MIAMI-In another deal illustrating the strong interest in the Gratigny/North Dade County submarket, Dietrich Industries has inked a 10-year lease for 114,000 sf of industrial-warehouse space at AMB Property Corp.’s Panther Distribution Center. The lease is valued at more than $6 million.

Dietrich Industries, a Worthington Industries company based in Columbus, Ohio, is nearly doubling its space in this relocation from a warehouse just off Miami Gardens Drive near Interstate 95 in North Dade. Panther Distribution Center is located at 3505 N.W. 123 St.

Brian Smith, director of industrial brokerage, and Wayne Ramoski, senior director of industrial brokerage for Cushman & Wakefield in South Florida, represented the property owner, AMB Partners II LLP, in the Dietrich Industries transaction.

The amount of space that Smith and Ramoski leased year to date–454,000 sf–for AMB in the Gratigny/North Dade submarket points toward a strong interest in that submarket. The area is attractive to businesses in that it has rental rates nearly $2 per sf less than the Airport West submarket, buildings with high ceilings and great loading, and a connection to all major thoroughfares, according to a Cushman & Wakefield statement.

“This is an excellent submarket due to its strategic location in reference to I-95, 826 and Florida’s Turnpike,” Smith says. “Furthermore, the buildings are very efficient and rents are still far below Airport West. The buildings tend to be 75,000 sf and above, therefore attracting larger, more established companies that do not necessarily need to be right off the MIA Cargo Tarmac.”

The recent activity maintains the strength of the Gratigny/North Dade area, which has historically had high occupancy rates. “I do not view this recent activity as a growing interest but rather as testimony that the Gratigny Central is a very established industrial park that has maintained a very high occupancy rate over the years,” Smith says.

AMB Property Corp., an institutional landlord, acquired six properties totaling about 10% of the park, and “buildings that typically would have sold to users were sold to investors,” he says. “The end result was a lot of space was put up for lease in a very short period of time. We have since leased the properties we sold them. Rates have increased slightly, but so has the quality of the product being delivered.”

The Miami industrial market overall has seen a steady rise in demand, with the overall vacancy rate at the end of the third quarter at 8.6%, down 0.7 percentage points from 9.3% a year earlier, according to a new market report by Cushman & Wakefield. And although leasing activity is down 21.2 percentage points from this time last year, it still totaled 4.6 million sf. The third-quarter leasing activity was especially strong, experiencing almost 65% of the year-to-date leasing activity. “Due in part to this strong leasing activity, the overall year-to-date absorption is positive 135,209 sf,” the report states. The Dietrich Industries deal is the tenth transaction in the last 16 months and the fourth lease so far this year that Smith and Ramoski have completed for AMB Partners II LLP.

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