Close this search box.

Log in

Top Stories

Like the Minnesota Twins professional baseball team, Capital Partners has found a second home in Southwest Florida. 

Founded 25 years ago in Minneapolis by Peter Mork, Capital Partners has grown to manage about $1.6 billion in assets and about 15 million square feet of space. The bulk of that space can be found by combining 150 buildings in Minnesota and a handful of projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mork said. 

But in recent years, Capital has invested in Southwest Florida, first by building two warehouses off Alico and Lee roads in south Fort Myers. 

On March 27, Capital broke ground on a 139,200-square-foot project called Charlotte Harbor Business Center. It’s located at 9225 Piper Road in Punta Gorda, near Punta Gorda Airport, and should be finished by the end of this year. 

“We’re in Southwest Florida now, because the market is so strong,” Mork said. “There’s so much growth here, and there’s so much demand for good, quality industrial real estate.” 

Targeting Punta Gorda seemed like the best option for finding land, he said. 

“Quite frankly, you’re out of industrial land for the most part down south,” Mork said. “You can’t find any in Naples. Difficult to find. [Same with] down in Fort Myers. So really, industrial development is coming north.” 

The industrial real estate sector just keeps intensifying, said Jerry Messonnier of Lee & Associates Naples-Fort Myers, which is leasing the units that start at 16,000 square feet and along with Capital Partners presented C.A.R.E. with a $10,000 donation toward the Center for Abuse & Rape Emergencies, Inc.’s Victim Services Center.

Window companies, cabinetry makers and appliance warehouses are just some of the potential users for this project. While the average citizen doesn’t tend to think much of industrial warehouses, they are a vital part of the local economy, Messonnier said. 

“It should matter because that’s where their goods and services come from,” he said. “It comes from warehouses. As we increase our population, we’re going to need more warehouse space. 

“If you look at the warehouse per capita in Miami, Tampa or Orlando for instance, they’re roughly 50, 60 square feet per person. Where down here, we’re about 15 or 16. We don’t have the larger warehouses like you have in those major markets. Although now with the growth in our population, we’re starting to see the changes.” 

The area used to average 10,000 to 15,000 square feet per tenant, Messonnier said. But in this new project, 16,000 square feet is the minimum space allowed. 

“Now we’re averaging closer to 60,000 to 70,000 square feet per tenant,” he said. “And we’re seeing quite a few tenants over 100,000 square feet and a handful over 250,000 square feet.” 

All the trends and statistics and data to which Messonnier grew accustomed during the earlier years of his career now appeared meaningless, he said. 

In prior years, it used to take 18 months to lease a building. It would be 20% leased prior to completion, then the remaining 80% would fill in over the next 12 months. 

Now, industrial buildings are reaching the 50% leased benchmark during construction. 

“Upon completion, we’ll have it filled pretty quickly,” Messonnier said. “All of this is happening over a short period of time. It’s difficult for us to look back. We can only look forward, because all of our old statistics no longer make any sense. This growth has been unprecedented for us in industrial. 

“Every time we build one, we fill it up.” 

Copyright 2024 Gulfshore Life Media, LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent.

Don't Miss

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Please note that article corrections should be submitted for grammar or syntax issues.

If you have other concerns about the content of this article, please submit a news tip.