Blackstone’s Link Logistics Pays $291M for Calder Horse Track

Link Logistics’ Luke Petherbridge with 115.7-acre site at 21001 Northwest 27th Avenue (LinkedIn, Google Maps)

Blackstone’s subsidiary Link Logistics paid $291 million for Calder’s former horse racing track and surrounding property, with plans for an industrial complex and movie studios in Miami Gardens.

The New York-based company purchased the 115.7-acre site at 21001 Northwest 27th Avenue from an affiliate of Calder Casino’s parent company, Louisville, Kentucky-based Churchill Downs, according to records.

Link Logistics plans a 2.3 million-square-foot development with warehouses and distribution facilities, as well as radio, movie and TV studios, and music production spaces. The $700 million project would be built in two phases, with final completion expected in 2025.

In April, the Miami Gardens City Council approved two special exceptions allowing the development.

Calder, a casino with slot machines and card rooms, suspended horse racing in 2020 but had been selling portions of its property prior to that, largely for industrial redevelopment. In 2016, Jackson, Mississippi-based EastGroup Properties paid $26.5 million for 61 acres at 1680 Northwest 215th Street where it is completing an 850,000-square-foot Gateway Commerce Park industrial complex.

Link, led by CEO Luke Petherbridge, is a logistics real estate firm with a portfolio of more than 3,500 properties across the US, according to its website. New York City-based alternative investment behemoth Blackstone founded Link in 2019. Blackstone’s CEO is Stephen Schwarzman.

South Florida’s industrial market has been prospering, with northwest Miami-Dade County attracting new development.

West of Link’s site, Chicago-based Bridge Development Partners is developing the 2.1 million-square-foot Bridge Point Commerce Center on 186 acres at the southeast corner of Northwest 215th Street and Northwest 47th Avenue in Miami Gardens. Bridge Development bought the site in 2017 for $28.2 million.

In Miami-Dade County, the dwindling supply of developable land, amid pent-up demand exacerbated by e-commerce growth, has pushed up rents and decreased vacancies. In the first quarter, Miami-Dade’s industrial vacancy rate dropped to 2.6 percent, year-over-year, from 6 percent, according to a JLL report. The average rent hit $11.61 a square foot, a 52.8 percent increase from the first quarter of last year.

Miami Gardens, a residential city with industrial properties, has seen some investment activity. In October, Seagis Property Group bought the former manufacturing facility at 255 Northeast 181st Street for $8 million.

In nearby Medley, Prologis paid $22.6 million for the warehouse at 9401 Northwest 106th Street in December.

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