and Texas.

Shibber Khan, principal at New York-based manager Criterion, said the geographic scope of the portfolio positions it to increase in value as last-mile logistics drive more demand for parking and outdoor storage space. “The portfolio offers the opportunity for powerful near- and long-term rent growth,” he added.

The industrial outdoor storage category has continued to draw debt capital in recent quarters alongside similar niches including self-storage, cold storage and data centers as institutional investors and managers look for more portfolio diversification and income streams.

Data from Calabasas, California-based advisory Marcus & Millichap showed that from 2019 to 2022, rents for industrial outdoor storage assets have climbed 30 percent, compared with the broader industrial sector’s 24 percent jump over the same period.