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The development team that’s planning a major logistics center on a former Lakeland drag strip wants to expand the facility to over 1 million square feet.

The Dragstrip Logistics Center on S.R. 33, just north of I-4, is a joint venture between Atlanta-based Ackerman & Co., Transwestern and property owner Randy Knapp.

Project manager Jim Eyre told GrowthSpotter construction is already underway on the first phase of the project, which consists of 711,000 square feet of speculative industrial warehouse space. The Randall Paulson designed-warehouse will have 154 dock high doors, including 4 oversized ramped docks and parking for 285 cars and 185 trailers.

The slabs have been poured and the first steel beams are upright, Eyre said. The project is scheduled for delivery in the Fourth Quarter. After launching Phase 1, the developers have entered purchase contracts for two additional parcels that expand the total site by 9.5 acres.

The Drag Strip Logistics Center is midway between Tampa and Orlando, just northwest of Florida Polytechnic University.
The Drag Strip Logistics Center is midway between Tampa and Orlando, just northwest of Florida Polytechnic University.

Now the development team has filed construction plans with SFWMD for Phase 2, which would add 295,000 square feet of cross-dock distribution space and parking capacity for 570 cars and 225 trailers.

In the application, JSK Consulting wrote that the project was always envisioned to be a 1 million square foot warehouse but had to be scaled down because the additional parcels were not available for purchase when they first went through permitting. Rather than delay construction, the partners opted to break the project into phases.

The explosive growth of e-commerce has driven unprecedented demand for larger, more efficient warehouses with ample parking to accommodate shift workers. Over the last five years, average tenant leases for similar assets have more than doubled, and Eyre said the partners are responding to the market by accelerating phase 2.

The group has already received two “legitimate inquiries” in the last 30 days for tenants seeking industrial leases for 750,000 to 1 million square feet, according to the consultant.

“Based on current market activity, it is expected that there will be a specific end user in place before the project is completed,” the consultant wrote.

Clay Witherspoon with Avison Young in Tampa is marketing the property.

Nearby in Auburndale, Prologis recently broke ground on a 1 million square foot build-to-suit facility for Amazon. And 2.8 million square feet of speculative industrial space is under construction in West Polk, according to JLL’s First Quarter market report. That includes Phase 1 of University Park at Bridgewater, which is being built on a former golf course by Transwestern subsidiary Ridge Development.

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