Investor buys industrial building in the Weston Park of Commerce

Buyer plans to turn the warehouse into a self-storage facility, according to broker

1500 North Park Drive, Inset: Steven Wasserman
1500 North Park Drive, Inset: Steven Wasserman

Real estate investor Leo Ghitis just bought a vacant industrial warehouse at the Weston Park of Commerce for $8.1 million, according to the firm that brokered the deal.

Ghitis bought the 90,620-square-foot warehouse at 1500 North Park Drive through UBS Realty Advisors, according to a release. The trade breaks down to about $90 per square foot.

Colliers International South Florida’s Steven Wasserman represented the seller, an affiliate of Becknell Development, a Carmel, Indiana-based real estate firm, which specializes in industrial development and management.

He said the property went on the market for $9 million about a year ago, after the warehouse’s single tenant, Vital Pharmaceuticals (VPX), moved out. Ghitis will convert the building’s interior into a self-storage facility, according to Wasserman.

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The property features about 84,672 square feet of warehouse space and 5,948 square feet of office space. Other features include 92 marked parking spaces, one drive-up ramp and seven van-high loading doors.

The Colombian-born entrepreneur has been investing and developing industrial properties in South Florida for more than 30 years, according to Wasserman. Ghitis also owns Nayara Springs, a luxury hotel in Costa Rica, which he developed with architect Angelo Zaragovia.

Industrial markets throughout Florida are experiencing a return to pre-recession occupancy levels and rental rates, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report. In Broward, 1 million square feet of industrial space is under construction, 80 percent of which is speculative.

Recently, TIAA Global Asset Management’s TH Real Estate purchased two industrial properties in Broward County for $54 million.

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