Buy a warehouse. Lease it to Amazon. Triple your money

Sellers MRP Realty and AEW Capital Management bought warehouse for $26M in late 2017
By Rich Bockmann | May 10, 2019 01:30PM

MRP Realty’s Bob Murphy and 1300 Viele Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps)

MRP Realty’s Bob Murphy and 1300 Viele Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps)

Investors who bought a South Bronx warehouse 16 months ago and then leased it to Amazon have a deal in place to cash out at nearly triple their initial investment.

MRP Realty and AEW Capital Management are in contract to sell the 116,000-square-foot industrial property at 1300 Viele Avenue in the Hunt’s Point section to a high net-worth family for $70 million, sources told The Real Deal.

The contract price works out to about $600 per square foot.

A representative for MRP Realty declined to comment. The identity of the family buying the property wasn’t disclosed. A Cushman & Wakefield team of Adam Spies, Doug Harmon, Kevin Donner, Adam Doneger and Anthony Pasquale negotiated the deal for the sellers.

Washington, D.C.-based MRP Realty teamed up with AEW Capital Management – the $75 billion real estate manager owned by French investment bank Natixis – in late 2017 to buy the two-building warehouse complex taking up a full block at 1300 Viele and 1301 Ryawa Avenues for $25.6 million.

The partners poured about $6 million into renovating the properties, and last year leased them to Amazon for the company’s first last-mile distribution center in the Bronx.

Warehouse and industrial properties have become hot commodities because of a greater demand for last-mile space that can be used to deliver e-commerce purchases throughout the city.

Late last year, Maryland-based logistics company Realterm Logistics paid $115 million – or about $300 per square foot – for a warehouse in the Morris Park section of the Bronx. Pricing for industrial properties in the Bronx averaged shy of $240 per square foot during the first quarter, according to Ariel Property Advisors.

MRP Realty made its first purchase in New York in in 2015 — a decade after it was founded in 2005 — when the company bought an office condominium at 133 West 52nd Street for $36 million in a joint venture with Long Wharf Real Estate. The company, headed by managing principal Bob Murphy, sold the condo last year for $46 million.

MRP’s largest purchase to date in New York is the 175,000-square-foot office building at 405 Park Avenue in Midtown East, which it purchased for $240 million in 2016 with Deutsche Bank Asset Management.

The owners last year struck a deal to buy development rights and plan to add additional floors of office space.

Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that MRP Realty had bought air rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral for 405 Park Avenue.