Stonemont Financial Group, a private real estate investment firm specializing in industrial development and net lease assets, announced today that it has broken ground on a new two-building, 1.3-million-square-foot speculative industrial development adjacent to Interstate 95 in Fort Pierce, Florida. The project reflects surging real estate demand from e-commerce users and third-party logistics providers in one of the state’s fastest growing areas.
Known as South Florida Logistics Center 95, the park is expected to lure tenants from nearby Palm Beach and Broward counties due to competitive rent rates, a cheaper cost of living for workers and a world-class logistics and transportation network that places users within three hours of 70% of the state’s population. The Class A development is located at the intersection of South Kings Highway and Orange Avenue and consists of one cross-dock facility totaling 1.1 million square feet with a 40’ clear height, along with a rear-load facility totaling 202,400 square feet with a 32’ clear height. The site and buildings are being developed with functional, state-of-the-art features tailored for users in the e-commerce and 3PL arenas.
There has been a shortage of modern industrial development in St. Lucie County compared to neighboring areas, creating an ultra-tight market for bulk distribution space amid a wave of tenants entering or expanding their footprint in the area. Construction at South Florida Logistics Center 95 is now underway, with the project expected to deliver in Q4 2022. The project marks Stonemont’s initial venture in the South Florida region, with the firm already active in Jacksonville, Orlando, Lakeland and Tampa.
“The location of this development provides an immediate competitive advantage for e-commerce providers and other logistics operators who have to meet growing consumer demand for rapid delivery,” said Zack Markwell, managing principal and CEO at Stonemont Financial Group. “Our team is already fielding a number of inquiries from prospective users who not only need to be within close range of South Florida’s booming population but can also have better proximity further north to the ports in Jacksonville and Savannah. The business-friendly environment and cost-of-living advantages offered by St. Lucie County are an additional bonus, and we thank the EDC for their partnership in transforming our vision into reality.”
“With 62% of our workforce commuting outside the county each day for work, Stonemont Financial Group’s investment in St. Lucie County will not only help make hundreds of jobs available for our residents, having these jobs close to home will deliver the biggest benefit of all – time. Time for parents to be active in their children’s schools, time for family dinners, time to enjoy all the leisure activities our county has to offer, time for working men and women to be active in their communities,” said St. Lucie County Commission Chairman Sean Mitchell.
“The location of this Class A facility is ideal not only for the ultimate end-users but also for residents of Fort Pierce and northern St. Lucie County who are seeking career opportunities with good pay and benefits,” said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County. “It is gratifying to see that top-tier companies like Stonemont have discovered our county’s ready workforce, great location and outstanding quality of life.”
Stonemont’s ability to source and capitalize on premium speculative development opportunities in markets with high barriers to entry have enabled the firm to grow its industrial portfolio exponentially over the last 24 months, with 15 million square feet of Class A product currently under construction. Headquartered in Atlanta, Stonemont recently opened new office locations in Charlotte, Chicago and Dallas. The firm currently has nearly 4 million square feet of new industrial space under construction across the state of Florida.
JLL is overseeing leasing for the project. Spaces from 50,000 to 1.1 million square feet are available for lease.
According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors, the Port St. Lucie metro area ranked among the nation’s top ten strongest commercial real estate markets as affordable home prices and job growth continue to drive new migration to the region. Industrial land costs have clocked in as low as $1.50 per square foot, more than four times cheaper compared to current rates in Miami.