Polk County lands new Medline center

Sep. 2, 2016

Medline Industries Inc., the nation's largest privately held maker and distributor of health care-related products, is planning to develop a new 830,000-square-foot distribution center beginning later this year in Auburndale.

The Mundelein, Ill.-based company, which bought 51 acres in July from Five-Star Family Growers in the Polk Commerce Centre, intends to complete its new facility by the end of next year.

The planned distribution center, which will be Medline's 41st nationwide, is expected to create 100 jobs, says Stacy Rubenstein, a company spokeswoman.

Medline chose Auburndale, a Polk County town of just more than 14,000 residents east of Lakeland, for its Central Florida location and proximity to five hospitals and other health care providers, Rubenstein says.

Its new facility will be roughly 45 minutes away from Tampa and Orlando.

Logistics firms and other distributors have been drawn to the Interstate 4 corridor in Central Florida because roughly 18 million people live within a day's drive.

Medline, which generated $8.1 billion in sales last year and is the nation's largest supplier of examination gloves, also picked Auburndale “to position the company for future growth,” Rubenstein says.

Medline isn't the only distributor planning to grow in Auburndale, either. Sadlle Creek Logistics Services is planning to nearly double its recently opened warehouse there, to 811,000 square feet.

And while Medline's roughly $45 million project will be significant, it won't be Auburndale's largest building, says Amy Palmer, an Auburndale official. That honor goes to Coca-Cola, which operates a 1 million-square-foot beverage manufacturing plant in the city that employs more than 500.