Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Michigan company planning industrial park
Jacksonville Business Journal
A Midwestern industrial developer will build a million square feet of industrial space in a $55
million industrial park near Jaxport.
Schafer Development LLC expects to close on a 76-acre parcel on New Berlin Road at Faye
Road Jan. 15 and break ground on the New Berlin Commerce Park sometime in 2008.
It’s the Farmington Hills, Mich.-based company’s second acquisition in Northeast Florida, but
probably won’t be its last, said company President Steve Schafer.
“We saw a great opportunity with low vacancy rates in Jacksonville as well as the activity with
the ports,” Schafer said.
Details of the New Berlin Commerce Park have not yet been decided, but Schafer said the site
will probably include two or three speculative and build-to-suit buildings. The contractor for
the project has not been chosen.
Colliers Dickinson brokered the sale of the land on New Berlin Road. Calling the 5.1 percent
vacancy rate woefully inadequate for the Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. terminal already under
construction and the proposed Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd. terminal, Colliers Dickinson Senior
Vice President Hobart Joost said the Schafer Development project is vital and couldn’t have
come at a better time.
“New Berlin Commerce Park is a further example of the tremendous ripple effect created by
the Jacksonville Port Authority and its decision to bring Asian carriers to Jaxport,” Joost said.
In 2007 Schafer Development also acquired 92 acres for 810,000 square feet of industrial
space on Main Street at Pecan Park Road. The Main Street Commerce Park is also expected to
start construction in 2008. Schafer said he is negotiating with prospective users for both
Jacksonville industrial parks now and described the likely future tenants as Fortune 500-type
Schafer Development builds mixed use, retail and industrial projects in Michigan and Florida.
The company has about 6 million square feet of industrial and manufacturing sites under
development, including the two Jacksonville sites and a 3.5 million-square-foot business park
in Plant City and a 1.4 million-square-foot industrial park in Tampa.
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