EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 26, 2013

Londonderry site sells for $9M

By Doug Ireland

---- — LONDONDERRY — Only two months after American Tire Distributors opened its new facility on Jack’s Bridge Road, the property has been sold.

The company isn’t moving as a result of the $9 million deal, but it will have a new landlord.

That’s the third owner of the 8.8-acre property since last summer.

The 125,000-square-foot warehouse at 29 Jack’s Bridge Road is a welcome addition as Londonderry seeks to promote economic development, Planning Board Chairman Arthur Rugg said.

“We look at it as an anchor tenant for that area to bring in more business,” Rugg said. “We are just very glad to have them.”

Rugg said he was surprised to hear the property recently changed hands. It was sold by one national real estate investment firm to another.

STAG International of Boston, also known as Single Tenant Acquisition Group, announced earlier this month it had purchased the property from Fortress Investment Group of New York City.

Fortress acquired the newly subdivided land last summer from local real estate agent Charles Evans and the Evans Family Limited Partnership, according to town assistant assessor Rick Brideau.

“Those businesses are buying up property all the time,” Rugg said. “Some of them have been selling a lot of land because the market is doing better now.”

The sale comes just as the Londonderry Planning Board resumes its review of the proposed 634-acre Woodmont Commons project, which has seen numerous delays. The proposal calls for the construction of 1,300 homes, 550 hotel rooms and numerous businesses off Pillsbury and Gilcreast Roads.

The project would be built over two decades. Pillsbury Realty Development bought the former Woodmont Orchards property two years ago for $7 million — $2 million less than what was paid for the Jack’s Bridge Road property.

But Rugg said the $9 million sales price is about “average” for that land and its building. The property assessment was not available.

The American Tire Distributors site was just one of four warehouse and distribution facilities acquired by STAG last month for $38 million in separate transactions. The other facilities are in Illinois, Florida and Iowa.

STAG does business in 33 states, and the Londonderry site is its first New Hampshire property, according to Brad Shepherd, vice president of investor relations.

“Our intention is to invest in properties and reap a return for us and our shareholders,” he said.

The goal is receive at least a 5 percent return for the company’s investors, Shepherd said.

Christine Lawton, spokeswoman for Fortress Investment Group, said the sale was just one of many recent business transactions conducted by her company. Neither Lawton nor Shepherd would comment on specifics of the sale.

American Tire Distributors general manager Lee Dierkes said his national firm is pleased to have a facility in Londonderry.

Easy access to Interstate 93 is ideal for the 16-employee facility, he said.

“I love the location,” Dierkes said. “The community has been great.”