CalEast, Florida CommerCenters form JV to Develop Industrial in Florida

CalEast Global Logistics L.L.C. and Florida CommerCenters are teaming up to develop industrial warehouses, distribution centers and flex-space throughout central and northeast Florida.Rebecca York, president of Florida CommerCenters in Orlando, declined to release the dollar amount of the joint venture with CalEast but said the company would be Florida CommerCenters’ “primary and preferred partner” for developing industrial properties. Florida CommerCenters, an affiliate of NAI Realvest in Orlando, was formed in February as a commercial real estate development group to seek out and build industrial opportunities in the state. York told CPN today the regions both the firm and the joint venture will focus on are counties in central Florida and along the eastern coast up to Jacksonville. She said they would not be looking at south Florida. “Demand for well-suited industrial and office-warehouse facilities is high throughout Florida as commercial development catches up to years of strong residential and retail growth,” George Livingston, Florida CommerCenters CEO, said in a release. “We foresee increasing long-term demand for industrial and office-warehouse facilities in select Florida markets and this niche field represents a substantial opportunity for us.”York said NAI Realvest, which has developed more than 1 million square feet of industrial and flex space in central Florida, has previously worked with CalEast Global Logistics, but this is the first formal joint venture between the firms. CalEast Global Logistics is a real estate operating company whose members include the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and LaSalle Investment Management Inc. CalEast owns and operates more than 47 million square feet of industrial real estate, including warehouses, light assembly, air cargo and distribution centers throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.“This is a great opportunity for us to help them increase their market presence,” York said.York said it was still too early to release possible sites for projects but that there are, “several opportunities that we’re really excited about bringing to our partner.”She said the current economic slowdown might help the companies find landowners willing to sell property at “more rational prices.” York noted that there isn’t an oversupply of industrial properties in the region, so demand should continue, particularly by the time the properties are developed one or more years from now.