Dalfen Industrial, a real estate investment firm focused solely on industrial properties, paid $25.7 million for 74 acres in Auburndale on which it plans to build two Class A warehouses – 474,600 square feet and 421,800 square feet, according to a site plan by engineering consultant Kimley-Horn.
“The development will be one of the few industrial zoned sites in Central Florida without any wetland or floodplain issues,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Morley told GrowthSpotter in an email. “Notable tenants in the area include Amazon fulfillment, Walmart distribution centers, Pepsico, UPS, and Sysco.”
Located east of Amazon on State Road 559, the parcel known as the Mancini Property, is zoned Light Industrial, Julie Womble, Auburndale director of community development, told GrowthSpotter. Dalfen bought the land from Mancini Development under the name CH Realty Ix Dal I Lakeland Auburndale LP, according to property records.
“This development has direct frontage on I-4, which will provide tenants access to over 7.9 million people in the broader Orlando/Tampa region,” said Tyler McElroy, Southeast Director of Development at Dalfen in a press release. “Location in one of the top logistics corridors in Florida coupled with a strong labor pool make this an ideal development to add to the Dalfen portfolio.”
Dalfen, based in Dallas, offers a platform that includes development, acquisitions, asset management, property management, construction, legal and capital markets. Dalfen Industrial owns 67 buildings in the southeast.
The company’s site plan has been approved by the Auburndale Planning Commission, Womble said. Dalfen hasn’t said what manufacturing will take place in the warehouses – and doesn’t have to unless it’s something dangerous and not allowed by the city, Womble said.
Auburndale has been focused on attracting industrial growth through planning relationships with Polk County and nearby Lakeland, along with staff who focus on the vision of the city, Womble said. “Auburndale has always been known for its collaboration.”
Auburndale is part of The Central Florida Innovation District , which encompasses roughly 3,000 acres out of 2,000 square miles of Polk and is aimed at providing a variety of opportunities to diversify the economy. The Delfen property isn’t part of the Innovation District but may benefit from it and being close to Florida Polytechnic University and the Florida Department of Transportation’s testing center SunTrax, Womble said. The Central Florida Innovation District includes portions of Auburndale, Lakeland and unincorporated areas of Polk County. The district spans from I-4 and State Road 33, encompassing the university campus, and moves west toward Auburndale Teco Trail and then south toward Braddock Road, south of SunTrax.
Auburndale is attractive because “we have really great schools. We also have great connection if they work in Tampa and Orlando,” Womble said. “We’ve got a beautiful downtown and we have great housing stock. We’re really close to Florida Polytechnic and Suntrax. … And the other thing is, honestly, we’ve got land. And we’re trying to plan smart.”