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Industrial Real Estate Developments

Atlanta firm enters Central Florida market with plans for two spec industrial warehouses

Stonemont is co-developing a 457,054-square-foot speculative distribution center just off I-75 in Ocala.

Atlanta-based Stonemont Financial Group is entering Central Florida’s red-hot industrial market with plans for two Class-A distribution centers projects in Groveland and Ocala scheduled for delivery in 2023 with a combined 1.33 million square feet.

In December Stonemont paid $15.3 million for a 74-acre site in the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park in Groveland directly across from a new Amazon fulfillment center that opened in 2021. Stonemont is co-developing Groveland Turnpike Center with CA Ventures at 7453 Republic Dr., two miles from Florida’s Turnpike and within a two-hour drive of nine and a half million people. Daryl Carter and John Evans with Maury L. Carter & Associates represented the sellers.

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The Class A development will consist of one cross-dock facility totaling 876,750 square feet with a 36-foot clear height, 180 loading doors, 435 auto parking stalls for future employees, 252 full-size trailer parking stalls, LED warehouse lighting, and two points of access to Republic Drive. The project includes other features tailored for a variety of logistics and e-commerce-based businesses.

In Ocala, Stonemont is co-developing Topline Logistics Center with US Capital Development, a 457,054-square-foot Class A cross-dock facility at the intersection of NW 35th Avenue and NW 21st Street. The developer bought the 35-acre site in December for $6 million. It’s located just off the Interstate 4 - U.S. 27/NW Blitchton Road interchange.

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Ocala is one of the state’s fastest-growing industrial markets due to its equidistant location between Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, with other large users such as Amazon, Chewy and FedEx also recently building new distribution hubs nearby. The project fills a strategic void of users trying to serve the three large cities from one bulk distribution center.

“Stonemont’s significant investment in these two projects reflects our belief that Central Florida will be one of the national epicenters for e-commerce traffic and activity in the decade ahead,” CEO Zack Markwell said. “The limited supply of 400,000+ SF bulk distribution centers across the region presents considerable opportunity for our team to meet market demand by utilizing Stonemont’s proven blueprint for developing large-scale speculative industrial properties that create operational efficiencies and boost overall productivity for e-commerce and logistics users.”

Stonemont currently has over 4 million square feet of industrial space under construction across the state of Florida, and recently closed on other new ground-up projects in Tampa, Port St. Lucie and Lakeland over the last month.

“Groveland and Ocala both provide access to top-tier infrastructure networks and strong labor pools, making them natural choices for the next phase of our Florida expansion,” said Avery Dorr, vice president at Stonemont. “We are excited to continue our growth across the state of Florida through partnering with qualified developers and executing on our own developments. We anticipate achieving full lease-up on both projects before construction wraps up next year.”

HGR Construction is serving as general contractor for the Groveland Turnpike Center, and JLL is overseeing the leasing. Frampton Construction is serving as the general contractor for Topline Logistics Center (Ocala) and Cushman & Wakefield is overseeing leasing.

According to a new market report from JLL, over three million square feet of new industrial product delivered in the Orlando industrial market in 2021, with more than 2.6 million square feet of space currently under construction. The market ended the year with a record high for average asking rates ($7.32/PSF) as continued inbound migration and relative affordability continue to fuel economic growth and development.

Lake County ended the fourth quarter with about 600,000 square feet of warehouse/distribution under construction. In July, Hanover Capital Partners broke ground on a new 425,000-square-foot spec industrial building, called Hanover American Way, across from the new $125 million Kroger-Ocado fulfillment center that opened in 2021. Both projects are located in the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park.

Stonemont’s ability to source and capitalize premium speculative development opportunities in markets with high barriers to entry have enabled the firm to grow its industrial portfolio exponentially over the last 24 months, with 15 million square feet of Class A product currently under construction. Headquartered in Atlanta, Stonemont recently opened new office locations in Charlotte, Chicago and Dallas.

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Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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