A $40 million land deal off Interstate 75 near Southwest Florida International Airport just closed. Coconut Creek-based industrial developer Butters and Canada-based property management company BentallGreenOak are partnering on Gulf Landing Logistics Center after purchasing almost 300 acres.
Once completed, there will be about 2.2 million square feet of industrial buildings constructed in several phases on about 200 acres straddled between I-75 and Ben Hill Griffin Road, just north of Alico Road and south of Terminal Access Road, which leads to RSW. The remaining 100 acres will be preserved for conservation efforts.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Malcolm Butters, president of Butters Construction & Development. “I’m very bullish on Southwest Florida. To me, I think it’s the best industrial site in all of the Naples-Fort Myers corridor. I think it’s going to do really well.
“… We saw this opportunity in Southwest Florida. We couldn’t resist it. The location and the visibility next to the airport is second to none. The growth story of the Southwest Florida market, it’s one of the top 10 growth areas in the nation.”
Harvey Youngquist’s company bought the parcel zoned for industrial out of bankruptcy for $5.74 million in 2017. Over the past year, crews have cleared trees from the land. Youngquist’s company laid the groundwork and entitlements, getting the land ready and suitable for development, leading to the price increase.
During Youngquist’s ownership, the entitlements for the land shifted from 1.4 million to 2.5 million square feet of industrial space and from 131,000 to 225,000 square feet of office space. Also, 200,000 square feet of medical office space was added as well as up to 360 hotel rooms.
The deal closed Monday with the Lee & Associates industrial team of Bob Johnston, Derek Bornhorst and Jerry Messonnier representing the buyers. Gary Tasman, CEO of Cushman & Wakefield in Southwest Florida, represented the seller.
“With the growth of e-commerce and the number of companies looking to relocate to Florida along with the lack of large industrial zoned parcels in Lee County, the team at Lee & Associates redesigned the land as a master planned industrial Center,” Johnston said.
The first phase of Gulf Landing Logistics Center, which includes about 700,000 square feet visible from I-75, just north of Alico Road, could break ground by January with a goal of Fall 2023 for completion.
“They got it all permit ready and approved,” Butters said of Youngquist’s group. “It’s what they call in the business ‘shovel ready.’ You don’t need a lot of entitlement work. They’ve created value for it. They probably tripled their investment.
“You’ll see a lot of sites used by e-commerce. A lot of logistics. Manufacturing. We think there’s going to be a lot of demand for that. It’s near the airport. It’s next to Gulf Coast Town Center. It’s off Alico Road. There are a lot of amenities close by for lunch and hotels.”