James Batmasian pays $16M for Palm Beach County industrial portfolio

The Boca Raton-based real estate investor is wheeling and dealing across South Florida

James Batmasian with 6758 North Military Trail, 1101 53rd Court South and 801 15th Street (Getty, Google Maps)
James Batmasian with 6758 North Military Trail, 1101 53rd Court South and 801 15th Street (Investment Limited, Google Maps)

James Batmasian is continuing his summer hot streak, wheeling and dealing for South Florida commercial properties.

The Boca Raton-based real estate investor paid $15.5 million for a portfolio of three industrial sites in Palm Beach County, records show. Batmasian acquired Fairfax Center at 6758 North Military Trail in Riviera Beach, Hopo Center at 1101 53rd Street South in Mangonia Park and Watertower at 801 15th Street in Lake Park.

A Marcus & Millichap team led by Douglas Mandel and Tyler S. Kuhlman represented the buyer and the seller, an entity managed by John Avsius and Jonathan Ginsberg with Delray Beach-based Harvest Holdings.

The entity paid a combined $9.5 million for the three properties in 2017, records show.

Fairfax Center is a three-building complex spanning about 35,000 square feet on 2.8 acres and completed in 1987, records show. Hopo Center is a 27,400-square-foot industrial building constructed in 1981 on nearly 2 acres. And Watertower is a 3.3-acre site with three buildings totaling 54,250 square feet and finished in 2000.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The three properties have historically maintained high occupancies, and the portfolio was 98 percent leased at the time of sale, Mandel said in a statement.

Batmasian’s latest purchase comes just days after an entity he manages paid $17 million for a Delray Beach shopping center anchored by a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

Earlier this year, Investments Limited — a company managed by Batmasian and his wife — scooped up a retail and office building in downtown Delray Beach for $18.5 million.

Batmasian is the recipient of a 2020 presidential pardon stemming from his 2008 conviction for tax evasion.

Industrial submarkets in Palm Beach County have seen a significant boost in demand, positive absorption and one of the lowest vacancy rates in Florida, Mandel said.

In the second quarter, Palm Beach County landlords raised the average industrial asking rent by 20 percent to $13.19 a square foot, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report. The vacancy rate dropped to 3.6 percent in the second quarter, compared to 4.1 percent during the same period of last year.