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JACKSONVILLE, FL-University Park-based Benderson Development has acquired 995 acres of land at the northeast quadrant of Pecan Park Road and Interstate 95 for $20 million. Plans for the project are still being developed, but Benderson’s broad plans for the site include the development of a regional activity center that will include residential, office and retail space, with 319 acres of the land to be used for industrial development.

The seller is Bacardi Bottling Corp., which was represented by Colliers Dickinson SVP Hobart Joost Jr. Joost tells GlobeSt.com that Bacardi sold the land because it is divesting of all non-core assets.

Joost adds that the impetus for the sale was the influx of Asian shippers to the Jacksonville Port. Mitsui is constructing a terminal and Han Jin has future plans to construct a terminal. With the West Coast ports at capacity, many Asian shippers are seeking East Coast locations to accommodate customers in the Sunbelt region. Jacksonville is an attractive East Coast location because Interstate 10, which connects the East and West Coasts, ends in Jacksonville.

“As a result of the Asian shippers, developers are buying large tracts of land to build large distribution buildings,” he says. “After the Mitsui terminal is completed, it is estimated that Jacksonville will be eight million sf short of industrial product.”

Benderson Development is a developer of retail and power centers and has regional offices in Buffalo, Charlotte, NC and Springfield, NJ. The company owns and manages more than 250 properties encompassing over 25 million sf of retail space. In addition, another 4.5 million sf of leasable space is currently under development. In addition to these retail center holdings, Benderson’s development portfolio includes office buildings, industrial parks, residential communities, hotels, and self storage facilities.

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