Foundry Commercial and Miami-based charitable organization The Carrie Meek Foundation, Inc. announced Monday the completion of a ground lease for a speculative $150 million industrial project in Miami-Dade County called Carrie Meek International Business Park.
The public/private partnership is the first of its kind in the region, as it will not only create thousands of jobs in the area through the development itself, but will also prepare and assist area residents to take advantage of the new jobs through training provided by The Carrie Meek Foundation.
“What is unique about Carrie Meek International Business Park is that it is a new commercial development that is privately funded, but will provide direct community benefits,” said Ford Gibson, managing director at Foundry Commercial and head of industrial development and activity in South Florida. “Not only will the asset bring new jobs to Miami-Dade, but since a portion of the revenue generated from the development will go back to The Carrie Meek Foundation’s job training program, we will help to ensure that local workers are well-equipped to take on the jobs that are being created. We are honored to be a part of a project that will not only impact the immediate community, but could act as a catalyst for similar projects and initiatives across the country. ”
The process for securing the ground lease for the development began in 2008, when The Carrie Meek Foundation took over the lease at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport from another non-profit organization. For several years, the Carrie Meek team searched for a development partner that not only had the capability to bring an industrial project of this size to fruition, but also shared their vision for creating a stronger South Florida community. That search led them to Foundry Commercial, formerly known as CNL Commercial Real Estate, in 2010.
“From the start of our relationship with Foundry Commercial, we knew that their expertise in development, paired with our experience in public policy, would create a product unlike anything this community has ever seen,” said former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek. “This joint-venture will not only allow us to fund our job training program in Opa-Locka, but it will also benefit the greater Miami-Dade community by promoting corporate responsibility and creating a model for other non-profits to follow for similar projects.”
In addition to funding the job training program as a part of its economic development initiative, The Carrie Meek Foundation will use a portion of the profits generated from Carrie Meek International Business Park to support its other initiatives in the areas of health care, affordable housing and education.
Completion of the first phase of the project’s speculative development is expected during the fourth quarter of 2017. Clarion Partners, on behalf of a commingled fund advised by the fund, will act as the facility’s capital partner.
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