Canada REIT Buys 6 Twin Cities Industrial Bldgs.

Artis Real Estate Investment Trust reportedly plans to buy an entire 25-building portfolio in the area, which will make it one of the Twin Cities' largest industrial landlords.

A Canadian real estate investment trust has reportedly bought several Twin Cities-area properties recently and is becoming a major industrial landlord.

Artis Real Estate Investment Trust, based in Winnipeg, bought four local warehouses for a total price tag of $23.8 million, according to a recent Star Tribune report.

Artis' CEO did not immediately return a Thursday morning phone message, and two other representatives contacted Wednesday and Thursday declined to confirm or comment on the recent acquisitions. But the four warehouses are reportedly located in Rogers, Eden Prairie, New Hope, and Brooklyn Park.

The four just-purchased properties are expected to close at the end of the first quarter of 2011.

Artis also reportedly closed Friday on the purchase of two other buildings-one in Savage and one in Fridley.

The six recently acquired properties are part of a portfolio of 25 industrial buildings owned by San Francisco-based AMB Property Corporation, another real estate investment trust. The properties were put up for sale earlier this year.

Doug McGregor, senior vice president of asset management for Artis, told the Star Tribune that Artis is buying all 25 of AMB's buildings, which total about 2.3 million square feet. The acquisitions will make Artis one of the Twin Cities' largest industrial landlords.

The Star Tribune reported that the total sale price for those acquisitions is about $115 million, or $50 per square foot, citing “a local broker familiar with the transaction.”

McGregor told the Minneapolis-based newspaper that Artis has found Minnesota to be an attractive place to invest because the state is emerging from the economic recession in better condition than many other parts of the country.