Airport West complex loses BellSouth, renames itself to Dolphin Commerce Center
By Susan Stabley
A 147-acre Airport West office-industrial complex once poised as a major telecommunications park has lost its major tenant and renamed itself as part of a re-branding.
Now called Dolphin Commerce Center, the 1.1 million-square-foot park on Northwest 25th Street was first known as Beacon Tradeport, then LightSpeed Miami Center. The latest name change came in the wake of a pullout by major tenant BellSouth.
The center trumpeted its selection by BellSouth in February 2001 as the location of one of its two Miami communication nodes, or hubs. The other was built downtown at 36 NE Second Street.
But two years later, BellSouth decided to abandon its nodes and become a regionwide backbone relying on nodes in New Orleans, Atlanta and another in Miami at 45 NW Fifth St., said BellSouth spokeswoman Marta Casas-Celaya.
BellSouth closed its two nodes in Miami and one each in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in April and terminated its lease with the center.
"It was space we didn't need," said Ms. Casas-Celaya. "It was an internal business decision. It was not indicative of the facility."
Dolphin Commerce Center, near Dolphin Expressway and Dolphin Mall, is controlled by Swerdlow Real Estate Group. The center is home to telecommunications provider Telefonica Data USA and Internet host provider Cable & Wireless, formerly Exodus Communications.
With CB Richard Ellis as its exclusive agent, the center since has added tenants Savino Del Bene, an Italian freight forwarder, and Senator International, a German-based transportation and logistics company.
Conversion of the former LightSpeed Miami Center into regular commercial space would not have been difficult, said David Voell of Cushman & Wakefield. He said the expense comes in transforming a facility to accommodate telecommunication infrastructure. He said rent for telecommunications centers are generally double or triple the normal rate.
Mr. Voell said the telecommunications market is now "very, very lean. I don't think anyone knows how much overcapacity has been built. The telecom bubble was a lot like the Internet bubble."
Seth Gordon, former vice chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce's technology group, said the need for data centers seemed infinite three years ago. Now, he said, the chamber does not even have a technology committee.