Codina Partners adds 17 acres to planned Beacon Logistics Park in Hialeah, as firm returns to industrial roots

“The healthiest market in Miami-Dade real estate is the industrial market:” Armando Codina

The Hialeah land and Armando Codina
The Hialeah land and Armando Codina

Codina Partners just purchased another 17 acres in Hialeah, bringing the total assemblage for its planned Beacon Logistics Park to 72 acres, with the capacity to develop at least 1.3 million square feet of warehouse space, The Real Deal has learned. The plan is to build distribution warehouses amid rising demand in the sector, and represents Codina’s return to the industrial market after more than a decade.

The firm paid $9.9 million for the 17 acres at 14401 Northwest 107th Avenue, or $582,353 per acre, Armando Codina, executive chairman of Codina Partners, told TRD. The seller is CAC Real Estate LLC, linked to Jose Fernandez, chairman of Community Asphalt Corp. The purchase has not yet cleared records.

“It took us a long time to identify and assemble 72 acres,” Codina said. “I was not interested in doing a little piece here and a little piece there. We now have the critical mass to do the kind of park that we like to do.”

Site work is now beginning and is expected to take six to eight months, with vertical construction beginning by the end of the year, he said.

In December 2016, Codina Partners paid $28 million for 55 acres that are contiguous with the latest purchase, covering land off of Northwest 145th Street and Northwest 107th Avenue. At the time, Codina said he had the capacity to build 1 million square feet of warehouse space, amid rising demand.

Codina’s plan is to build Class A distribution warehouses, which will feature 32-foot, clear, 54-by-50-feet column space, and a building depth ranging from 160 to 210 feet. There will also be space for container and trailer storage. He said leasing has not yet begun, but there has already been strong interest.

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“All you have to do is look at where the world is going, how much retail is selling online…. Add to that the role that Miami plays as a trade crossroads, and couple that with the fact that you can’t go east of the airport, you can’t go west of the urban boundary,” he said. “There is limited supply and a lot of demand.”

When completed, Beacon Logistics Park will mark Codina’s return to the industrial market after more than a decade.  From the mid-1980s until 2006, when Codina merged his company with Florida East Coast Industries, he built more than 20 million square feet of industrial space in South Florida, including Beacon Centre, Beacon Industrial Park, Dolphin Commerce Center (previously known as Beacon Tradeport), Flagler Station – Phase II (previously known as Beacon Station), Beacon Lakes, Beacon West, and Beacon North.

Codina has said that he always felt strongly about the market, but he previously had a non-compete agreement with Fortress, which bought Florida East Coast Industries in 2007.

“The healthiest market in Miami-Dade real estate is the industrial market,” he said on Monday.

Amazon and other online retailers are driving demand for new warehouse space close to their customers, JLL retail e-commerce analyst Matt Powers said during a presentation last week in Miami. E-commerce tenants now account for 16 percent of industrial activity in Miami and 12 percent nationwide, ranking second behind logistics firms.

In South Florida, nearly 5.3 million square feet of warehouse space changed hands in 2017, totaling $418.7 million. That’s up 12 percent in dollar volume and 21 percent in terms of square footage, compared to the previous year, according to a report released earlier this month by the Commercial Industrial Association of South Florida. Vacancy rates are expected to continue to fall in the coming year: Hialeah started off 2018 with a 2 percent vacancy rate compared to 2.5 percent in 2017, according to the report.