South Florida’s industrial market is on the rise, making it a potential suitor for the next Amazon headquarters. With activity this year expected to trend upwards, developers like Codina Partners are returning the industrial market in droves.
Seeing great opportunity, Codina Partners recently closed on an expansion to the industrial park, Beacon Logistics Park for a total of 72 acres. GlobeSt.com caught up with Ana-Marie Codina Barlick, CEO of Codina Partners, to discuss rising activity in the industrial market and hot trends.
GlobeSt.com: What is driving the rise of the industrial market and how sustainable will it be this year?
Barlick: The rise of the industrial market is primarily driven by a healthy and growing South Florida. Population growth, great visitor and tourist economy, and a healthy seaport and airport have all kept the industrial market thriving for decades.
Now with the growth of online shopping, we have seen further, positive effect on demand. 16% of activity on the Miami market as well as 12% nationwide can be attributed to e-commerce, which has further compressed vacancy in the very land constrained Miami market. Nearly 5.3 million square feet of warehouse exchanged hands in South Florida last year, as we have seen this area become desirable not only for the users driving occupancy rates above 97%, but also investors and users who wish to own this thriving asset class.
GlobeSt.com: What are some trends in the industrial market?
Barlick: A large trend currently is to maximize the volume capacity of warehouse through increased clear heights and column spacing. While this has been happening in recent years, we have begun seeing this concept taken to the next level with groups considering multi-story warehouses due to the cost of land and need for access to dense urban centers.
While this has not yet been developed in South Florida, it is evident that it may become part of the landscape into the future. With approximately 3 million square feet of inventory needed each year and industrial land being converted to “higher and better” uses, creativity and efficiency will be the values that will be top priority for both the tenants in the warehouse buildings as well as their landlords.
GlobeSt.com: How is Codina responding to this activity in the real estate market?
Barlick: At Codina Partners, we believe the healthiest real estate market in Miami-Dade County is the industrial market. This shift in the market is an opportunity for us to return to our industrial roots.
Our plan is to build distribution warehouses amid rising demand in the sector. Last year, we purchased 55 acres in Hialeah to develop Beacon Logistics Park, providing 1 million square feet of class A distribution warehouses which will feature 32 feet of clearance, 54 feet-by-50 feet of column space, and a building depth ranging from 160 feet to 210 feet. There will also be space for container and trailer storage.
We recently purchased another 17 acres in Hialeah, bringing the total assemblage for Beacon Logistics Park to 72 acres, which includes the capacity to develop at least 1.3 million square feet of warehouse space. This is just the beginning of the rise in the industrial market. Miami, as a city, is growing—and the industrial market that supplies this population growth will grow in parallel.