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PEMBROKE PARK, FL-After failing to enter the South Florida market by buying existing buildings in Miami-Dade County’s booming Airport West area, Bristol Group Inc. set its sights on southeastern Broward County.

Earlier this year, the San Francisco-based real estate investment and development firm linked up with Southern Facilities Development of Miami to buy and build out Seneca Industrial Park here.

In the months since, the JV has added two industrial structures to the exiting two and has the park’s fifth building under way. Bristol will eventually become sole owner of the complex when Southern Facilities completes construction.

An entity known as Bristol Industrial I paid $13.07 million or $123,301 per acre ($2.83 per sf) for the 106-acre park and the two existing buildings. Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Pembroke Road, SW 40th Avenue and I-95 border the tract.

One previously built structure of 109,000 sf houses such tenants as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for newspaper distribution facilities and a Home Depot maintenance operation. The other, a 127,000-sf warehouse, provides shore support services for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

.As for the two buildings completed by the JV, one of 260,000 sf was a build-to-suit for carpet distributor Mohawk Industries. The other of 127,000 sf was put up on spec and has yet to be leased. The under-construction structure will total 109,000 sf.

Lease rates at the park are reported to run around $5.40 per sf, triple net, with expenses estimated in the neighborhood of $1.40 per sf. The town offers a property tax rebate to companies employing more than 10 people and occupying at least 25,000 sf, which it is estimated brings down the per sf rent about 15 cents.

Development of Seneca Park continues the changing complexion of the 1.6-square-mile, 4,800-population Pembroke Park from a community once dominated by mobile homes to one heavy on industry. By providing tax relief to larger commercial tenants, the town operates on just a $4.9 million annual budget, is debt-free and is planning to build a 100,000-sf government/community center and regional library.

Bristol Group reputedly controls some eight million sf of real estate. About half of that was added nearly a year ago when the firm paid $195 million for 3.9 million sf of Southern California property.

The company has been especially active in telco hotels. Its latest such project is the 440,000-sf conversion of the old Woodward & Lothrop department store warehouse in Washington, DC to Union Station Telecom Center.

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