Amazon Coming to South Florida

Amazon’s new fulfillment center in Opa-Locka, Fla., is expected to boost the city’s job market, as well as benefit neighboring developments. CPF Investment Group’s Ernie Cambo spoke to CPE about the impact Amazon’s presence will have on the local real estate market.

Ernie Cambo, principal of CPF Investment Group
Ernie Cambo, principal of CPF Investment Group

South Florida’s industrial real estate market is going strong, showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With Amazon’s new fulfillment center coming to Opa-Locka, Fla., neighboring developments will also benefit from the e-commerce giant’s presence.

Ernie Cambo, the developer behind AVE Aviation & Commerce Center and principal of CPF Investment Group, spoke to Commercial Property Executive about the status of South Florida’s industrial market and the impact Amazon’s fulfillment center will have on the area.

AVE Aviation & Commerce Center, a Class A mixed-use business park near the fulfillment center, will encompass approximately 200,000 square feet of retail, 2.1 million square feet of office/warehouse space and approximately 250,000 square feet of corporate jet hangers.

Where does South Florida’s industrial real estate market currently stand and how does it impact the development pipeline?

Cambo: South Florida’s industrial real estate market remains healthy, with a strong appetite for more activity. Growing e-commerce sales are expanding the immediate need for some of the most highly-sought submarkets that are currently a “sweet spot” for development. 

Wayfair, the online goods home retailer, announced earlier this month its plan to open a distribution center in Pompano Beach, with the objective to expand the company’s delivery reach to millions of customers in the region. This is one example of how South Florida—and Miami in particular—continues to lead as an industrial real estate hub. As a result, rates are not expected to decline anytime in the near future.

How will Amazon’s presence influence the South Florida real estate market?

Cambo: As an anchor tenant in the South Florida community, Amazon will be a positive influence beyond just the real estate footprint. Neighboring developments and residents of Opa-Locka will be prime beneficiaries of Amazon’s cemented presence.

Interview quote CPE Ernie Cambo 01

At AVE Aviation & Commerce we are already encountering an influx of inquiries from companies that are interested in Miami’s thriving global connectivity and infrastructure as a result. It is important to note that the city is already home to Fortune 500 companies and a pharmaceutical industry that have helped form South Florida for many years. Amazon will only further solidify Miami as a critical business hub in the nation.

What are some of the new opportunities Amazon’s fulfillment center will bring to the City of Opa-Locka?

Cambo: To put it in the simplest fashion—jobs. Amazon’s imprint on job opportunities supports the already-prospering workforce enhancements the market is experiencing, especially tied to the warehouse and distribution sector. At AVE Aviation & Commerce, we have already created 1,700 jobs, with projections to reach 3,000 upon completion. This will add to the 1,000 jobs Amazon already plans to bring to South Florida, in addition to job support needed in the surrounding area as we experience a sub-economic boost.

What does Amazon’s new development mean for the local job market?

Cambo: With the 1,000 anticipated jobs to be created by Amazon, fulfillment centers of this scale require packaging personnel, labor and freight stockers. If the company puts an emphasis on hiring staff that lives in the vicinity, it would lead to a rise in Opa-Locka’s economic development. In a domino effect, retail, casual dining and services, such as gas, will experience a boost in demand.

How will this affect new construction throughout the county?

Cambo: I do not predict Amazon’s recent deal will move the needle enough to impact an entire county. However, overall development in the pipeline will impact Miami-Dade County in a positive manner. Beyond Opa-Locka’s demand, municipalities in which we expect to see continued growth are Hialeah Gardens, South Medley and Miami Gardens. Reputable real estate development firms in Miami want their feet in the game and are increasing land absorption.

Interview quote CPE Ernie Cambo 02

As the developer behind AVE Aviation & Commerce Center, do you think the fulfillment center’s proximity will have an impact on the mixed-use business park?

Cambo: Much like the characteristics of the “Magic City”, AVE enjoys a melting pot of tenants at the mixed-use business park. Our list of tenants ranges from local entrepreneurial enterprises to Fortune 500 companies. Its proximity to the Amazon Fulfillment Center is generating interest from a variety of corporations and entities that seek to benefit from the Amazon footprint.

Having the industry leader in e-commerce join Opa-Locka is only solidifying the potential that I saw for this submarket a decade ago. Prospective tenants should know that now is the time to seize these prime opportunities, due to a limited supply of core quality properties and increased rent rates.

Images courtesy of CPF Investment Group