Former Colony execs launch industrial platform with ex-colleagues

The new business has already closed on its first deal and is embarking on a capital raise focused on last-mile logistics facilities in the US.

Former Colony Capital executive and industrial real estate veteran Lew Friedland and fellow Colony alumnus Peter Eichler III have joined their ex-colleagues at Santa Monica, California-based real estate investment firm Miramar Capital, PERE has learned.

The two executives are launching the firm’s industrial real estate platform, Miramar Industrial, with fellow managing partners Paul Fuhrman and Jae Yi. Fuhrman and Yi previously worked with Friedland and Eichler at Colony before co-founding Miramar Capital in 2017 with another former Colony colleague, development partner Perry Hariri. Fuhrman had been executive director and head of US acquisitions for opportunistic debt and equity investments at Colony for more than nine years, while Yi was a managing director responsible for sourcing, evaluating, executing and managing opportunistic debt and equity investments across all property types.

Friedland founded and led Dallas-based private equity firm Cobalt Capital Partners, which amassed an industrial portfolio of 29.5 million square feet across the US before being sold to Colony for $1.6 billion in 2014. He then ran Colony Industrial and doubled the size of the portfolio to approximately 60 million square feet prior to its subsequent sale to Blackstone for $5.9 billion in December 2019. Meanwhile, Eichler was managing director of investment management at Colony, where he sourced deals primarily in North America. Both Friedland and Eichler joined Miramar in November but their hires were not previously reported.

Miramar Industrial will focus on acquiring last-mile logistics facilities occupied by credit tenants on long leases in high-growth infill and suburban markets across the US. The platform will target gross returns of 8-12 percent and net cash yields of 6-8 percent on its investments. Transactions will range in size from $10 million to $100 million with equity commitments from $5 million to $40 million, assuming 55-65 percent leverage.

“Our focus on infill, long-term, credit-leased logistics properties is designed to generate attractive, stable and growing cash yields,” Friedland told PERE. “Given the increasing demand for quick delivery into local markets and the limited new supply of buildings that are well-suited for this purpose, we believe this strategy will generate attractive returns for our partners.”

The platform currently has an active pipeline of deals totaling approximately $2 billion and closed last month on its first investment, a $64 million, 150,000-square-foot last-mile industrial asset located in Connecticut and leased to Amazon for 15 years. It also has a second deal under exclusivity involving a $60 million, 300,000-square-foot last-mile property.

Miramar is in advanced discussions to form a multi-hundred-million-dollar programmatic joint venture to pursue its new industrial strategy with a Korean investor. Additionally, the firm has hired Black Birch Capital as placement agent to raise a targeted $250 million of equity in a fund or separate account structure. Through the vehicle, Miramar would seek to acquire as much as $500 million in assets this year.

In addition to industrial real estate, Miramar also focuses on investing in the office, life science, multifamily sectors throughout the US. The firm has completed a total of 19 acquisitions and four exits to date and has approximately $1 billion of assets under management.