CapRock Partners, which opened its office in Texas nearly two years ago, has added a new executive to oversee its acquisitions strategy throughout the U.S. Central region, especially in the Lone Star State where pricing resets are bringing everything from vacant properties to raw land for development to the table.
The Newport Beach, California-based real estate firm recently hired Taylor Starnes as its vice president of acquisitions for the region. He is charged with leading the firm’s acquisition efforts in Texas, focusing on industrial properties CapRock can buy and increase the value of as well as ground-up development opportunities. The firm said it plans to spend well over a billion dollars in targeted markets throughout the Lone Star State, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso and Laredo.
“Industrial real estate has been on a huge run with it being seen as the golden child of real estate with a lot of investor interest and capital pursuing the space,” Starnes told CoStar News. “Pricing has hit a peak the last two years and now we are in an asset reevaluation stage for existing properties and on the land side.”
In his new role at CapRock, Starnes will oversee its acquisitions in Texas and build a team to cover the major industrial markets in the state. The firm is targeting deals between $20 million to $75 million. Properties it seeks could include land with some issues that are delaying industrial development to vacant multitenant or single-tenant properties, he said.
“The properties could have some vacancy, and we would spend capital making it a more leasable format, or it could be some raw piece of dirt where we could build new industrial space,” Starnes said. CapRock, he added, is not averse to dealing with challenges other groups might not have been able to overcome, such as zoning issues.
Starnes said he already has seen several off-market opportunities come across his desk and is “starting to see investors being forced to sell assets,” in a challenging capital markets environment with more expected in the months to come.
CapRock President Jon Pharris, who moved his family to Texas last year to help build the firm’s industrial portfolio, said with Starnes it has added an acquisitions leader with “deep local knowledge” of Texas markets to its team to build its Central U.S. portfolio.
Despite the macroeconomic climate, Starnes said demand for industrial warehouse space remains strong in Texas’ key logistics markets, especially as onshoring and supply chain challenges help drive demand for warehouse and logistics centers. The market’s current reset of property and land values gives CapRock, which is well-capitalized across various funds, to capitalize on this opportunity, he added.
Before joining CapRock, Starnes was a director and investment sales broker for the southwestern region at Cushman & Wakefield, where he represented institutional and private clients with their industrial portfolios. During his eight-year career at the brokerage, Starnes worked on $5 billion of industrial investment sales and joint venture equity placements on more than 65 million square feet of deals in Texas and the United States.
CapRock’s portfolio includes more than 17 million square feet of real estate in the Western and Central United States.