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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

TAMPA, FL-Unique Industry Corp., an aftermarket supplier of automotive body parts, has renewed its local 35,540-square-foot lease at Fairfield Distribution Center. The company has additional warehouses in Orlando and Miami.

“We were able to negotiate a very competitive renewal rate for Unique that was able to meet their short-term goals,” says Todd Brandon, senior vice president and managing director of UGL Equis in Tampa, which represented the company in lease negotiations. Tim Hain, vice president of Duke Realty Corp., represented the building’s owner.

Brandon adds that Unique was able to secure a lease term aligned to the company’s future decisions. Hain notes that Duke was able to retain the tenant in a highly competitive market due to the advantages offered at Fairfield, such as immediate access to Interstates 4 and 75 and US 301.

Unique has been a tenant at the Fairfield VI building, at 4763 Oak Fair Blvd., for nearly six years. The 156,000-square-foot industrial building opened in 2001 and is one of nine buildings totaling one million square feet at Fairfield Distribution Center.

Overall industrial vacancy in the Tampa Bay market measures 8.7% through the first quarter, up nearly three percentage points over the past year, according to Colliers Arnold. Average asking rents for warehouse space are down 9% over the year, to $5.45 per square foot.

While tenants have the opportunity to lease space for shorter terms with more favorable rates and concessions, landlords are doing whatever it takes to keep tenants in place and rental income flowing, says Karen Temmen, Colliers Arnold’s research director in Clearwater. “Those willing to sign for longer terms have made deals that would have been unheard of in the last few years,” she adds.

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