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MDH Partners buys 7th local warehouse asset, leases up Davenport spec-build

A view of the 8-year-old warehouse property on Transport Drive recently acquired by MDH Partners, located 10 minutes east of Orlando International Airport.
A view of the 8-year-old warehouse property on Transport Drive recently acquired by MDH Partners, located 10 minutes east of Orlando International Airport. (MDH Partners)

Atlanta-based industrial real estate investor MDH Partners paid $16.25 million earlier this month for its seventh warehouse property in Greater Orlando, after entering the market in September of last year. It's now busy leasing up its first new-construction industrial park in Davenport, and is actively seeking more value-add warehouse buys in the region, CEO Jeff Small told GrowthSpotter.

Located at 8650 Transport Dr., the recent acquisition is an 18.86-acre, 361,200-square-foot Class A warehouse in International Corporate Park, 10 minutes east of Orlando International Airport and just south of an interchange for the Beachline Expressway.

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The sale occurred Aug. 11, and was recorded in Orange County this past week.

Industrial real estate group sees Greater Orlando area as new focal point for growth and investment, CEO says.

Built in 2008 just as the recession hit, the property was under-leased over the years for past owner VIF II/Beachline LLC, an affiliate of AEW Capital Management and TPA Group.

The cross-dock facility with 30-foot-clear ceiling heights is 75 percent leased, Small said, with Electrolux the largest tenant and newcomer Special Logistics Southeast now moving in. About 85,000 square feet remain vacant.

"We're trying to grow our presence in Orlando, and saw this opportunity to come in and create value. This market has had a lot of absorbtion, we're seeing a lot of activity on our other assets," Small said. "From a logistics standpoint it provided good access to the airport, Orlando and I-4, but also to the east coast and I-95."

The company now holds 1.3 million square feet of industrial space in Orlando across seven buildings that are active or under construction.

MDH financed the acquisition through an existing expandable loan with Metlife Insurance Company. An amended promissory note of $32.8 million was filed, with a maturity date of Jan. 1, 2021.

The company doesn't have a specific amount of capital it needs to place in new assets this year, but is bullish on Orlando and pursuing a few properties, Small said.

Project is the latest in a series of major distribution centers planned for the major interchange near the Four Corners area.

"We're not shy about buying something that nees some TLC, and spending the capital needed to fix it up," he said. "We're value-add buyers. In this Transport Drive building there was leasing that needed to be done. We seek locations with good access to the interstates, airport or theme parks."

Still under construction is the company's new Four Corners Business Park, a 52-acre site bought last September at the I-4/U.S. 27 interchange, where it began speculative build on 795,753 square feet across three buildings.

MDH has signed its first two leases there, with HD Supply (Home Depot) taking about 200,000 square feet, and Nestle Water another 20,000 square feet, Small said.

Located just a few miles southwest of ChampionsGate and 28 miles from Orlando, the interchange in Davenport drew major investments in 2014 by Amazon with a 400,000-square-foot distribution center, and a 300,000-square-foot center for FedEx Ground Shipping Center Services. Walmart also just added two fulfillment centers, each at 1 million square feet.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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