Principal Real Estate Investors Expands Industrial Project

The company is building the second phase of a complex expected to total 1.9 million square feet in Fort Myers, Fla.
Premier Airport Park in Fort Myers, Fla.
Premier Airport Park. Image courtesy of Colliers International

Principal Real Estate Investors has broken ground on the next phase of development at Premier Airport Park in Fort Myers, Fla., where it will add more than 200,000 square feet of Class A industrial and distribution space.

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The buildings, the third and fourth to be constructed in the development, will be 106,569 square feet and 106,836 square feet. They are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The property will eventually have nearly 1.9 million square feet of high-cube warehousing, industrial, manufacturing and office space. Located at Premier Airport Parkway near Southwest Florida International Airport, the park is in close proximity to Interstate 75, giving tenants access to an estimated 18 million people living within a three-hour drive. The first two buildings, approximately the same size as the properties to be developed, have a mix of international manufacturing firms and national and regional distribution companies as tenants.

Dan Miller, executive managing director of industrial services, and Fred Kolb, director of industrial services, with Colliers International Southwest Florida, are handling leasing for the complex. They said vacancies in the market are near an all-time low, with vacancy in Fort Myers at 4.5 percent and about 2 percent in the nearby communities of Sarasota, Naples and Punta Gorda, Fla. Miller said in a prepared statement that demand for high-quality industrial product is as high as he’s ever seen it and the new buildings will provide a sizeable alternative in the tight industrial market. An area housing boom is also driving demand for new industrial product, along with the need for more e-commerce distribution centers.

Kolb noted the complex provides the only institutional-grade product in the market right now. Space at the Premier Airport Park includes features such as high-impact windows, fast-response fire sprinkler systems, 32-foot clear ceiling heights and a significant number of loading doors.

The project is being developed under the management of Principal Real Estate Investors, the dedicated real estate group of Principal Global Investors, a diversified asset management firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.

More industrial deals

In December, Dunavant Distribution Group signed a 784,000-square-foot industrial lease at Bay Area Business Park, a 3.3 million-square-foot, 10-building development in Pasadena, Texas, owned by Principal Real Estate Investors. The logistics and supply chain company will occupy the entire Building 10 that was completed earlier in 2020 as part of the development’s third phase. Also in 2020, Principal Real Estate Investors and Panattoni Development Co. signed two leases totaling 101,663 square feet with U-Haul International Inc. and LG Hausys America Inc. at the 232,000-square-foot Orange County Commerce Center in California, at the border of Anaheim and Placentia. The companies will each occupy a free-standing building.