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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

JACKSONVILLE, FL-Trammell Crow Co. and ING Clarion Partners LLC have completed a 260,000-square-foot warehouse at Perimeter West Industrial Park that will be the new Volkswagen Group of America Inc. parts distribution center for the Southeast. The building is 30% larger than the German automaker’s current local facility.

The build-to-suit industrial project features a three-level, 45,000-square-foot parts mezzanine, along with 30-foot clear height truck bays and 10,000 square feet of offices. Volkswagen Group signed a 15-year lease on the new building, which has 40 employees and serves 118 VW and Audi dealers in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“They searched many locations and markets before selecting Perimeter West,” Bob Abberger, senior managing director of Trammell Crow’s Florida business unit in Tampa, tells GlobeSt.com. He adds that Volkswagen’s commitment to the Jacksonville market underscores the port city’s emergence as a key distribution hub, with all transportation modes available.

“This new, larger facility will enable us to provide better efficiency in our parts department and help us meet the needs of our expansive Southeastern dealer base,” says Troy Smith, general manager for parts and operations strategy with Herndon, VA-based Volkswagen Group. “This distribution center will continue to serve us as we expand our presence in the US.”

Perimeter West, which totals 54 acres at Interstate 295 and Pritchard Road, is entitled for another 700,000 square feet of industrial space, plus 100,000 square feet of other commercial development at its six-acre “front door,” Abberger says. Dallas-based Trammell Crow and New York City-based ING Clarion plan to start work there later this year on a second 174,000-square-foot distribution center, he says.

“That still leaves room for one or two buildings along the north perimeter,” Abberger adds. “With the completion of Pritchard Road, we like our interstate access and visibility and our location in this submarket.”

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