Harvard Sells $950 Million in Warehouses to Blackstone

PE group targets portfolio’s last-mile properties as e-commerce businesses boom.

Harvard University’s $37 billion endowment will sell a $950 million warehouse portfolio to Blackstone Group, reports Bloomberg.

The locations of the 100-plus property portfolio largely consists of urban areas of southeastern states such as North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. A majority of the 14 million-square-feet of warehouse space has become more valuable as e-commerce companies continue to dominate retail. These types of fulfillment centers are known as “last-mile” warehouses, as they are the final destination of goods before delivery trucks take them to customers’ doors.

Harvard Management Co. partnered with MDH Partners, an Atlanta-based real estate investment company, for the initial purchase of the buildings.

Although Harvard is currently restructuring its portfolio and endowment because it recently trailed fellow organizations performance-wise, real estate has been its top asset class for years.

Bloomberg was unable to clarify how much Harvard is making on the deal. The endowment declined to comment, and Blackstone was unable to be reached for comment.

Harvard made an agreement last year with private equity firm Bain Capital to manage its direct property holdings, which included the last-mile facilities. As part of the negotiations, Bain would also employ the 20-plus Harvard team that oversaw the portfolio.

Blackstone paid $1.8 billion for another last-mile collection in March, this time from Canyon Industrial Portfolio.

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