MANCHESTER — The recent sale of four industrial buildings in southern New Hampshire for $58.5 million shows the popularity of the Granite State with investors who want to buy property outside major metropolitan areas, according to people involved in the deal.
Based on recent commercial real estate sales, interest in properties across the state is peaking among both regional and out-of-state investors. The trend is seen as a way for buyers to invest in real estate with a higher return on investment and without taking on the cost of new construction and finding tenants.
The portfolio of four industrial properties totaling nearly 600,000 square feet located in Hudson, Manchester and Nashua sold above the $56 million asking price after several rounds with more than a dozen bidders, according to Thomas Farrelly of Cushman & Wakefield, who brokered the deal.
Brady Sullivan Properties sold the buildings to Boston-based Albany Road Real Estate Partners last week. Outside New England, Albany Road owns property in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, according to its website.
“It was mostly because of how incredibly well-received the properties were by investors from all around the country,” Farrelly said of the sale price. “Brady Sullivan did such a superb job in repositioning the buildings.”
The properties include the Manchester Air Center at 1050 Perimeter Road, Brady Sullivan Airport Center at 645 Harvey Road in Manchester, 5 Wentworth Drive in Hudson and 22 Cotton Road in Nashua. The buildings were about 97% leased with 21 tenants, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Southern New Hampshire is a secondary market to larger cities such as Boston, Farrelly said.
Brady Sullivan waited for an opportune time to sell after upgrading and branding the properties, he said.
“They knew this asset class was peaking in demand,” Farrelly said.
A representative with Albany Road Real Estate Partners did not return phone calls seeking comment on the sale.
Brady Sullivan worked to renovate the buildings and fill them with tenants before the transaction, said Arthur Sullivan, one of the company’s owners. The company bought the properties between 2005 and 2015.
“We felt like we had maximized the value of those particular properties, and it made sense for us to put them on the market,” he said.
Many commercial real estate investors are looking for properties that are mostly leased, which adds value. New construction would be more costly for investors, Sullivan said.
“It just goes to show that New Hampshire is still a very strong market,” he said. “People coming in from the outside want to have a foothold here.”
On the other side of Manchester, Anagnost Companies sold a 20,000-square-foot building occupied by Planet Fitness at 99 Eddy Road to Michigan-based Agree Development LLC for $4.2 million. Colliers International brokered the deal.
“They own a building in Nashua,” Bryan Wright of Colliers said of Agree Development. “They do a lot of single-tenant retail assets and they look all around the country.”
Planet Fitness has a long-term corporate lease on the building.
Robert Gagne, who chairs the city’s board of assessors, didn’t seem surprised by the price tag in the Brady Sullivan deal.
“I think they are buying more than just the real estate. They are buying a good tenant with a lease that is going out for a few years,” he said.
Gagne said the state has seen similar sales and investments made in apartment complexes across southern New Hampshire. He also mentioned the $39 million sale of the Citizen Bank building in downtown Manchester in March.
“It is not risk-free, but a low risk that is going to pay them at a better rate of return than they are going to get with CDs or stocks,” he said.
Farrelly thinks interest from investors will persist.
“More and more people are waking up to the opportunities that secondary markets offer,” he said.