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Publix buys warehouse near airport for $8.4M, pharmacy D.C. planned

The newly acquired Publix warehouse property on Rocket Court (in blue), is located west of Orlando International Airport and east of the Florida Turnpike.
The newly acquired Publix warehouse property on Rocket Court (in blue), is located west of Orlando International Airport and east of the Florida Turnpike. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Publix purchased a warehouse in Regency Industrial Park west of Orlando International Airport on July 1 for an estimated $8.4 million, where the company will develop a pharmacy distribution center with the help of a county tax break.

The industrial facility, built in 1988 at 10400 Rocket Ct., boasts 244,116 gross square feet on 19.5 acres, and lies just a few miles from the airport and major highways. The property was formerly owned by an affiliate of Equity Industrial Partners (EIP) of Needham, Mass., which acquired it in October 2003 for $3.1 million.

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Orange County commissioners recently approved a five-year tax break for Publix that should total about $133,000, according to a June 30 report by the Orlando Sentinel. In exchange, the supermarket chain will invest about $15 million in local expansion, which includes the warehouse purchase on Rocket Court.

The company will store and distribute medication from the new warehouse to serve pharmacies in its supermarkets in six states. A Publix spokesman said Monday that no contractors have been chosen yet for build-out or similar reform work that may be required on the property.

Ana Borders, director of property management at EIP, said on Monday the Rocket Court warehouse was vacant at time of sale and had been vacant for much of the past few years.

That lies in contrast to an increasingly tight market for existing warehouse property in Greater Orlando, which has a current vacancy rate just under 8 percent. A growing number of industrial properties near the airport have sold in recent months.

Orlando has had little new industrial warehouse space built over the past five years, and existing facilities available for purchase are being leased up to create value, or sold at steadily rising prices, veteran brokers told GrowthSpotter in June.

bmoser@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5685

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