Cushman & Wakefield announced Sept. 20 that they have been named exclusive listing agent for Americas Gateway Logistics Center (AGLC), a ±770-acre master-planned industrial campus developed by Americas Gateway, LLC, a subsidiary of Oviedo, Fla.-based A. Duda & Sons.
Cushman & Wakefield Director Larry Kahn along with Senior Director Christopher Thomson will market the rail-served logistics park located on the site of former sugar cane fields in Glades County at the corner of U.S. Highway 27 and Florida State Road 78. AGLC can accommodate industrial distribution and manufacturing space and features commercial frontage on U.S. 27 and direct rail access from South Central Florida Express (SCFE) to both CSX and Florida East Coast Railway (FEC)/Norfolk Southern (NS).
AGLC offers immediate access to existing inland truck routes (U.S. 27 and S.R. 78), freight rail (SCFE, CSX and FEC/NS), five major seaports (Port of Miami, Port Everglades, Port of Palm Beach, Port Manatee, Port Tampa) and air cargo facilities (Miami International Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport, Air Glades).
The first tenant at AGLC will be Oklahoma City-based Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores. Love’s has broken ground on an $11 million, 10,000-square-foot, 24/7 facility, which will include fuel and diesel pumps, an Arby’s restaurant, a convenience store, five private showers and 77 truck parking spaces. “Love’s ability to provide park tenants with convenient access to fuel and truck parking adds tremendous value to the project,” said Mr. Kahn. The Love’s development project is expected to employ 150 area residents under the auspices of Harman Construction, Inc. The store will create 40 new jobs when it opens its doors to the public in early 2017.
“U.S. 27 is an excellent freight corridor for professional drivers traveling to and from Port Everglades and Port Miami to the rest of the state,” said Kealey Dorian, Love’s Communications Specialist. “With the great location close to the highway, we’re in a tremendous position to serve members of the Glades County community and the motoring public.” According to Tracy Whirls, Glades County Economic Development Council Executive Director, the first phase of AGLC is being developed as a public-private partnership between Glades County and Americas Gateway, LLC.
Duda donated 15 acres to Glades County to create the easements for the infrastructure; the Florida Department of Transportation funded more than $700,000 in improvements to U.S. 27; and Glades County secured nearly $1.5 million in state infrastructure grants to tie surrounding parcels together. Pending Glades County Board of Commissioners approval, site preparation is expected to begin shortly. In addition, Glades County has a newly completed training center adjoining AGLC.
“Once utilities and the entrance road serving the travel center are complete, enough land to accommodate approximately 1.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial space at AGLC will be shovel-ready,” said Erin Archey, president of Americas Gateway, LLC. “Additionally, there are rail-served industrial lots in a range of sizes from 18 to more than 150 acres.”
“This has been a pioneering public-private partnership between local, state and private property owners ending a stalemate in economic development in Florida,” said Ms. Whirls. “Private property owners and developers are reluctant to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure on a greenfield site in advance of proven market demand, and companies won’t consider greenfield sites unless they are shovel ready.”
“The closer we get to being shovel ready, the more deal flow we’re beginning to see,” added Ms. Whirls. “Right now, we are actively pursuing four projects representing $141 million in capital investment and 245 jobs with an average annual wage of $40,000 to $70,000 a year.” “We are excited about the opportunity to bring an outstanding rail-served industrial logistics park to market,” said Mr. Kahn. “Americas Gateway offers a unique set of investment drivers for industrial users. It provides the opportunity to acquire modestly priced land with excellent access to Palm Beach, Broward, Dade, Lee and Collier counties. Further, the Glades County training facility is on-site; the project already has water and sewer service; and users will have access to a strong, diverse local workforce.”
“Americas Gateway has the right ingredients at the right time and right place to serve all of South Florida,” added Mr. Kahn.