Starwood, blank-check firm pay $146M for LI industrial portfolio

A joint venture on a 10-property light industrial portfolio on Long Island.

Starwood and Onyx Acquisition IV acquired the portfolio in Inwood, New York for $146 million, Crain’s reported. The properties, located a short drive from John F. Kennedy International Airport, span more than 18 acres and 501,000 square feet. 

The deal breaks down to roughly $291 per square foot. The seller was the Elias family, which owned the portfolio through Ben Elias Industries, a 77-year-old apparel company that started winding down operations and liquidating assets last year.

The portfolio along Doughty Boulevard and Inip Drive hadn’t traded hands in a half-century, according to an announcement from CBRE, which had Brian Fiumara and Martin Lomazow among the team representing the Elias family in the transaction.

Onyx Acquisition IV appears to be a follow-up to Onyx Acquisition Corp. I, a $200 million SPAC formed by JDS Development’s Stern and a few former Citadel analysts two years ago. The blank-check firm sought money to target general industrial and construction-tech companies, however, so targeting real estate would signal a shift in strategy.

Onyx Acquisition Corp. I did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Real Deal.

The investment firm led by Barry Sternlicht is more of a known entity in the industrial real estate space. In 2019, Sternlicht’s firm purchased a light industrial portfolio in the United Kingdom, turning around and selling it a year later. In 2021, it bought an industrial portfolio in Phoenix and Las Vegas.

High demand and low supply remain factors in the local industrial market. In the second quarter, tenants leased nearly 1 million square feet around New York City, while the average asking rent increased to $26.11 per square foot, according to CBRE; Starwood and Onyx will likely look to lease out its space, according to Allan Elias.

Logistics properties close to the airport are of particular interest to tenants and landlords alike. Last month, Realterm of Maryland received a $95 million building loan and $23 million project loan for a warehouse on Brookville Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens.

Holden Walter-Warner

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