For years, economic developers in Palm Beach County pitched the rural Glades region as an up-and-coming area for industrial development. And for years, splashy deals failed to materialize.
That recently changed, when Apopka-based Finfrock, a maker of precast concrete buildings, bought 94 acres on the site of a former state prison in Belle Glade, located just off of State Road 80, the cross-state trucking route, with plans for a 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
As senior vice president for Duke Realty, Stephanie Rodriguez oversees a portfolio of industrial properties in South and Central Florida, a geography with limited space and shrinking new development options.
“We’re all fighting over the same pieces of dirt,” Rodriguez said during a May 12 Bisnow South Florida Industrial Update event. “Industrial is the darling of the real estate market right now.”
New players are moving in to compete with the five or so firms that have controlled the market for decades.
A former Miami golf course turned into an industrial park. A Hollywood warehouse chopped up into six smaller offerings. And a bidding war over industrial space in East Hialeah.
Commercial brokers recount these tales in South Florida, a market with high demand for warehouses but not enough industrial-zoned land for new development. Industrial experts must turn to creative problem solving, as a reluctance to visit brick-and-mortar stores has led to a boom in online shopping and a burgeoning need to store appliances, food and other goods. Continue reading