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Business Observer Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 3 months ago

Nearly 1 million square feet in industrial space coming to Southwest Florida next year

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Two companies announce major industrial projects coming to Fort Myers and Punta Gorda
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

If you track industrial parks in and around Fort Myers, Aug. 4 was a big day for you.

That's the day two announcements dropped saying nearly 1 million square feet of industrial space is coming to Southwest Florida.

This includes a 500,000-square-foot industrial park in Fort Myers and a $50 million 378,000-square-foot industrial project in Punta Gorda, Charlotte County. 

The 378,000-square-foot Punta Gorda warehouse logistics center is already under construction on the grounds of the Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park, next to where a FedEx Ground facility is being built.

Equus Capital Partners, which is building the facility on spec, says the location was chosen so the center could be between Naples and Tampa Bay, as well as close to Fort Myers. Equus say there are 5.5 million people within two hours of Punta Gorda.

In addition to the number of people in the areas, the company cites the number of national retailers along the Gulf Coast and that larger speculative space south of Tampa Bay “is nonexistent.” It defines large speculative space as more than 200,000 square feet.

“The Fort Myers market has seen strong leasing activity among users in the 100,000 (square feet) and below size range, but larger development projects do not exist,” the company says in the announcement of the project. “There is a need for larger available space to service this corridor.”

The FedEx facility is 250,000 square feet.

The new Equus facility will be called the Florida Gulf Coast 75 Logistics Center. It will include 54 loading docks and 73 trailer storage spaces opposite the loading docks.

Equus has begun marketing the property nationally and hopes to have it fully leased by the time construction is done — expected in the 2023 second quarter.

A little farther south in Fort Myers, meanwhile, the Stonemont Financial Group keeps growing on the west coast of Florida. The company announced it, along with Geis Cos., was building an industrial park with two 250,000-square-foot warehouses on 35 acres at Interstate 75 and Alico Road.

The park will be known as Legacy at Oriole Road and it will be near Wayfair and Amazon.

Each of the buildings will have 32-foot clearance and 72 trailer spots. Stonemont says the space will lease to users as small as 37,000 square feet.

A company spokeswoman declined to provide a price tag for the project. Construction should also be completed in the 2nd quarter of next year.

Stonemont’s CEO and managing principal Zack Markwell says in the announcement that the company sees a need for Class A industrial properties in the area. “As e-commerce evolves and grows in demand for more functional distribution space, we look forward to sourcing more opportunities that will add value for our strategic partners and spur new growth in the local economy,” Markwell says. 

Stonemont, a commercial real estate investment firm outside of Atlanta, is growing rapidly in Florida.

The company also announced last week it's building a 427,000-square-foot industrial park on 38.2 acres in Palmetto, north Manatee County. That follows an announcement in February that it had bought two properties — in Pasco County and Lakeland — and would build almost 1.3 million square feet of industrial space between the two.

The company is also building a 457,000-square-foot facility in Ocala and an 847,000-square-foot facility in Groveland. In all, Stonemont says it has just under 5.6 million square feet of industrial space currently under construction in Florida.

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