SARASOTA, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2017) – United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), a wholesale distributor of natural, organic and specialty grocery selections, is expanding its footprint in Sarasota. The company recently leased an additional 40,038-square-foot industrial space adjacent to its existing warehouse in the Independence Business Center, located at 1500 Independence Boulevard.
The expansion will give UNFI a total of 103,000 square feet of warehouse space. Nick DeVito and Joanna Ginder of Ian Black Real Estate represented the landlord, Independence Business Center, LLC. Steve Levine of Savills Studley represented the tenant.
“This space is perfect for the tenant because it allows them to expand their existing operation and take advantage of one of the few remaining warehouse spaces over 10,000 square feet in the Sarasota market,” said DeVito, partner at Ian Black Real Estate. “Vacancy for warehouse space of this size is currently below 3 percent, which is one of the lowest numbers we have seen in recent years.”
The expansion is a result of the increased demand for fresh and organic products in the Sarasota market. With specialty grocers such as Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market and Lucky’s Market either expanding or entering the region, United Natural Foods has seen an uptick in local deliveries.
The Independence Business Center, which sits on 19 acres between U.S. 301 and U.S. 41, sold last year for $4 million. Since then, vacancy has gone from 65 percent to less than 10 percent in just under 16 months. Nick DeVito of Ian Black Real Estate represented the buyers in the transaction, and now manages leasing along with Joanna Ginder. Ian Black Real Estate also serves as the property management firm.
“This just shows the strength of the industrial market right now in Sarasota,” said DeVito. “Until new industrial properties are built, it will continue to be a tough market for tenants looking for a large distribution space.”
A number of properties are currently under development, including the 537,000-square-foot Gatewood Corporate Park in Lakewood Ranch and 300,000-square-foot Gulf Coast Commerce Park in Ellenton. Both projects are expected to be completed in 2018.
About Ian Black Real Estate
Ian Black Real Estate (IBRE) is a boutique commercial real estate brokerage firm located in Sarasota, Fla. The firm is one of the largest commercial brokerage firms in Southwest Florida and boasts a deep knowledge of the commercial real estate market in Sarasota and Manatee counties and the surrounding area. For more information, visit ian-black.com.