Exeter buys Polk County industrial property

By: 
Sep. 30, 2016

A Pennsylvania-based commercial real estate investment firm has acquired a Polk County warehouse occupied by Amazon.com for $24.6 million, the latest in a series of industrial purchases and developments in the county aimed at taking advantage of the strategic Interstate 4 corridor.

Exeter 305 Dean Still LLC, an affiliate of Philadelphia-based Exeter Property Group, bought the 374,850-square-foot distribution center in Davenport from an affiliate of Los Angeles-based private equity firm Ares Capital Corp., according to property records.

Ares Capital acquired the 305 Dean Still Road property in May 2011 for $15.4 million, records show. The property was developed in 1999, Polk County records indicate.

Exeter's early August purchase of the 19.2-acre property follows deals it has executed for industrial products in Tampa at 8800 Adamo Drive; in Orlando at 10601 Sport Drive; and in the Lake Mary Business Center, according to the company's website.

Exeter officials could not be reached for comment on the transaction, one of the largest in Polk County in the past year.

Exeter was formed in 2006, as a successor company to Rouse & Associates Inc., which also spurred the formation of Liberty Property Trust. Rouse is perhaps best known for developing One Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia, for years the city's tallest building.

In all, Exeter has invested more than $3.5 billion in industrial projects, its website notes.

Amazon has occupied the property since 2014, when it opened a sorting facility to consolidate and speed deliveries. Amazon also operates a pair of 1 million-square-foot fulfillment centers in Ruskin and Lakeland.

Exeter's purchase comes amid a wave of industrial activity in Polk County. Most recently, Medline Industries Inc., the nation's largest privately held maker and distributor of health care-related products, unveiled plans for a 830,000-square-foot distribution center in Auburndale.

In Davenport, Los Angeles-based Majestic Realty Co. is building 2 million square feet of distribution space for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and in Lakeland, Illinois-based Brennan Investment Group is planning a roughly $100 million, 1.2 million-square-foot speculative industrial park on 112 acres across from Florida Polytechnic University. The Centerstate Logistics Park would be the largest spec project developed in Lakeland in more than a decade.