$126.5 million for Ocala warehouse, largest in Florida

The TransformCo warehouse is shown in Ocala, Florida on Wednesday August 4, 2021. It was originally the the Kmart distribution center but was sold after Kmart went out of business. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Gazette]

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Posted August 5, 2021 | By Carlos Medina, carlos@ocalagazette.com

A TransformCo sign is shown in Ocala on Wednesday at the former Kmart Distribution Center at 655 SW 52nd Ave. In July, the nearly 2 million-square-foot warehouse sold for $126.5 million. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Gazette]

What is billed as Florida’s largest warehouse, covering nearly 2 million square feet, recently sold for $126.5 million.

TL/IP Ocala Industrial Owner LLC was the buyer of record for the former Kmart Distribution Center located at 655 SW 52nd Ave.

The group includes principals of Torchlight Investors and IP Capital Partners, according to state incorporation records.

Both are real estate investment firms, with Torchlight based in New York and IP in Boca Raton.

The facility located near the Ocala International Airport has changed hands several times in the last few years.

In February 2019, the site changed hands during the bankruptcy proceedings of Sears Holdings. Then Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert – through his ESL Investments hedge fund – bought the warehouse and other assets.

The warehouse officially sold for $58.4 million.

Part of the massive warehouse billed as the largest in Florida is shown on Wednesday. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Gazette]

In November 2019, the warehouse sold again for $70 million to Reich Brothers, based in White Plains, New York.

In the meantime, the warehouse has continued to operate as a distribution center without interruption, though through different hands as well.

Innovel Solutions, a third-party logistics company and a Sears subsidiary, operated out of the facility. In addition to handling merchandise for Kmart and Sears, the company also handled Costco stock.

In 2020, Costco bought Innovel for $1 billion and is now Costco Logistics.

TransformCo also leases space in the facility and is home to Shop Your Way, a social shopping platform offering members rewards for shopping at Sears, Kmart and other retail partners.

Both companies will continue operating out of the facility.

“Ocala has emerged as one of the premier statewide distribution locations for Florida,” according to a statement by Mike Davis of Cushman & Wakefield Inc., which represented Reich Brothers in the deal.

Ocala’s logistic sector continues to add to its distribution and fulfillment centers, which now include Amazon, AutoZone, Chewy, Dollar Tree and FedEx. More warehouses are under construction and in the planning stages.

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