NAI Hiffman brokered the $7.5 million sale of 5115 S. Millard Avenue, a 42,000-square-foot freezer building in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood, less than 10 miles from downtown. NAI Hiffman also completed a six-year lease with the sole tenant, Moesle Meat Co., a Chicago meat wholesaler.
John Basile, senior vice president of NAI Hiffman’s industrial property group, represented the buyer, Chicago-based Karis Cold Storage. Karis Cold Storage is a newly launched private investment and development company with deep expertise in the cold storage industry. The 5115 S. Millard Avenue purchase is Karis Cold’s first investment in the cold storage sector and the firm has a number of other projects in development and under contract nationally.
“Cold storage buildings are hot right now because the pandemic is driving more online food and grocery sales, increasing the need to keep inventory close at hand,” said Basile, who specializes in cold storage assets. “Consumers were demanding more healthy, fresh foods even before the pandemic. Despite the fact that cold storage properties are complex and require special due diligence, they’re increasingly popular with investors of all sizes who are seeking yield and a smart place to put their capital now.”
Basile said he has had more inquiries about cold storage properties since the pandemic began, particularly those in the city. He completed two other deals near the property this spring: 5251 S. Millard Avenue, a 67,000-square-foot refrigerated facility sold to an investor for $3.4 million in April, and 900 W. 40th Street, a 50,000-square-foot, temperature-controlled facility leased in May to a multi-national food manufacturer.
“Newer, Class A cold storage facilities like 5115 S. Millard are the types of assets we are looking to build and buy,” said Jake Finley, managing partner at Karis Cold Storage. “Food companies and logistics businesses are looking for top-tier facilities to help them efficiently serve customers, and we want to provide them with those types of buildings.
“We were attracted to this property’s plug-and-play new condition and proximity to downtown, a major labor base and transportation hubs, as well as Chicago’s strength as the top food-producing city in North America,” Finley continued. “With John’s help, we’ve been able to enter this market with confidence and look forward to acquiring similar properties in Chicago and other cities.
Built in 2016, 5115 S. Millard provides approximately 42,000 square feet of storage including a 2,840-square-foot, USDA-approved processing room. The building can store 3,700 pallets. It offers easy access to I-55, is less than three miles from Midway International Airport and is located near the Kedzie and Pulaski Orange Line stations.