(Read more on the industrial market.)

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL-Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. has acquired 537 acres with rights to develop more than 6.2 million sf of industrial space. The land is within a business park located off the Beeline Highway.

The land acquisition and development investments are being completed through First Industrial’s Strategic Land and Development joint venture, FirstCal 3, with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. CB Richard Ellis Investors is the advisor to CalSTRS on the venture. The acquisition price was not released.

First Industrial plans to continue work on the park’s infrastructure, most of which is already in place. Construction will begin in the second half of the year and will proceed in several phases. The park will include both build-to-suit and speculative development of several property types, including distribution, bulk and flex facilities. Specific project details have not yet been finalized. First Industrial may also pursue land sales with individual strategic customers, First Industrial senior regional director of the South Florida office Jeremy Shapiro tells GlobeSt.com.

“The acquisition of this 537-acre parcel in Southern Florida reflects our strategy to invest in markets with growing populations and increasing supply chain needs from rising international trade,” says First Industrial president and CEO Mike Brennan. “The South Florida market is particularly attractive for industrial development due to its growing economy, increasing port activity, high occupancy rates and excellent distribution workforce.”

The Ports of Miami, Everglades and Palm Beach are projected to increase cargo activity and the Port of Palm Beach will be undergoing an extensive expansion program to address rising import and export volumes. Nearby highway expansion projects will facilitate transportation to and from the park.

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