Commercial property

Long Island Warehouses Leased by Amazon Land Refi

1770 Walt Whitman Road and 540 Broadhollow Road. Image courtesy of JLL Capital Markets

JLL Capital Markets orchestrated a refinancing deal for 1770 Walt Whitman Road and 540 Broadhollow Road, two last-mile distribution facilities covering a total of approximately 310,000 square feet in Melville, NY JLL secured $35 million for fully leased industrial properties of Long Island on behalf of the property, a private investor.

JLL Capital Markets’ debt investment team of Thomas Didio Jr., Matthew Pizzolato and Max Custer represented the borrower and arranged the financing, which was in the form of a non-recourse loan in 10 years with a fixed rate via Provident bank.

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Located in Long Island’s Western Suffolk submarket, 1770 Walt Whitman and 540 Broadhollow occupy adjacent lots approximately 20 miles from Manhattan. The warehouse at 1770 Walt Whitman has 213,900 square feet, while the property at 540 Broadhollow covers approximately 96,000 square feet. The two Class B buildings are older properties, but they are slated for a revival.

In the first quarter of 2021, Amazon leased 1770 Walt Whitman and 540 Broadhollow under a long-term agreement. Now the property puts them through a capital improvement program that consists of a complete renovation. Ultimately, the facilities will be suitable for a premier e-commerce tenant, with clear heights reaching up to 29 feet, 21 dock-height doors, and ample parking and van loading spaces.

Renovating older properties is not uncommon in the Long Island industrial market today. “Investors are now shifting their focus to redevelopment of outdated office buildings while adapting to the flight-to-quality trend in the office market to meet changing market needs,” according to a report from the premier. 2022 quarter of Cushman and Wakefield.

What a lender wants

There are a number of compelling factors that may have attracted Provident Bank and other potential lenders to the opportunity to provide financing for 1770 Walt Whitman and 540 Broadhollow. They’re not state-of-the-art facilities, but they’re fully leased to Amazon, and they’re located in a strong industry market that’s only going from strength to strength.

“Starting in 2022, the industrial market has improved with labor force indicators and robust tenant demand,” according to the Cushman & Wakefield report. With demand outstripping supply, Long Island’s industrial vacancy rate fell to an all-time low of 2.3% in the first quarter of 2022, and the vacancy rate was even lower in West Suffolk, home to the newly refinanced Amazon properties, at just 1.2%.