Commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield recently facilitated one of the largest industrial transactions of the year, in the sale of 826,000 square feet in the Exit 8A submarket from TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate to Boston-based Cabot Properties.

Andrew Merin, David Bernhaut, Gary Gabriel, Jose Cruz, and Kevin O’Hearn of Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group in East Rutherford, and industrial sales and leasing specialists Frank Caccavo, Jason Goldman, and Andrew Siemsen, who are based at the firm’s Edison office, orchestrated the sale.

The properties, which sit on 53 acres in one of the state’s most depleted industrial real estate sectors, includes three warehouse buildings, each leased to a single tenant. The largest, 329-333 Herrod Boulevard, is the 418,213-square-foot home of Wicked Fashions apparel; office supply giant Staples occupies 204,369 square feet at 21 South Middlesex Avenue; and Tyler Distribution Centers, a third-party logistics firm, occupies 203,404 square feet a 4 South Middlesex Avenue.

While the financial terms of the sale were not released, Bernhaut said that Cabot took advantage of “pricing significantly below replacement cost.” He added that Cabot originally assembled this very portfolio in the 1990s, making this the second time for Cabot to be the owner.

The scope of the sale is significant, given the dearth of transactions in industrial real estate in 2009. “We have seen relatively few industrial trades in New Jersey this year, which makes this transaction unique in terms of both type and size,” Merin said.

Once considered prime industrial space, the Exit 8A submarket between Cranbury and South Brunswick has taken a beating in the last 12 months.

Third-quarter reports by commercial real estate firms such as Colliers Houston and Jones Lang LaSalle have put industrial and warehouse vacancy rates here as high as 33 percent.

Similar markets around the state fare better, but not well, with vacancy rates ranging from the low-teens to the mid-20s.

The latest to leave Exit 8A is rail and freight transportation giant CSX, which left Interchange Plaza and took 10 more jobs from the submarket.

The move also added 4,300 square feet to Exit 8A’s vacancy rate.

Phone and fax numbers have been disconnected and the company’s senior account manager for Northeast sales, Brian Dowd, is listed with a Mount Laurel contact.

Cushman & Wakefield, 1 Meadowlands Plaza, East Rutherford 07073; 201-935-4000; fax, 201-935-0724.

CSX Transportation (CSX), 101 Interchange Plaza, Cranbury. Michael P. Ryan, assistant vice president.

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