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TAMPA, FL-CEVA Logistics has signed the year’s largest industrial lease in the Tampa Bay market, agreeing to take 229,308 square feet in Building A at Madison Business Center on the city’s east side. Its client, Verizon Wireless, will move into the space starting Nov. 1 and use it as a distribution center.

The move represents a significant expansion for Verizon Wireless, which currently occupies a building along Anderson Road north of Tampa. The year-old building at Madison was developed about a year ago by Atlanta-based Industrial Developments International.

“They are definitely upgrading from where they were before,” Scott Helms, senior vice president and regional development officer with IDI in Fort Lauderdale. He adds that Madison’s Building A, which has 155,000 square feet remaining, is an example of the company’s class A space around the country.

Madison Business Center, which has five buildings totaling a million square feet, is located along Madison Avenue just east of US 41 near the Port of Tampa and Interstates 4 and 75. Last year, IDI signed American Tire Distributors to a 144,000-square-foot lease at Building E.

Helms would not disclose added details about the CEVA lease, which is for a three-year term. Asking rents for warehouse/distribution space in the East Tampa submarket were $4.73 per square foot at midyear, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Even though Florida’s industrial sector has slowed in most areas of Florida, Helms says he believes the Tampa Bay market was the last to wind down. “Based upon our leasing activity and tenants’ interest in the market, Tampa could be the first to come out” in a recovery, he says.

CB Richard Ellis industrial brokers Rick Narkiewicz in Tampa and Debra Royal in Jacksonville represented CEVA in negotiating the new lease. IDI was represented by Larry Dinner, vice president of leasing for Florida.

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