The Easton Group scored a $12 million construction loan for a Doral spec warehouse, amid a hot industrial market largely fueled by e-commerce.
Easton Group borrowed the funds through its affiliates ICP NW 97th Associates and EEBB Apartment II Holdco, which are listed as the lot owners, according to records. City National Bank of Florida provided the financing.
Doral-based Easton, founded and led by Edward Easton, already started construction on the 127,000-square-foot project on a 7-acre vacant lot. The property is along Northwest 97th Avenue and just north of the Dolphin Expressway at 1500 Northwest 97th Avenue.
Edward Easton said the development represents a roughly $20 million investment. Dalton Easton, Easton’s grandson and a commercial associate at the firm, put together the deal and will handle leasing with Tom Kimen, vice president of the Easton Group. They are in talks with potential tenants but no leases have yet been signed, Edward Easton said.
The warehouse could be leased to one 127,000-square-foot tenant or it could be divided into roughly 10,000-square-foot bays for several tenants, he added.
Construction is expected to be completed by November. The building will have 30-foot clearing heights and an asking rental rate of $10 per square foot, triple net.
Records show Easton Group bought the land for $5.3 million in February 2016, through a different affiliate, and then transferred the land to its ICP affiliate in December 2019. Easton’s EEBB affiliate paid $2.3 million to buy into the property last year, according to records.
Industrial has remained a top-performing asset class, even as other property types have taken a hit during the pandemic. The market is especially hot in Miami-Dade County, where e-commerce tenants leased a record 2 million square feet last year, according to a JLL fourth quarter 2020 report.
Overall, industrial demand picked up toward the end of last year and outpaced supply for the first time in four years, resulting in 1.3 million square feet of positive net absorption for 2020 in Miami-Dade, according to JLL. Nearly every county submarket reported a below 6 percent vacancy rate at the close of last year.
Doral is a prime industrial submarket, given its proximity to Miami International Airport, and Easton Group has been active in the area. The company developed the 300-acre International Corporate Park, a master-planned business park, just north of its warehouse construction site. The firm also acts as a broker, property manager and investor.
The hot industrial market has translated into lending activity for new projects. In December, Exeter Property Group secured a $75 million loan for the second phase of its Coral Springs Commerce Center.
In November, a Bridge Development Partners and PGIM Real Estate joint venture secured a $67 million construction loan for a Hialeah cold storage facility.