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‘One of the largest deals ever:’ New firm buys big portfolio of valley buildings and land

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In the year people first landed on the moon, Ron Van Auker set his sights on land a little closer to home. He started developing projects across the Treasure Valley in 1969. In the fifty years since, the portfolio grew to more than 2-million square feet of industrial buildings and 400 acres of development land.

Now, Van Auker’s portfolio of real estate has a new owner.

Adler Industrial, LLC closed on the Van Auker portfolio earlier this month, in what principal Mike Adler describes as “perhaps one of the biggest deals in Idaho history.”

Adler would not disclose the terms of the deal, but in terms of sheer number – more than 80 – the purchase marks a very significant transaction.

Changing needs

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“I’m ready for a change, and I always loved this market and was always looking for the right opportunity to come in and this is a great one,” Adler said.

For the last twenty years, Mike Adler invested his time and money in the Los Angeles market. The University of Denver grad wanted to do something new – and the Boise valley presented an opportunity.

Mike Adler, courtesy Adler Realty Investments

“I wanted to be in the industrial real estate business in the Boise market,” he said. “I thought this was a great place to operate industrial buildings. As I was learning the market and driving the market – the buildings were all owned by the same person. Every time I’d get to an industrial park, it was owned by Van Auker.”

He started to do his research, and finally met up with Ron Van Auker, Sr. Over time, the two came to an agreement to acquire the entire real estate portfolio. Van Auker Sr. will continue his construction business, while his son, Ron Van Auker, Jr. will move over to Adler.

Big demand

“We’re trying to provide industrial users with space they can use,” Adler said. “(We want to give them the) ability to grow, the ability to move into newer buildings that are more functional than what they currently have.”

[Commercial firm issues 2019 outlook for Boise area]

He said that many of the new buildings he puts up are full even before they are finished.

“There’s a huge demand. Our goal is to step up the construction of new buildings so we can better meet demand for the market,” he said. “Right now the demand for the market has not been met.”

Adler formed a new company to manage the Treasure Valley assets, and relocated from LA to Boise.

“We’re generally long term holders. We will go into a market and we will operate for hopefully forever – it’s not a quick turn type of model.”

In the future, Van Auker hopes to beef up the portfolio even further.

“We’re trying to improve the quality of the pro folio and improve the experience of the tenants and the users of the market,” he said. “We plan on selling some of the non-core properties and then recycling that money into building new products and buildings.”

In the past, Van Auker mostly worked with an in-house team of brokers. But Adler says that’s changing.

Industrial space and growth

Adler says he plans a number of different types of products. For instance, on land the company owns along Franklin Rd. in Meridian, he plans to build “showroom” type industrial facilities, with more of a commercial building look.

“People who want the visibility, that’s where they will rent.”

He said this type of development helps buffer the area’s rail corridor from residential and commercial uses. He feels industrial buildings of all types help support the population base.

[Deep Dive: CCDC looks to bring urban renewal to the desert]

“It helps employ the people that are here,” he said. “Business real estate is important to support the population that is here. We can’t build a new industrial building unless there is a tenant that wants it. “When they rent the new space, they hire new people and it helps the area.”

He thinks Boise has several intangible factors that make it an attractive place to live.

“I love it here. Everyone’s friendly. I like the atmosphere, I like the culture, I like the way business is done.”

He said that way of business is the personal feel.

“We are not a big company, and but we have grown in size that we have to deal with big companies quite a bit. I like dealing with other individuals rather than other companie

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