Link investor

Blackstone’s Link Logistics pays $291m for Calder Racecourse

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

Blackstone subsidiary Link Logistics has paid $291 million for the former Calder Racetrack 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 a subsidiary of Calder Casino’s parent company, Churchill Downs, based in Louisville, Ky., records show.

Link Logistics plans a 2.3 million square foot development with warehouse and distribution facilities, as well as radio, film and television studios and music production space. 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 sold parts of its property before 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 company with a portfolio of more than 3,500 properties across the United States, according to its website. New York-based alternative investment giant Blackstone founded Link in 2019. Blackstone’s CEO is Stephen Schwarzman.

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

West of the Link site, Chicago-based Bridge Development Partners is developing the 2.1 million square foot Bridge Point Commerce Center on 186 acres on 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 shrinking supply of developable land, amid pent-up demand exacerbated by the growth of e-commerce, has pushed up rents and reduced vacancy rates. In the first quarter, Miami-Dade’s industrial vacancy rate fell to 2.6%, year over year, from 6%, according to a JLL report. The average rent reached $11.61 per square foot, an increase of 52.8% over the first quarter of last year.

Miami Gardens, a residential city with industrial properties, has seen some investment activity. In October, Seagis Property Group purchased the former manufacturing plant 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.