Airis' cargo complex ready for liftoff at Miami International Atlanta-based Airis Corp. has received approval from the Miami-Dade County Airport Authority to build, own and operate a 564,000 sq. ft. cargo complex at Miami International Airport. Construction began on the $110 million project last month and is expected to be completed mid-2001.

Located in the southwestern sector of the airport, the 48-acre complex will house a four-story, 44,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and adjacent 387,000 sq. ft. cargo facility for LanChile Cargo Airlines, as well as a separate 133,000 sq. ft. cargo building for Miami-based Fine Air Services.

IDI leases nearly 1 million sq. ft. in Memphis and Cincy Atlanta-based Industrial Developments International (IDI) has leased nearly 1 million sq. ft. of distribution space in Memphis, Tenn., and Cincinnati. Near Cincinnati, IDI leased all of Building V at Park West International in Boone County, Ky., to Jacksonville, Fla.-based GATX Logistics Inc. GATX will use the 300,000 sq. ft. building in its e-commerce efforts, with approximately 7,000 sq. ft. of the building serving as office space.

In Memphis, IDI has signed three tenants totaling 697,000 sq. ft. at two parks. Plano, Texas-based PFSweb has leased 442,184 sq. ft. at Building N at Southpark, a 3.4 million sq. ft. industrial park. PFSweb and its parent company, Daisytek, are IDI's largest tenant in the Memphis area, with nearly 1 million sq. ft. leased.

At Memphis Distribution Center, a 3.5 million sq. ft. industrial park in southeast Memphis, IDI has completed two deals. Greenville, S.C.-based ScanSource leased building D, a 149,549 facility that the company will use as a national distribution center. Third-party logistics provider Romark of Tennessee has leased 106,049 sq. ft. at Memphis Distribution Center.

Clarion drops $98M on California distribution center On behalf of a pension fund client, New York-based Clarion Partners has acquired the Cheli Distribution Center for $98.6 million. Clarion acquired the portfolio from New Crow III, a joint venture between Boston-based AEW Capital Management LP and former partners of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co.

Located in metro Los Angeles, Cheli Distribution Center is one of the top distribution centers in Southern California, according to Stephen P. Latimer, who managed the transaction for Clarion. The purchase includes 14 buildings totaling more than 1.8 million sq. ft. of distribution space.

ProLogis signs e-commerce tenant in northern N.J. Aurora, Colo.-based ProLogis has signed Westwood, Mass.-based Streamline.com to a 102,000 sq. ft. build-to-suit lease for a distribution facility in the Meadowlands Distribution Center in Carlstadt, N.J. Streamline.com is an online retailer that home delivers groceries, dry cleaning, video rentals and other household services in selected U.S. markets.

Streamline.com's new facility, Meadowlands Distribution Building 3, will allow the company to fill orders and streamline its distribution in Bergen County, N.J. Construction of the distribution center began in September, and the building is slated for occupancy in the second quarter of this year.

Blackstone RE Advisors acquires M.D. Hodges New York-based Blackstone Real Estate Advisors has acquired Atlanta-based developer M.D. Hodges Enterprises Inc. and its affiliates. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Hodges' portfolio consists of 126 buildings totaling 10.7 million sq. ft., located primarily in Atlanta's Fulton Industrial, Northeast/I-85 and South Atlanta submarkets. Approximately 1,600 acres of land for office, industrial and retail development was included in the transaction.

Colliers International not just sitting on the dock of the Bay The San Jose, Calif., office of Colliers International represented the buyer and seller in the sale of Winton Industrial Park in Hayward, Calif., near Oakland. AEW Capital Management LP sold the park to Newport Beach, Calif.-based PM Realty Advisors for $38.9 million. The property was held by Copley Investors LP, a fund managed by AEW.

Winton Industrial Park is located in San Francisco's East Bay area and is 93% leased. The development's five single-story industrial buildings total 825,808 sq. ft.

CB Richard Ellis brokers D.C.-area deal Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis has completed the sale of three industrial building in the Baltimore-Washington corridor for The RREEF Funds, Chicago, for a total of $11.25 million. A pension fund advisor purchased the suburban Maryland portfolio.

