Spotlight: ACORE funds unusual Savannah-area acquisition for Equity Industrial  

The loan on Pinder Point represents an opportunity that is slightly off the run and larger than many industrial financings the firm has seen.

Corey Goodstein, ACORE. Source: ACORE

ACORE has provided a $47.6 million loan to Equity Industrial Partners on Pinder Point, a Savannah-area industrial property that has a rare twist: the site has a large existing plot of land for container storage.

The New York-based commercial real estate debt manager is very positive on outlook for the Port Wentworth, Georgia property for two major reasons, Corey Goodstein, assistant vice-president, told Real Estate Capital USA.

“Savannah is one of the most active and fastest-growing ports in the US and it is undergoing a $2.5 billion expansion,” Goodstein said, noting that the site is a little less than five miles away from the port’s shipping container terminal.

Evaluating the lending opportunity involved digging into the process of where the property fits into the process of distributing goods from ships to retailers. Containers are unloaded from ships before they are moved to warehouses, where the goods are ultimately sorted into trucks and sent to the correct retailers.

“Land is at such a premium at many sites [around the port] and Pinder Point is rare in that it has excess land to store shipping containers,” Goodstein said.

The first mortgage is a fairly typical loan, with Goodstein noting the dual use meant ACORE had to account for the two revenue streams when doing its analysis and underwriting. The loan has a term of 120 months and is backed by a 527,000-square-foot warehouse, the 4.5-acre piece of land that can be used for container storage, and another 17.4 acres for trailer parking.

The borrower is a repeat client of the firm, which also has a strong relationship with Anthony Cutone, a managing director at JLL Capital Markets who brought the deal to ACORE. “We backed EIP on another portfolio of assets, they were able to execute and subsequently paid us off,” Goodstein said.

Looking ahead into 2022, the firm would like to be more active in the industrial sector. But it’s a competitive market, Warren de Haan, co-CEO of ACORE, told Real Estate Capital USA.

“The industrial market is certainly performing and rent growth is both extremely attractive and directionally correct,” de Haan said. “In industrial the average loan sizes are very small while our average loan size is about $70 million. A lot of the larger deals will get financed by banks at rates below where we would lend and there are a lot of very small industrial deals that are way below our average loan size. It is finding those opportunities that are a little off the run and larger, which means we can step in and provide the right kind of financing for the borrower.”