Ford Gibson is bullish on Miami industrial real estate.
He’d better be, considering his first assignment as the head of development and investment activity at Foundry Commercial is leading the Carrie Meek International Business Park development, a 1.7 million square foot, $150 million speculative industrialdevelopment adjacent to the Opa Locka airport in Miami Dade County.
Gibson knows Miami. Over the past 33 years, he has worked closely with the likes of JP Morgan,Prudential, UBS and Codina, and has managed South Florida properties, including 1111 Brickell Avenue, 550 Biltmore and Westside Plaza I-III. Gibson’s decision to join Foundry Commercial paves the way for his return to focusing on development and investment, his longtime passions.
When specifically asked if he was concerned about over building in Miami’s industrial real estate market, he offered three words: Not at all.
“One of the major supply and demand dynamics is that we cannot develop west of the turnpike,” Ford tells GlobeSt.com. “We have the ocean to the east and little land north. That has created a land shortage in South Florida.”
If you look at the location of the airport and port and look at available land within a reasonable drive time, he says, you will find very few possibilities for building. Factor in the fact that absorption has slowed to well under 1 million square feet, due mainly to the land shortage and little ability to meet the demand just in the West Dade Market, and he argues for a dynamic that not many areas face.
“The issue becomes how to keep up with the increased demand and not oversupply,” Ford says. “The under supply of land and product has the West Dade market at a 4.5% vacancy with class A products around 2%. There is little ability left to create a market-wide depression due to overbuilding.”