Adam Sumner, Lake County's manager of economic development and tourism, was not surprised that the industrial building leased to Metals USA in Groveland's Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park sold in the past week for $14.5 million, more than a 40 percent jump from its last sale price of $10.1 million in 2011.
Sumner said it's a matter of increased demand for large industrial space and limited supply in Lake County. The Metals USA building is 245,000 square feet.
"Our problem is we don't have any big commercial buildings to lease. We are out of buildings," he told GrowthSpotter on Friday. "We are seeing more interest in industrial buildings. If there were finished spec buildings the county could get them leased."
Located at 7815 American Way, the warehouse will remain leased out to Metals USA, a manufacturer of metal buildings. It sits on 24.16 acres not far from the Florida Turnpike, and has one building with 245,000 square feet and another with 5,800, according to the Lake County Property Appraiser's records.
Sumner thinks the demand is set to accelerate because industrial companies are starting to move out of Orange County, where land is becoming more valuable for other uses.
He said that Osceola County is starting to run short of industrial-zoned land as well.
Sumner expects more industrial uses will start to pop up to meet the demand in Lake County, perhaps in the planned Wellness Way area in South Lake County and near Wolf Branch Road east of Mount Dora.
"We are really focused on that, encouraging manufacturing here," said Sumner.
Neither the buyer nor seller returned calls on Friday requesting comment on the transaction.