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MEDLEY, FL-The recent decision by Intradeco Inc. to acquire 200,000 sf of industrial space in Beacon Station at Gran Park–a build-to-suit deal valued at about $10 million–represents more than just the expansion of a well-established Miami freight-forwarding company amid a soft national economy.

While some of its commercial developments are experiencing slower demand elsewhere in Florida, Flagler Development Co. is reporting considerable growth within the 960-acre mixed-use industrial development it owns at Northwest 106th Street and Florida’s Turnpike in northwest Miami-Dade County.

“Beacon Station has been a solid performer for us,” John Carey, Flagler Development’s president, tells GlobeSt.com. “We haven’t had the slowdown there that we’ve experienced in other markets. We’ve basically slowed down spec development in Orlando and Jacksonville.”

It appears several factors are fueling the growth at Beacon Station, which over the past few months has attracted a mixture of tenants and property owners like Hughes Supply Inc., the Orlando-based construction materials wholesaler; Trends Manufacturing, a children’s fashion merchandiser; All-American Containers Inc., a Miami-based maker of retail, commercial and industrial containers; and Pittway Corp., a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Honeywell International Inc.

One of those factors is the decision to forge a marketing-management partnership with Coral Gables-based Codina Group Inc. and brand the mixed-used park in a vein similar to Beacon Centre, a very successful 200-acre mixed-use industrial project that Codina developed in the airport/west submarket.

“We would be very pleased if we have five years from now what we developed at the Beacon Center,” says Pedro J. Garcia, a broker with Codina Realty Services Inc./ONCOR International, which handles leasing activity at Beacon Station. “What we’re trying to do here is replicate the Beacon Center.”

There is no doubt in the opinion of Wayne Ramoski, a director with Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. who specializes in industrial tenant representation, that the partnership between Flagler-Codina opened up a whole new market.

“Just a few years ago, Medley was viewed primarily as a heavy industrial market,” says Ramoski, who has brokered a number of property sales and tenant leases in the industrial park. “Then Flagler and Codina raised the bar on quality. It’s reflective of some of the development that’s offered in the airport-west market (several miles to the south), but with rental rates that are about a dollar less and land prices that are 60% of what property in airport-west is selling for.”

Now well into phase-two development, about 4.5 million sf of developable space remains at Beacon Station out of the total nine million sf planned for the entire site. While phase one concentrated solely on industrial-warehouse growth, phase-two plans also allow for about 1.5 million sf of flex-office space.

While pleased with the progress of industrial sales and leasing, Garcia says he is now optimistic that Beacon Station eventually will become a site of choice for the development of regional office headquarters operations with a heavy interests in international trade.

“There’s about 45 million sf of industrial product in the airport-west submarket,” Garcia tells GlobeSt.com. “If you have a business dependent on the airport, you’re probably not going to come up here for any price. So we’re still competing with 45 million sf. As for office, though, there is no more available land in the airport-west submarket. You necessarily have to consider coming up here.”

Notwithstanding location and the quality of development taking place, Carey is certain that Beacon Station also is benefiting from South Florida’s continued prominence in the global markets. That’s a trend that Flagler Development, a subsidiary of Jacksonville-based Florida East Coast Industries Inc., recognized years ago.

“We did platting and infrastructure a number a years ago, back in the early 1990s, with the idea that there isn’t really a lot of land available in Miami-Dade County for industrial use,” Carey says. “That’s clearly become the case. Some may have wondered then about the wisdom of doing that. But it’s paying dividends now.”

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