Development will contain 300,000 square feet in a pair of Central Florida buildings just off Interstate 4.
Native Development Group and Crescent Communities have begun construction on a 300,000-square-foot industrial development in Lakeland just off Interstate 4, the latest distribution project aiming to capitalize on the surging demand for modern logistics space amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alpharetta, Ga.-based Native Development and Crescent Communities, of Charlotte, hope to complete the two-building Lakeland North Business Center in mid-2021. The 900-920 N. Chesnut Road project is being developed on a speculative basis, without tenants in place.
Joseph McGorrey, Native Development’s founder and principal, says Lakeland North’s clear ceiling height and rear dock loading capabilities should differentiate the project from competitors.
“I think having a 32-foot-clear building will separate us from the pack and give us a big advantage,” says McGorrey, a former development executive with Crescent Communities and Atlanta-based TPA Group who has developed more than $2.5 billion worth of real estate over the past three decades.
He also contends that the project’s relatively small size as compared to many much-larger warehouses – one Lakeland North building will measure 120,000 square feet – and rear-loaded design, rather than a cross-dock design, will help lure tenants to the building.
Jennifer Sharabba, a Crescent Communities director of development, says the project’s close proximity to Interstate 4 and its direct access to and from the highway should also aid in Lakeland North’s leasing efforts.
“This project will be 30 seconds away from the interstate,” Sharabba says. “A very direct route. We consider that a big plus.”
In all, Crescent Communities has developed more than 21 million square feet of commercial space and dozens of apartment and single-family communities since 1963.
McGorrey says Lakeland North’s asking rents will range from $5.50 per square foot on a triple-net basis to $5.75 per square foot NNN. Leasing on the project is being handled by Newmark Knight Frank Senior Managing Director Rick Narkiewicz.
Within the so-called Interstate 4 Corridor – a swath of land between Tampa and Orlando from which trucks are capable of reaching some 20 million residents and consumers within a five-hour’s drive – numerous developers, including Duke Realty, have proposed new product to meet a soaring demand. Duke Realty has proposed a 442,874-square-foot building within its Tampa Regional Industrial Park.
Amazon, Home Depot Inc. and True Value Hardware Corp. also have unveiled plans for major new fulfillment and distribution projects within the corridor in the past year to serve stores and ship goods to customers shopping online as a result of the coronavirus health crisis.
An entity controlled by Native Development and Crescent Communities acquired the project’s 28 acres last month for $2.26 million, according to Polk County property records.