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20200109-hdb-bizcolumn Amazon

A Denver-based real estate investment firm has purchased the Amazon Customer Service Center in Huntington’s Kinetic Park for $16.9 million.

HUNTINGTON — A Denver-based real estate investment firm has purchased the Amazon Customer Service Center in Huntington’s Kinetic Park for $16.9 million.

Sentinel Net Lease, known as Sentinel, acquired the 69,000-square-foot building from Lexington Realty Trust, the investment firm announced Thursday. The property sits on 7.9 acres in Kinetic Park, a technology park and business park.

The acquisition comes after CBRE Net Lease Property Group listed the property for sale in September. CBRE negotiated on behalf of Lexington Realty Trust, while Sands Investment Group assisted Sentinel. At the time the property was listed, officials said sale of the property was unlikely to affect operations of the service center, which Amazon leases.

Sentinel is a commercial real estate investment firm formed last year by real estate investors Fred Lewis and Dennis Cisterna. The goal was to acquire technology-focused properties that would be resistant to an economic recession, according to a news release from the firm.

“We thought we had the right investment thesis before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which has only confirmed many of our core assumptions,” said Cisterna, who also serves as Sentinel’s head of investments. “We want real estate assets with businesses that are not only sustainable in poor economic conditions but have the potential to thrive. Amazon is an excellent example of the type of firm we want occupying our buildings.”

Lewis, Sentinel’s chief executive, praised the firm’s staff for being able to complete the acquisition during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has temporarily shuttered businesses across the world.

“We conducted an extensive amount of due diligence on this property and were able to give our investors and lender a high degree of confidence in this acquisition. Some of our peers in the industry have not been as fortunate as we’ve seen many transactions fall apart,” Lewis said.

Kinetic Park, a 105-acre business and technology park, is 2.5 miles south of downtown. Amazon moved its offices from downtown Huntington to Kinetic Park in 2011. EMD Huntington LLC of Cincinnati purchased the land and then sold it to Lexington Realty Trust in 2012.

Lara Johnson, executive vice president of Lexington Realty Trust, said her team was pleased to have sold the property.

“Even in the current challenging environment, the parties performed efficiently and effectively to close the transaction,” she said.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.

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