Included in the deal are a 75,000 sq. ft. structure and a 113,334 sq. ft. building in Jessup, Md., and a 104,000 sq. ft. building in Capitol Heights, Md.

Seeley Co. brokers multiple Southern California deals Los Angeles-based The Seeley Co., which is part of Colliers International, closed a number of Southern California deals toward the end of 1999. The firm brokered three leases in City of Industry and successfully completed the recycling and remarketing of the 50-acre former Alcoa Aluminum plant in Vernon into what is now Xebec Business Center. The City of Industry and Vernon transactions totaled more than $48 million.

Leading the way in the City of Industry transactions, the Vons Cos. Inc., Arcadia, Calif., leased 450,000 sq. ft. to augment its Southern California distribution capabilities. The five-year lease is valued at $8 million. Seeley Co. also represented the building's owner, Long Beach, Calif.-based Intex Corp.

Seeley also leased a 140,740 sq. ft. industrial building in City of Industry to Rapid Rack Industries for its headquarters and primary manufacturing facility. The 10-year lease is valued at $5.5 million. William Renwick, who brokered all three of the recent City of Industry deals, also represented the owner of the Rapid Rack building, Townsend, Mass.-based Squannicook Industrial Redevelopment Trust.

Renwick also represented Oltmans Investment Co. in the lease of a 140,000 sq. ft. City of Industry building to locally based Berkley Products Inc. The 10-year lease is worth $5 million.

A team of Seeley brokers led the marketing for Xebec LLC's Xebec Business Center, the 576,455 sq. ft. redeveloped industrial park, with lease transactions valued at $10 million and sales totaling $19.7 million.

Vernon-based Sandberg Furniture negotiated a $6 million build-to-suit sale of a 122,000 sq. ft. building scheduled for completion this month, while another Vernon-based company, CKM Industries, acquired two buildings totaling 258,000 sq. ft. for $13.7 million. Also in Xebec, Palm Springs, Calif.-based U.S. Filter signed a 10-year build-to-suit lease valued at $6 million for a 123,455 sq. ft. building.

Finally, Vernon-based Riteway Meat negotiated a build-to-suit valued at $5 million for a 71,850 sq. ft. facility equipped with freezers, coolers and processing areas. Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis represented Riteway.

Carter & Associates, Higgins team up for Charlotte lease Chicago-based Higgins Development Partners has signed Moline, Ill.-based John Deere Consumer Products to a 259,200 sq. ft. lease at Nations West Distribution Center in Charlotte, N.C. Atlanta-based Carter & Associates*ONCOR represented Higgins, while Colliers International represented John Deere in the transaction.

The lease provides for John Deere to fully lease Building One at Nations West, a two-building, 436,000 sq. ft. development. The second building, which totals 177,600 sq. ft., will soon begin construction and be available mid-2000.

Meredith & Grew secures $32.25M financing package Boston-based Meredith & Grew Inc.*ONCOR has secured $32.25 million in permanent financing for the refinancing of an industrial portfolio owned by Wilmington, Mass.-based HDC in Boston's northern suburbs. The flex buildings have clear-height ceiling that range from 12 ft. to 22 ft.

The 675,000 sq. ft. portfolio is 97% leased.

Still more Southern California deals Voit Commercial Brokers, The Klabin Co. and Cushman & Wakefield put together a group of Southern California industrial transactions at the end of 1999 valued at more than $30 million. The Klabin Co., Los Angeles, and the Anaheim, Calif., office of Irvine, Calif.-based Voit teamed up to complete a $21 million sale of an R&D converted building to the Los Angeles County Board of Education (BOE). Klabin and Voit represented The O'Donnell Group, Newport Beach, Calif., in the transaction.

O'Donnell purchased the facility from Seattle-based Boeing in 1998 and originally intended to develop the site for industrial tenants. Following the acquisition, the Los Angeles County BOE approached O'Donnell to convert the former R&D facility into a single-story office building to meet the board's expansion and relocation requirements. Represented by CB Richard Ellis, the school board will use the building as a training and office complex.

In Anaheim, the Irvine office of New York-based Cushman & Wakefield represented Dallas-based Jackson Shaw Co. in its acquisition of a 340,000 sq. ft. industrial property in the north Orange County submarket. Jackson Shaw acquired the building from Japanese logistics giant Hitachi Transport System Ltd. for $10.95 million. The Voit Co. represented Hitachi.

