In the News | Midwest Industrial Funds Buys Westlake Land to Start a Warehouse Park

Article by: Karen Brune Mathis | Jax Daily Record | To view the full article, click here.

Midwest Industrial Funds paid almost $3.54 million for 30.23 acres in Westlake Industrial Park and submitted plans to develop two warehouses there, starting with a permit application for a $23.9 million speculative shell building on the purchased land.

Midwest, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, bought the property from two owners. The site is north of Pritchard Road and south of Jones Road.

Matt Hubert, senior vice president of development, said Midwest would start construction on the first building in the first quarter of 2024 with completion anticipated at the end of the year.

Matt Hubert, senior vice president of development for Midwest Industrial Funds.

“Jacksonville has emerged as a key Southeast industrial market with strong fundamentals and robust demand from users,” Hubert said by email Jan. 2.

“Despite the economic challenges of 2023, there is a positive outlook moving forward and demand unequivocally remains strong from users and investors for the right size projects on well-located sites, which is what we are developing in Westlake.”

Westlake is along Pritchard Road west of Interstate 295.

Through Westlake Site 3 (Jacksonville) Owner LLC, Midwest bought 20.83 acres from Westlake Land Management Inc. on Dec. 18 for almost $2.62 million. Atlanta-based Westlake is part of Norfolk Southern Corp.

Through the same LLC, Midwest bought 9.4 acres from Edward E. Jenkins III and Rosemary A. Jenkins of Jacksonville on Dec. 15 for $920,000.

CIBC Bank USA of Illinois financed the deal with a $19.25 million mortgage.

The deeds and mortgage were recorded Dec. 21 with the Duval County Clerk of Courts.

The next day, Dec. 22, Midwest Industrial Funds submitted civil engineering plans to the city for Buildings 100 and 200, totaling 529,740 square feet.

Jacksonville-based England-Thims & Miller Inc. is the civil engineer.

Midwest proposes a 336,960-square-foot Building 100 and 192,780-square-foot Building 200.

Midwest applied for a permit to build the 336,960-square-foot, single-story, concrete tilt-up warehouse at 9391 Pritchard Road on the 30.23-acre site.

Arco Design/Build of Ponte Vedra Beach is the contractor. ADB Design Services of Atlanta is the architect.

Midwest has not determined whether it will be for a single tenant or multiple tenants.

Hubert said the adjacent Building 200 would be built on another 10 acres under contract. He expects that project to start this year.

Midwest has not determined the project name.

Midwest Industrial Funds said in January 2023 it planned to buy 30.2 acres in the West Jacksonville industrial park and develop a speculative warehouse.

It applied to the St. Johns River Water Management District for an environmental resource permit for a 336,960-square-foot warehouse with parking, road infrastructure, utilities and stormwater treatment on the 30.23-acre site at Pritchard and Jones roads.

The land is east of the Georgia-Pacific warehouse.

He said the company preferred not to disclose the total investment costs.

Hubert said Jan. 3, 2023, the property closing was expected in the second half of 2023 and construction would begin late that year.

“The project will be built on spec with no tenants (in order) to capitalize on the strong tenant demand in Jacksonville,” Hubert said.

Hubert said Colliers Senior Vice President Guy Preston and Colliers Associate Seda Preston will be the project’s listing agents.

He said the budget has not been determined for the project.

Midwest Industrial Funds is based outside of Chicago. It says it has developed or acquired almost 100 industrial real estate assets since its start in 2003.

Hubert joined in spring 2022 as senior vice president of development.

He said his goal is to expand investments across the country with a focus on the Southeast.

“Specifically Jacksonville,” Hubert said by email in January 2023, “where I have been active in the industrial market for several years.”

Hubert spent eight years with Becknell Industrial as senior vice president of development, where he and his team “identified and closed over one billion dollars of speculative industrial and build-to-suit projects in 10 different states,” Midwest Industrial said.

During Hubert’s tenure at Becknell, the firm bought more than 200 acres in Jacksonville and developed several properties, primarily at Westlake.

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