- September 25, 2020
Illinois-based Brennan Investment Group has acquired a five-building industrial complex that had been the home of Paradise Fruit Co. for the past three decades, in Plant City.
The purchase of the 308,908-square-foot complex, on 13.65 acres at 1002-1310 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., comes after the family that owned Paradise Fruit and Paradise Inc. sold the respective businesses. The fruit business was sold to Seneca Foods of Michigan, while a plastics business was bought by Portage Plastics, of Wisconsin.
Brennan Investment paid $3.55 million for the property, which is roughly 1.5 miles from Interstate 4. Sites near the highway are attractive to distributors and industrial developers because logistics and fulfillment centers there can reach roughly 20 million consumers within a day’s drive.
The new owner is planning a series of renovations to the buildings, including painting, landscaping and interior repairs.
“We plan to clean them up and, with a little creativity, make a go of them,” says Bob Krueger, a Brennan Investment partner who runs the company’s Florida operations.
“There are a lot of possibilities there,” adds Krueger. “They’re rail served and right off the interstate, so a lot of opportunity. And the property is on two main thoroughfares near downtown. Older properties have a lot of purpose, and if they’re in a good location, as an owner you can become the low-cost provider in a market.”
Brennan Investment also intends to move its Florida corporate office to the newly renamed Paradise Commerce Center early next year, Krueger says.
The acquisition is a bit of a departure for Brennan Investment, which in recent years is best known for its ground-up development in the Interstate 4 corridor.
Most recently, Brennan Investment completed the CenterState Logistics Center West project in nearby Lakeland. There, the company has developed more than 1 million square feet of distribution space, which has been fully leased by a Pepsico consumer brands.
Earlier this year, the developer sold the second of its two buildings there to Nuveen Real Estate. Combined, the CenterState Logistics buildings fetched $100.8 million.
Nearby, Brennan Investment also is constructing CenterState Logistics Center East, which will ultimately contain 1.5 million square feet.
The developer intends to deliver a speculative, 1.01 million-square-foot industrial building — the largest project of its kind in Central Florida without tenants in place — later this year.
Krueger says it ultimately may redevelop Paradise Commerce into a bulk logistics project, but that no plans have been firmed up.
“The redevelopment and repositioning of vintage industrial properties is a growing trend as developers begin to rethink the use of well-located industrial properties,” says Edward Miller, an executive managing director at commercial real estate brokerage firm Colliers International, in Tampa.
“Brennan Investment Group has extensive experience with infill development,” adds Miller, who the new owner has hired, along with Colliers International’s Michelle Senner, to market the Plant City property. Miller also is marketing Brennan Investment’s CenterState Logistics Center East property.