MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - November 07, 2016) - Foundry Commercial and Miami-based charitable organization The Carrie Meek Foundation, Inc. announce today 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.
About Foundry Commercial
Foundry Commercial is a full-service real estate services and investment company with 258 employees and nearly 40 million square feet of space under management and leasing across the Southeast and Texas. Foundry provides corporate services, brokerage, leasing, building management and project management services, and is the largest real estate service provider to religious and not-for-profit organizations in the country. Foundry also includes a development and investment platform that is fully integrated into its services business, leveraging its local market expertise to control more than $500 million in advantaged investment opportunities in partnership with its clients. Foundry Commercial was founded as CNL Commercial Real Estate in 2007 and launched as Foundry in 2015 through a management led buyout. For more information, visit www.foundrycommercial.com.
About The Carrie Meek Foundation
Established in 2001 following Congresswoman Carrie Meek's retirement, The Carrie Meek Foundation is a 501(c)3 Charitable Organization that sponsors and promotes programs in Education, Housing, Health, and Economic Development and is committed to improving the quality of life for all residents of our community.
The Carrie Meek Foundation sustains U.S. Congresswoman Meek's work through grant-making, civic engagement, and community development. The Carrie Meek Foundation is the legacy in action of one of the most visionary and productive public servants in U.S. history. Throughout her educational career and her distinguished tenure in state and federal office, Carrie P. Meek has staunchly advocated equity and opportunity for poor and disenfranchised people. Committed to taking bold, transformative steps, Congresswoman Meek has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life and create opportunities for all, especially the young, minorities, and the disadvantaged. For more information, visit http://www.carriemeekfoundation.org/.
About Clarion Partners, LLC
Clarion Partners, an SEC registered investment adviser, FCA authorized manager and FINRA member firm, has been a leading U.S. real estate investment manager for more than 34 years. Headquartered in New York, the firm has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, London, Los Angeles, São Paulo, Seattle and Washington, DC. With more than $42 billion in total assets under management, Clarion Partners offers a broad range of real estate strategies across the risk/return spectrum to its more than 200 domestic and international institutional investors. More information about the firm is available at www.clarionpartners.com.