Deal for 1.75M-square-foot business park approved

Posted on November 10, 2016

A development has finalized a deal to build a 1.75 million-square-foot business/industrial park at Opa Locka Executive Airport and construction could start in the second quarter of 2017.

The Miami-Dade County Commission approved a deal between developers Foundry Commercial and Clarion Partners to partner with the Carrie Meek Foundation on assuming control of the non-profits lease on 122 acres on the southeast portion of the airport. The developers plan to create 1,000 jobs in the business park while the foundation uses its portion of the proceeds to run job training and economic development programs, said Foundry Commercial Chief Investment Officer Pryse Elam.

“The foundation will work with the local residents to help them get trained and into a position to actually take advantage of those jobs,” Elam said.

The airport is in the north-central part of Miami-Dade, where employments rates and wages are lower than in most other parts of the county. Elam said the location has great access to highways, such as the Palmetto Expressway and the Gratigny Parkway, which connects to Interstate 95.

Elam said the project is being built on spec and there are no tenants currently. He declined to comment on a report that, under the confidential name “Project Sol”, is seeking $1.5 million in county and state job-growth incentives to build an 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center with 1,000 jobs in Opa-Locka.

The Carrie Meek International Business Park will have 10 buildings in total, Elam said. The first phase, a 280,000-square-foot building with 32-foot ceiling height, should break ground in the second quarter and be completed by the end of 2017. The developer tapped Cushman & Wakefield to lease the space, with an asking rate of $9.05 per square foot.

Elam said he expects to attract both aviation and distribution companies. Under the deal with the county, the developer pays a lower land lease rate when space is rented to aviation tenants, and those savings will be passed to the tenants, he said.

Initial construction of the business park will be funded by developer equity, but it is seeking a loan for later on, Elam said.

Industrial vacancy rates have fallen in Miami-Dade, causing an increase in rents and a flurry of construction activity.