MIAMI-The Broward County, FL industrial market experienced increased leasing and sales activity in the first quarter, compared with the last quarter in 2002, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s first-quarter industrial overview for the county.

The market saw more than 1.2 million sf of leasing activity in the first quarter, a more than 470,000-sf increase, compared with the fourth quarter of last year, the report states. First-quarter leasing activity included 232,000 sf that Quantum Fine Caseworks leased in Weston.

In addition, the county also experienced sales of more than 1.2 million sf, a big hike compared with the fourth quarter, according to the report. First-quarter sales included two facilities that Prologis bought: the 342,000-sf I-595 Business Plaza and the I-75 Distribution Center.

The report also states: -More than 740,000 sf of construction was delivered in the first quarter. Major completions included three speculative warehouse/distribution buildings totaling 351,000 sf in the Quiet Waters Business Park in North Broward–although the buildings remain vacant–and the 155,000-sf build-to-suit, warehouse/distribution building at SENECA Industrial Park in Southwest Broward that is 75% leased to Sound Advice. -The county’s inventory grew to 82.3 million sf in the first quarter from 81.5 million sf at the end of the year. -The county’s overall vacancy rate increased to 9.5%, due in part to the new construction. -The county had a negative 72,378 sf overall absorption at the end of the first quarter, compared with more than 254,000 sf of positive absorption in the previous quarter. -The county has more than 1.2 million sf in industrial projects under construction. Of that, about 34% has been pre-leased. -Developers, including Industrial Developments International Inc. and Prologis, seem committed to Broward County industrial development, as evidenced by their buying big chunks of land there.

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