Armando Codina is returning to his roots in the industrial market.
Codina Partners just purchased 55 acres in Hialeah for $28 million, with plans to develop 1 million square feet of warehouse space, amid strong leasing demand in the sector.
The deal, which closed on Tuesday, covers land off of Northwest 145 Street and Northwest 107th Avenue in Hialeah, Codina, executive chairman of Codina Partners, told The Real Deal. Beacon Logistics Park LLC, which is 100 percent owned by Codina Partners, is the buying entity. Fairchild Partners’ Jose Juncadella and Sebastian Juncadella represented the buyer.
Codina said the plan is to build 1 million square feet of Class A distribution warehouses, which will feature 32-foot, clear, 54 feet-by-50 feet column space, and a building depth ranging from 160 feet to 210 feet. The new project, under Codina Partners‘ portfolio, will be called Beacon Logistics Park.
Property records show the seller as Condotte America Industrial Properties, LLC, with an address that links back to Condotte America, an engineering and construction company led by Enrique I. Espino, chairman, and Andres G. Mendoza, president. Records show there is one 17,975-square-foot building on the site, built in 1990, with an address of 9100 West 40th Avenue. The land is currently zoned for such land uses as extraction, excavation, quarrying and rock-mining.
The purchase marks a return to the industrial market for Codina. 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.
“It’s the best long-term investment in Miami-Dade County,” Codina told TRD.
Codina said that he always felt strongly about the industrial market, but he had a non-compete agreement with Fortress, which bought Florida East Coast Industries in 2007.
“We had a non-compete that expired for some time, but Fortress has been very good to me and to the people that they kept from my company, so out of respect for them, we have not returned [to the industrial sector] in any meaningful way,” Codina said. “But now they have sold a lot of assets that I sold them. So it’s timely for us to get back into a space that I love.”
He said that when Cuba opens it up, he expects more goods to flow through Miami, and e-commerce keeps growing, creating demand.
“Industrial in Miami, by the airport, is what I would rather my grandchildren have,” Codina said.
According to Transwestern’s third quarter Miami industrial market report, the sector’s vacancy rate dropped to 4.4 percent, the lowest since 2007. Overall, Miami has seen more than 1.5 million square feet of new space delivered this year, through the third quarter, with nearly 4 million square feet of space under construction, mostly in the Medley and Miami airport submarkets.
Industrial leasing activity in Miami totaled 892,000 square feet in the third quarter and 2.2 million net absorption year-to-date, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s third quarter Miami industrial market report, which cited average rental rates of $7.32 per square foot triple net.