An Inside Look at Bixby Land Company’s 2020 Industrial Acquisition Strategy

February 12, 2020by debbieheinze

With a vision that’s remained clear since its inception over 120 years ago, Bixby Land Company continues to build upon a legacy of value creation and expertise in industrial, office and R&D properties. Two months into a new decade and the team has set their sights on replicating the success of 2019, a year in which it acquired a mix of stabilized and vacant industrial properties in multiple markets – including Dallas, Atlanta and Savannah.

This year, through calculated strategy and consistent action, Bixby expects to place money into both core and core-plus investments. “The goal for the acquisition team is to always get after it and unearth intriguing investment opportunities,” Bixby’s Vice President of Acquisitions Matt Ela says. From underwriting deals to traveling to different markets, the team is constantly engaging in as many conversations as possible to maintain a consistent pipeline.

Just as Bixby has to dig deep to find the right off-market investment opportunities that deliver the best risk-adjusted returns, their acquisition activity often goes beyond what is seen on the surface. While their large-scale office redevelopments grabbed more headlines than industrial acquisitions for a period of time, the company was simultaneously acquiring a consistent stream of industrial properties, as well.

The skill to seamlessly manage both industries comes with their ability to view their office and industrial strategy as two halves of the same whole. Bullish on the underlying fundamentals of the industrial product type, the company continues underwriting opportunities that fit the needs of modern tenants such as the 340,000-square-foot Class A warehouse that they acquired in the Inland Empire, one of the preeminent industrial markets in the nation.

“We have a very specific industrial investment strategy and the types of buildings that we like to acquire are undersupplied in virtually all of the markets where we own property,” Ela says. “There is also a lot of capital out there looking to get into or increase their allocations to the industrial segment of the market, so we will look for strategic opportunities to advise or partner with groups that have a shared vision.”

The team is always seeking avenues to leverage relationships into off-market opportunities where they don’t have to compete with multiple buyers to extend the process and bid the price up. With approximately fifty percent of their acquisitions historically sourced in off-market transactions, how does the company continue to maintain a consistent flow of off-market opportunities? “Our ability to execute off-market transactions is a product of our strong relationships and underwriting discipline – since we are constantly underwriting deals in our target markets we can size up an opportunity very quickly. When we are able to agree on deal economics with a seller, we take great pride in our track record as a buyer that performs to our word,” Ela explains.

Synonymous with creating value in real estate since 1896, Bixby intends to replicate the success it had in 2019 and the years prior, despite 2020 being an election year. While many people subscribe to the theory that it will get increasingly difficult to get things done closer to the election in the second half of the year, Ela views it as another recurring aspect of a changing market.

“There are always ebbs and flows in the acquisition’s world,” he says. “But that doesn’t change our approach – we stay active and ready to execute if we come across the right opportunity.”

Interested in sharing in Bixby’s 2020 vision? Learn more about their industrial acquisition strategy and recent acquisitions:

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