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Atlanta firm buys Harrod Properties' project

MDH Partners invests more than $60 million to acquire the six-building Gatewood Corporate Center flex space in Lakewood Ranch.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. October 2, 2020
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COURTESY PHOTO — MDH Partners of Atlanta paid more than $60 million for a six-building industrial project in Lakewood Ranch developed by Harrod Properties, of Tampa.
COURTESY PHOTO — MDH Partners of Atlanta paid more than $60 million for a six-building industrial project in Lakewood Ranch developed by Harrod Properties, of Tampa.
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Citing increased demand for industrial space throughout Central Florida, an Atlanta-based company has acquired a six-building flex project in Lakewood Ranch, in east Manatee County, for $60.5 million.

MDH Partners, which has specialized in industrial properties since its formation in 2005, bought the Gatewood Corporate Center from its developer last month.

In all, Gatewood Corporate contains nearly 445,000 square feet and is about 85% committed to roughly two dozen tenants, including Hollow Metal Specialists and Summit.

Tampa-based Harrod Properties Inc. began developing Gatewood Corporate on 85 acres in 2017, after buying the project’s land for $3.5 million. At the time, Harrod envisioned the project would contain as much as 700,000 square feet.

The roughly $50 million project marked the first bulk industrial space to be developed in the 31,500-acre master-planned community, which is owned by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc.

In early 2019, industry group NAIOP named Gatewood Corporate the best industrial project in the Tampa Bay area for that year in its annual “Best of the Best” competition.

Industrial investors such as MDH, which manages about 20 million square feet of space in 20 cities, according to its website, have been drawn to distribution and related properties in Central Florida because of its proximity to population centers. In all, Central Florida logistics sites can reach 20 million consumers within a day’s drive.

Elsewhere in Florida, MDH is developing a two-building industrial project in Orlando slated to contain nearly 300,000 square feet when it is completed early next year.

Commercial real estate brokerage firm JLL negotiated the sale on behalf of Harrod. Neither MDH nor JLL representatives returned telephone calls and other inquiries for comment.

Until recently, MDH’s portfolio has been concentrated among Sun Belt cities such as Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami, Jacksonville and Charlotte, N.C., according to its website.

Its Central Florida work also coincides with the closing of a $350 fund late last year created to acquire additional properties.

In addition to Gatewood Corporate, Harrod has developed a series of business parks in Tampa and the STAR Center in Largo. Elsewhere in Manatee County, the company redeveloped a massive former General Electric Co. plant into a world headquarters on behalf of Feld Entertainment Co.



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