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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

JACKSONVILLE, FL-Industrial developer Jackson-Shaw is formally opening its three-building Creekside at Tradeport project Wednesday with a lunchtime event for local brokers. The 335,000-sf development is located at 13903 Alvarez Road, within the Jacksonville International Tradeport.

Dallas-based Jackson-Shaw started work last summer on the $21-million speculative project, which includes warehouse, flex and office space. Creekside occupies 25 acres of the 425-acre Tradeport site. In July, Jackson-Shaw sold its nine-building Jacksonville International Tradeport complex, totaling 994,380 sf, to Flagler Development Group for $72.1 million.

Tom Jones, regional development partner with Jackson-Shaw in Jacksonville, says the Creekside site is ideal for companies seeking multimodal distribution access. The buildings are convenient to the city’s airport and interstates, as well as the expanding Port of Jacksonville.

“We have had quite a few inquiries and responded to a number of requests for proposals,” Jones tells GlobeSt.com, noting that H.C. Schau & Co. signed a 20-year lease for 42,000 sf at one of Creekside’s buildings this past spring. “We do anticipate that there is still some interest in the market, some of which is related to JaxPort.”

Jacksonville’s industrial market experienced only a slight increase in vacancy during the second quarter to 7.1%, including 9.6% in the Northside submarket where Creekside is located, according to Colliers Dickinson’s latest market research report. Enhanced marine capacity at JaxPort is creating demand for new space, particularly for bulk distribution.

“The market is starting to respond as developers moving into northeast Florida have begun delivery of speculative finished warehouse space,” says Louis Galant, research director for Colliers Dickinson. “Warehouse and distribution development companies are jockeying for positions near Jacksonville’s port and major highways, heralding the early stages of the city’s biggest industrial boom in decades.”

As Jackson-Shaw continues leasing up its Creekside buildings, Jones says it will soon start work on an 86,000-sf spec building called International Center at Tradeport. That building is now in the permitting phase and is expected to break ground by the end of this year, he says.

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