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TAMPA, FL-With continued low vacancy rates and positive absorption in the industrial sector, new construction continues to increase.

This was evidenced by the announcement last week of two new industrial parks. Atlanta-based IDI entered the market with the start of construction of Madison Industrial Park, a speculative master-planned business park that will feature five distribution buildings and one million sf when built out. The project is located on 58 acres off US Route 41 in the East Tampa/Interstate 75 industrial submarket.

In addition, IDI plans to break ground in the fall on 301 Business Center, a master-planned business park in the East Tampa/Interstate 75 submarket. The park will eventually have up to five buildings totaling 900,000 sf on 69 acres.

“Tampa is a major manufacturing and distribution hub and it continues to post impressive job and population growth,” says IDI Fort Lauderdale office vice president and regional development officer Scott Helms, in announcing the firm’s plans. “There is strong demand in this market for class A industrial space.”

Also last week, Farmington Hills, MI-based Schafer Development received approval for Big Bend 41 Industrial Park, a 1.4-million-sf industrial park near Apollo Beach on the northeast corner of Big Bend Road and US 41. The 120-acre project in Hillsborough County will include 120,000 sf of office space and 28,000 sf of retail space.

“The exceptionally large amount of industrial and flex space under construction in the Tampa Bay area is a result of the low vacancy rates and high absorption totals for the last two years,” states a Colliers Arnold Q2 Tampa Bay industrial/flex market report.

At the beginning of the second quarter, Colliers International rated the Tampa Bay industrial market in the top 10 in North America for lowest vacancy rates. The Tampa vacancy rate ended the second quarter at 5.1%. This rate compares to the nationwide overall vacancy rate of 8.1%, the report states.

For Q2, the Tampa Bay industrial market recorded 419,664 sf of net absorption with 675,016 sf year-to-date absorption. There were 1.1 million sf of new completions during the quarter with another 3.27 million sf under construction. Average asking rents for warehouse space were $5.57 per sf and for flex space were $9.92 per sf, according to the report.

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