MIAMI-Boston-based private equity firm TA Associates sold thePalmetto Distribution Center to AMB Property Corporation for $66.5million. The transaction is Florida’s largest on the industrialfront this year.

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What’s more, the sale of Palmetto Distribution Center is alsoFlorida’s lowest-recorded cap rate for a major industrial assetsince the market downturn in 2007. The $66.5 million sale priceequates to a 5.9% cap rate on year one income.

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Mike Davis, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield’sSoutheast Capital Markets Group, along with Brian Smith and WayneRamoski, both executive directors of Industrial Brokerage for thefirm, negotiated the sale on behalf of the seller.

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“Of the 27 offers we got, 25 of them probably had the cash inthe bank and could have written a check,” Davis tells GlobeSt.com.“It was a very prestigious list of who’s who institutionalinvestors. We chose AMB based on their credibility—and they didoffer the highest price.”

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With 27 offers from a variety of potential buyers—includingpension funds, life insurance companies, REITs, private investorsand foreign investors—the sale of Palmetto Distribution Centerhighlights the strong interest for core industrial real estate inMiami.

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“This sale makes a statement,” Edward Redlich, principal ofComReal Miami, tells GlobeSt.com. “Here’s an institution acquiringa property and they are not looking at 2010. They are lookingbeyond. They paid a premium for this asset. This is good class Bfunctional warehouse space. AMB is making an investment in thefuture of Miami’s industrial market.”

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Now known as AMB Miami International Business Park, theindustrial property is located at the interchange of the PalmettoExpressway and US Highway 27 in Medley, Florida. The propertyoffers five class A distribution buildings totaling 880,543 squarefeet.

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At 95% occupied, the park beats market norms. Miami’s overallindustrial vacancy settled at 8.3% at mid-year, according toCushman & Wakefield. This rate was the lowest reported in thepast four quarters, signaling that declining vacancy will be acontinued trend.

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“It’s very rare that you can get this much critical mass in onesales transaction in Miami,” Davis says. “That drove investors topush on pricing. The fundamentals in the Miami industrial market,specifically leasing fundamentals, are improving significantly andbecause of that people wanted to own this real estate.”

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