St. Louis developer Sansone Group to start construction on rare speculative cold-storage facility in Florida
April 13, 2023
By   –  Reporter, St. Louis Business Journal

A St. Louis developer has closed on financing and will soon start construction on a speculative cold storage facility in Florida.

Clayton-based commercial real estate firm Sansone Group is partnering with two other firms to build a rare new cold storage facility in Tampa, Florida.

The joint venture plans to break ground May 18 on the 108,554-square foot project, called Tampa Cold Logistics, a spokesman for Sansone Group said. An entity linked to Sansone paid $3.28 million last year for the 7.27-acre property, which is located at 3601 E. Third Ave., in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood, the Tampa Business Journal reported.

The project could finish construction by early 2024, Sansone Group said.

Development costs were not disclosed. Financing came from St. Louis-based Stifel Bank, and the joint venture was able to close on the deal because of Sansone’s longstanding relationship with the lender, Sansone Group said in a release.

The cold-storage facility will have 45-foot clear heights and 11,666 pallet positions, with 17 dock doors, the company said.

Sansone is developing the facility through a joint venture with Miami-based Mandich Group LLC and Toronto-based BentallGreenOak, the first time that Sansone Group has partnered with those firms. Sansone Group is led by four brothers who serve as principals: Nick, Jim, Tim and Doug Sansone.

Mandich Group and its subsidiary Cold-Link Logistics have a goal to become the largest privately held owners of cold storage properties in the U.S., according to Tampa Business Journal reporting. The company is one of the largest cold storage managers in the country.

BentallGreenOak is one of the largest owners and investor in cold storage facilities in the country, according to a news release from the company.

Although no tenants are signed up for the project, Sansone Group sees the cold-storage facility as a prime opportunity since the Tampa market has a restricted supply of cold-storage space, with no space considered Class A currently available, according to the release.

Although cold-storage facilities — temperature-controlled warehouses that can store groceries, pharmaceuticals or anything that has to be kept cold — are increasingly in demand due to online shopping and grocery delivery, warehouses to store those goods can cost twice as much to build as other types of warehouses. As a result, developers have rarely built speculative cold-storage sites, and as of 2020, the average age of that type of facility was 42 years old, according to JLL research.

The Ybor City site is near the busy Interstate 4 corridor, less than three miles from Port Tampa, 12 miles from Tampa International Airport and 2.7 miles from the CSXIntermodal Tampa Terminal, Sansone said.

The site has 9.3 million people in a two-hour drive, or about 43% of Florida’s population, Nick Sansone said in a statement.

“This is a tremendous advantage for the facility and positions us well to meet the demands of the rapidly growing cold storage market in Florida,” Sansone said.

The site for the project was sourced by Peter Crane, a broker for Sansone Group who partnered with BGO and connected Sansone Group with Mandich Group, another family-run firm.

The facility will be built by Tippmann Construction, a company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that specializes in constructing cold storage sites. Leasing will be conducted by Scott Delphey and Matthew Delphey of Food Properties Group, along with Lisa Ross and Trey Carswell of Cushman & Wakefield.

Although the Ybor City facility is Sansone Group’s first project in Tampa, the firm previously developed an industrial park farther south in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

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