Jackson Shaw will renovate the property and, upon completion, Dallas-based Freeman Decorating Co. will be the sole tenant. Freeman is expanding from a 130,000 sq. ft. facility in Anaheim.

Meanwhile, the Ontario, Calif., office of Cushman & Wakefield negotiated a five year, $5 million lease between Walnut, Calif.-based landlord Vogel Properties and Ontario-based tenant Mag Industries at 1950 Sterling Ave. in Ontario. Cushman & Wakefield represented both parties in the 300,172 sq. ft. lease transaction.

Aztec Group arranges financing for N.C. plant Miami-based Aztec Group Inc. and Chicago-based Heller Financial have arranged $11.7 million in acquisition financing for the Gerber Manufacturing plant in Asheville, N.C. Aztec and Heller arranged the financing on behalf of Miami-based Gulfside Development.

The property consists of a 700,000 sq. ft. warehouse/distribution facility on 55 acres. Half of the property has been rezoned for retail, and Wal-Mart plans to build a 225,000 sq. ft. store on the site. The existing warehouse will be released into a multi-tenant building.

Better than Jean Dixon! Before the holidays, we asked some of our friends in the industrial real estate sector to discuss a few of the big trends for 2000. I'm sure it's a shock to all of our readers that e-commerce and third-party logistics providers were the common threads linking respondents, so much so that we asked some to avoid those topics if only to prevent overkill. Still, the Internet and logistics providers were what people wanted to talk about, and it's our job to listen.

"E-commerce and supply-chain management represent major opportunities for the industrial real estate industry," says Mike Brennan, president and CEO of Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust. "Both will force industrial real estate companies in 2000 to rethink where they are located, where they buy, sell and build, who their tenants are and what their tenants need. Not all will be rosy for the industrial sector, but those companies that are intelligent and adaptable will have a successful year in 2000."

Bob Chapman, executive vice president Atlanta/Texas for Indianapolis-based Duke-Weeks Realty Corp., takes a similar stance.

"The two greatest influences on the industrial/distribution real estate industry this year will be the Internet and logistics companies," says Chapman. "As consumers continue to order goods online, companies are demanding larger facilities to handle their distribution needs. Another trend that will continue in 2000 is that of logistics companies consolidating operations into one large distribution facility to serve a larger geographical area.

"In addition, companies demand facilities that can easily accommodate future expansion," he adds. "This year, the real estate industry will build larger boxes with the capability for even more expansion."

The continuing emergence of big-box distribution centers was another common theme. Expect to see more big-box in regional hubs.

"We'll continue to see a significant increase in the amount of capital invested in distribution centers," says Greg Gregory, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Industrial Developments International. "Over the past several years, skeletal racking systems have given way to phenomenally sophisticated conveyor systems, mezzanines and information systems. These expenditures pay for themselves quickly through the efficiencies they introduce into the supply chain, and efficiently run distribution centers are an important bottom-line buffer.

"Also, as companies make their facilities management strategies more efficient, they also will look outwardly to establish their comprehensive distribution networks in the most efficient way," Gregory continues. "Going market to market, one distribution center at a time, for example, has become an outdated business model. Increasingly, nationwide rollout, or multi-facility development, is Corporate America's solution."

Out West, Brian Bentrott, principal of Newport Beach, Calif.-based Master Development Corp., points to three trends.

"Land prices will level; however, they have already escalated to the point where they will force rental rate increases on projects that will be delivered in the millennium," he says. "Because of this, developers will have higher sale-value expectations.

"Second, I see growth of the strongest logistics companies who are continuing to lease large blocks of space on behalf of Corporate America," Bentrott adds. "Third, the fast-growing dot-com industry will put an increased demand on developers to develop more sophisticated, state-of-the-art industrial buildings."

On e-commerce, Gregory points out that, "Much is still unknown about the future of electronic commerce and how - or how much - it will change the face of distribution and, thus, the face of industrial real estate. At least, we simply will add another dimension to the evolution of distribution methods started in the early '80s. At most, we will enter into something revolutionary in our industry - the industry that provides, primarily, for the new distribution and the new communication of the new millennium.

"It has exciting potential," Gregory concludes.