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No End in Sight to Industrial Demand in Miami-Dade County, Brokers Say

Shipping Company Consolidates Operations in Medley
July 30, 2018
In the latest sign of strength for the Miami-Dade County industrial market, Crowley Maritime Corp. has expanded and combined most of its South Florida operations into 179,672 square feet at Flagler Station Phase II in Medley, FL, a small town on the northwestern edge of Miami-Dade.

The shipping company extended its lease and signed on for more space, taking a full building at 10205 NW 108th Ave.

The county has one of the nation’s tightest industrial markets due to strong leasing from warehouse and transportation tenants, according to a recent report from the commercial real estate brokerage firm Transwestern.

“As all that [residential] keeps going up on the east side of town, every new condo needs two beds, a sofa, cabinets and everything else,” said Walter Byrd, a senior managing director for Transwestern who helped represent Crowley in its lease. “That’s driving the demand for goods.”

E-commerce companies that have dominated the industry in recent years still crave more space, Byrd and other brokers say.

Even though countywide industrial vacancies increased slightly from a year earlier, the vacancy rate still ended the second quarter at a low 4.1 percent, CoStar Market Analytics data shows.

Miami-Dade’s industrial leasing was healthy throughout 2017 amid robust construction to fill demand for space, Transwestern said in its report. Absorption of second-generation space being vacated tends to lag by six to nine months, which has led to a small increase in the county’s vacancies, according to the firm.

Transwestern expects Miami-Dade industrial vacancies to remain near current levels indefinitely, with the Medley and Miami Airport markets tightening even more due to record cargo shipments through Miami International Airport.

Medley led all of South Florida with 1.8 million square feet of industrial space delivered over the past year, according to March data compiled by CoStar. It was among the most active submarkets with 556,090 square feet in the development pipeline.

Crowley had 148,000 square feet at International Corporate Park at 9950 NW 17th St. in Doral, FL and decided to move most of that business to Medley, where much of its corporate staff already was located, said Transwestern’s Ben Eisenberg.

To fill the vacated space, Crowley subleased 106,313 square feet at International Corporate Park to Aeropost International Services Inc. Crowley kept 42,437 square feet there.

Doral, also in Miami-Dade, is another robust market for industrial with no shortage of tenants scouting the area, Eisenberg said.

“Doral is a fantastic location,” he said. “Tenants with air freight want to be there because it’s close to the Miami airport.”

Paul Owers, South Florida Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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