Williams picks JLL to sell 4,470-acre Lakeland tract

Aug. 19, 2016

Williams Acquisition Holding Co. LLC has hired commercial brokerage firm JLL to sell a 4,470-acre property in Lakeland, one of the largest blocks of land to come to market in Central Florida in recent history.

Of the total, more than 2,400 acres are slated for mixed-use development, and nearly 3,000 residential units could be built.

The property, adjacent to Florida Polytechnic University, is bounded by Interstate 4, Polk Parkway and State Road 33 and near FedEx's new 337,000-square-foot distribution center and a 2 million-square-foot complex Majestic Realty Co. is developing for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Lakeland has become an epicenter for logistics firms and retail distributors — including Publix Super Markets Inc. — because more than a million people live within 100 miles of the city, with easy connections from Interstate 4.

Williams, which has owned the property for more than two decades, also donated more than 500 acres to the university prior to its 2014 opening.

“Our hope and intent is to sell the property to one group, a sort of master developer who would want to put their own stamp on it,” says John Dunphy, a JLL senior vice president who will be marketing the land together with colleagues William McGee III, Scott Cullen and Ronnie Deyo.

“There are not a whole lot of sites with bookend exits on I-4, in the middle of two growing cities,” Dunphy says. “That's one of the main reasons we're so excited about this.”

He adds that JLL will conduct the sale through a sealed-bid process, with calls for offers in the near future. The firm hopes to close on the sale by the end of the year.