New Amazon building owner likes 'ground zero' location

Feb. 17, 2017

“The Interstate 4 corridor is really the high growth part of the state of Florida, particularly from a logistics perspective,” says Jonathan Tratt, founder of Tratt Properties LLC of Phoenix and the new owner of the 1.02 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Lakeland.

“We also like the environment in Florida from a taxation perspective, and the influx in population in recent years has been fairly staggering. It's just ground zero as a logistics location.”

Distribution firms and retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart and Publix Super Markets Inc. have established major warehouse operations in Polk and Hillsborough counties because the centralized location allows deliveries to roughly 18 million residents within a 24-hour drive.

Equally important in Tratt's mind in executing the company's $87.65 million acquisition -- its first in Florida since his company's formation 17 years ago — is the tenant that will fully occupy the 32-foot clear height facility through at least June 2029.

“Amazon, being who they are and what they continue to do to revolutionize shopping habits, was a big draw for us,” Tratt says.

USAA Real Estate Co. developed the 1760 County Line Road fulfillment center for Amazon in 2013. Amazon also has another fulfillment center in Ruskin.