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The Real Deal Miami

Amazon makes it official, inks deal for Opa-locka distribution center

800,000 sf warehouse will be completed next year, marks third in Miami-Dade for Amazon
By Katherine Kallergis | June 07, 2017 05:00PM

An Amazon warehouse in Spain (Credit: Álvaro Ibáñez) and Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

As retailers close hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores across the country and in South Florida, Amazon is making moves.

The e-commerce company officially signed a lease to open a third distribution center in Miami-Dade County, an 800,000-square-foot warehouse at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. The fulfillment center will be a sortation center and Prime Now hub in the area, Amazon’s North America Operations vice president Akash Chauhan said in a release. It will use Amazon Robotics in addition to employing about 1,000 people full-time.

Construction will begin immediately and will be completed next year, Pryse Elam, president of development and investments of Foundry, told The Real Deal.

Foundry Commercial and Clarion Partners completed the lease with Amazon for the spec industrial project, which has been in the works for several years. Amazon will be taking space at the Carrie Meek International Business Park, a public-private partnership. Foundry is the developer and Clarion is an investor, Elam said. He declined to comment on terms of the deal.

“This is really a unique development for Miami-Dade and really nationally because we have a joint venture between a private developer and a public foundation that’s coming together to develop real estate, but also to run job training programs and economic development programs,” Elam said.

Foundry is also developing a 280,000-square-foot spec building within the industrial park, and will have about 24 acres left to build another 400,000 square feet.

Amazon had been rumored to be the tenant of the fulfillment center since last year. The company currently operates a fulfillment center near Doral and a recently completed one in the South Florida Logistics Center near Miami International Airport.

In July, Miami-Dade County commissioners approved the land deal for the project that allows the Carrie Meek Foundation to keep control of its 120 acres near the Opa-locka airport. Under the deal, Meek’s team has a 65-year lease on the land and a new development deadline that stipulates $18 million worth of progress has to be made by 2019, with the entire project completed by 2025.