Thirty years ago, Armando Codina launched his first industrial real estate project in Miami.
Now, his daughter, Ana-Marie Codina Barlick, is leading the family-owned firm back into the warehouse industry with one of South Florida’s largest projects.
The Coral Gables-based real estate development firm Codina Partners is overseeing Beacon Logistics Park, a complex with approximately 1.3 million square-foot of warehouse space now under construction at Northwest 145th Place and Northwest 107th Ave. The project will open in phases with the first of six buildings, the 148,880-square-foot building F, expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2020. The entire project is expected be completed by 2022.
In February, the Codina company signed the project’s first tenant, global food distributor Cargill, which took 70,000 square feet of space, some cold storage and freezer.
Barlick discusses what lies ahead for Beacon Logistics Park, South Florida’s changed industrial real estate landscape and the firm’s residential projects.
Q: Why is Codina Partners reentering the industrial market?
Our roots are in industrial. It is what we know best and we always intended on reentering the market when we established Codina Partners. Due to the scarcity of industrial land in South Florida, Beacon Logistics Park was the first attractive industrial opportunity we found. We feel that the rising demand for logistics space coupled with the land scarcity make this an extremely attractive space.
[Codina purchased the first 55 acres of the total 72 acres in the fourth quarter of 2016 for $28 million, later adding 17 acres purchased for $9.9 million.]
Q: Codina Partners is selecting its tenants for Beacon Logistics Park carefully. What are the criteria that potential tenants have to meet, and why? How did Cargill meet those demands? When will their operations move in?
We’re looking for strong local and national credit groups — firms with extensive operating histories and experiences are ideal as we share a long-term vision for their operations at Beacon Logistics Park. As the largest privately-held company in the United States by revenue, Cargill’s credit is ideal from the perspective of a landlord. Furthermore, Cargill’s need for a long-term lease aligned with our goals for Beacon Logistics Park. We are targeting the fourth quarter of this year for the completion of Cargill’s buildout, inclusive of their freezer, cooler and office requirements.
Q: Your father worked with Jose Juncadella of Fairchild Partners years ago on another industrial project. Now, you are working with his son Sebastian on leasing Beacon Logistics Park. What are the differences between then and now?
My father and Jose Juncadella have worked together since the first Beacon development, Beacon Centre, over 30 years ago. As Sebastian and I helm a new generation of industrial leadership at Fairchild Partners and Codina Partners, respectively, we find that many of the challenges we face are similar to those of our fathers. Although the players have changed and the environment is as competitive as ever, we are still committed to looking for differentiation and product quality that stands apart from the rest. A few challenges we do face that are new within the last few decades include the rise of construction costs, longer permitting processes, and scarcity of land.
Q: What trends are likely to shape the industrial market in South Florida in 2020?
An uptick in freezer and cooler requirements, as well as continued growth of e-commerce, will be manifested through increased demand for industrial space. Moreover, the main economic drivers — such as population growth and record years for both Port of Miami and Miami International Airport — will continue to drive absorption upwards into 2020.
Q: Hialeah is seeing increased interest from a commercial perspective. Why is that?
From the industrial perspective, this has been for two reasons: first, the last pockets of developable land are in the northwest portion of our county, namely in Hialeah and Hialeah Gardens, and second, Hialeah is historically home to not only industrial developments, but also the largest labor pools in South Florida.
Q: Give us an update on your residential projects. Where are you with those?
Our residential projects in Downtown Doral, our 250-acre mixed-use community in the growing City of Doral, are going very well. We began closings this week on 5350 Park, our third luxury condominium tower, and are more than 90 percent leased at 5250 Park, our distinctive apartment tower. Also, our luxury single-family and town home offerings, Canarias by CC Homes, has been attracting buyers from all over Miami-Dade County including areas like Brickell and Weston as well as from beyond South Florida.