Zurich Insurance buys distribution center in Pompano Beach for $15M

The distribution center is anchored by PODS and The Spice Lab

4000 North Dixie Highway, Inset: Zurich's Sean Bannon and Roy Rosenbaum
4000 North Dixie Highway, Inset: Zurich's Sean Bannon and Roy Rosenbaum

Farmers New World Life Insurance, a subsidiary of the Swiss insurance company Zurich Insurance Group, just paid $15 million for a distribution center in Pompano Beach, property records show.

The international insurer bought the 128,342-square-foot warehouse at 4000 North Dixie Highway for about $117 per square foot. The distribution center, built in 2015, is called the Pompano Distribution Center II. It was sold by Atlanta developer Robinson Weeks Partners. The company paid $2.26 million for the property in 2014, records show.

PDC II features include 32-foot heights, 125-foot truck courts with 60-foot concrete aprons, 60-foot by 51-foot column spacing and excess trailer storage.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Mike Davis, Rick Brugge and Michael Lerner brokered the deal. The brokerage also secured a 73,759-square-foot lease at PDC II with an online retailer of spices and seasonings called The Spice Lab – bringing the distribution center to full occupancy, according to a company release.

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The Spice Lab, a subsidiary of DVC Industries, sells its sea salts and related products in major brick-and-mortar retailers and online through Amazon. The moving and storage company PODS, or Portable On Demand Storage, is another tenant. The company signed a 52,000-square-foot pre-lease at PDC II in September 2014, according to the release.

This is the second Pompano Beach warehouse Robinson Weeks Partners has developed and sold. Last year it made a similar deal with the insurance company. Zurich, which has a U.S. office in New York, paid $23.6 million for a newly built distribution center near the Broward Health North hospital that was also owned by the Atlanta developer.

It’s not unusual for insurance giants like Zurich to diversify into real estate: among U.S. firms, Prudential Financial boasts a thriving real estate arm that’s also bought into the Coral Gables office market. Last year, Zurich’s investment arm also made a splash in downtown Fort Lauderdale when it closed on the $46.5 million purchase of Plaza 100, an office tower with asking rents averaging $23.5 per square foot.