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Blue Steel sells Lakeland building to Indiana firm

Bobeck Real Estate Co. adds to Florida holdings with speculative distribution project completed this summer

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  • | 6:00 a.m. September 25, 2020
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COURTESY PHOTO -- Bobeck Real Estate Co. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, has acquired a recently completed industrial building in Lakeland for $15.1 million.
COURTESY PHOTO -- Bobeck Real Estate Co. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, has acquired a recently completed industrial building in Lakeland for $15.1 million.
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Blue Steel Development Co., one of the more active industrial developers within the Interstate 4 corridor over the past five years, has sold a newly completed logistics property in Lakeland to an Indiana firm.

Bobeck Real Estate Co. Inc., of Fort Wayne, Indiana, paid $15.1 million for the 5275 Drane Field Road property as part of a push to increase its Florida holdings. The company owns at least one other distribution center in the Interstate 4 corridor, between Tampa and Orlando, according to records.

“The property allows Bobeck to expand its portfolio in the region and take advantage of the strong industrial market we are seeing along the I-4 corridor,” says Ryan Vaught, executive managing director of industrial services for commercial real estate brokerage firm Colliers International Inc. Tampa Bay, who negotiated the sale together with the brokerage firm’s Robyn Hurrell and Oliver Vaubois.

Bobeck Real Estate officials did not return a telephone call and email for comment on the transaction.

The 222,134-square-foot cross-dock building, with a 32-foot-clear ceiling height and a specialized fire suppression system, is roughly 50% committed to Motion Industries, which currently occupies space nearby. The auto supply company is expected to begin regional distribution operations there before the close of this year.

Blue Steel affiliate BSD Drane Field LLC began developing the project in 2019, on nearly 20 acres, on a speculative basis without tenants in place. The developer purchased the land for the project in May 2019 for $1.32 million, Polk County property records show.

The building is located near a pair of Amazon distribution facilities, including its new air cargo operation at the Lakeland Linder airport. O’Reilly Auto Parts and Publix Super Markets Inc. also have distribution operations nearby, on County Line Road.

Blue Steel has several other projects in the works in the Interstate 4 corridor. Most recently, in June, Ace Hardware Corp. announced plans to fully occupy a 715,000-square-foot distribution hub Blue Steel will be developing in Plant City.

Work there is slated to begin next month and be completed in late 2021.

Also in Plant City, Blue Steel is building an 800,000-square-foot logistics and fulfillment center for home improvement retailer Hone Depot Inc.

In Lakeland, Blue Steel began developing a trio of speculative industrial buildings in its Key Logistics Center in early 2018. The largest of the three buildings, at 520,000 square feet, was leased by European furniture retailer Ikea.

Blue Steel also is no stranger to disposing of its properties. Most notably, it sold the building Ikea occupies shortly after it was completed.

In all, the company has sold some 2.5 million square feet of industrial space throughout Central Florida, Vaught says.



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