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Former Mazda property sold in $9M deal

Burl Rolett August 26, 2013 0
The entrance of the facility, which was built for Mazda as a distribution center. (photo by Burl Rolett)

The entrance of the facility, which was built for Mazda as a distribution center. (photo by Burl Rolett)

A local packing company last week wrapped up a deal for a former automotive distribution center that’s been on the market for nearly two years.

Dominion Packaging, as part of an expansion, acquired the 317,000-square-foot former Mazda warehouse at 5700 Audubon Drive near Richmond International Airport for $9 million. The seller was 5700 Audubon 2007, LLC, an entity controlled by New Jersey-based Hampshire Real Estate Companies.

The property had been on the market since 2011 but recently saw a flurry of activity, said Matt Anderson, a CBRE broker who represented the seller.

“We actually had two other offers to purchase it all within probably a 45-day period of the buyer making their initial offer, and several tenants who would occupy approximately half the building or so had some interest,” he said.

The building was constructed for the auto maker in the late 80s, but the company vacated the property in 2004. In 2008, Sunrise Construction leased the building. They vacated the warehouse in 2011, around the time the building was put on the market.

Dominion Packaging's current facility. It will continue to operate out of the property in addition to its newly acquired building.

Dominion Packaging’s current facility. It will continue to operate out of the property in addition to its newly acquired building.

Dominion Packaging currently operates out of a roughly 236,000-square-foot building in Southside’s Broad Rock Industrial Park. The company purchased that building from what is now MeadWestvaco in 2007, according to city records.

Dominion Packaging CEO Brett Hawkins said the company has no plans to vacate the Broad Rock property. He declined to comment any further on the Mazda building.

Anderson said the 5700 Audubon Drive property will continue to have a manufacturing use. The sale, he said, is indicative of a strong industrial real estate market.

“That’s a fairly strong sale price,” he said. “At the end of the day it has a positive effect on the Richmond market because it takes 317,000, square feet off the market.”

Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer broker Matt Braun is anticipating more industrial deals in coming months, as buyers rush to cash in on low interest rates.

“This year will probably see some properties that previously had languished on the market for a while get sold,” he said. “I think people realize that the buyers are recognizing a true bottom to the real estate market.”

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