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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

DANIA BEACH, FL-Fairchild Partners has completed a $1-million renovation of Airport Commerce Park, an 80,000 square-foot office complex owned by the investment arm of the commercial real estate firm. The four-building asset is located at 4101 Ravenswood Road, in close proximity to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, South Florida’s Tri-Rail system and Interstate 95. Improvements made to the building, including new facades, landscaping and installation of energy-efficient lighting, has brought the property from a class B to a B-plus asset, says Jose Juncadella, founder and principal of Miami-based Fairchild Partners.

The upgrade has also prompted Fairchild to utilize extra land it owns on the site by constructing a 10,000-square-foot office building. Ground is expected to break later this year on the single-tenant structure and be delivered by the second quarter of 2010. At a value of approximately $1.2 million, the new construction will feature impact resistant glass and will be designed according to the US Green Building Council’s LEED standards. The complex would be one of the first to gain certification in Dania Beach.

“The I-95 corridor presents great opportunities for companies dealing with the tri-county area who like locations central to both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties,” Juncadella tells GlobeSt.com. Airport Commerce Park currently has 42 tenants, bringing the complex to 90% occupied. Tenants include Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Broward Inc., James Hartley Contractors, Super Yachts, Precision Air, Comprehensive Business Systems, Tour de France sponsor Sagem Morpho and the law office of Scott Kistner. Suites range from 800 to 6,000 square feet, with average rents of $15 per square foot.

This type of upgraded asset is an ideal leasing option for companies seeking to reduce occupancy costs in light of today’s volatile economic environment, says Juncadella. “A company that is already in a CBD like nearby Fort Lauderdale can move to this building and pay substantially less, scaling back,” he adds.

Airport Commerce Park is the only asset currently owned by Fairchild Partners Investments, but the fund is on the hunt for properties, according to Juncadella. “We’re looking for opportunities where we can add value. In this market it’s the lowest denominator that does well,” he says. The investment arm of the firm is looking at assets in the range of $10 million to $20 million within the office and industrial sectors, and plans to hold properties long term.

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