Building a $50 million, 600,000-square-foot warehouse in Ocala on speculation of finding a tenant was a risk.
But it paid off after Red Rock Developments leased the Florida Crossroads Logistics Center to Amazon which opened a fulfillment center in the location last year.
Now, the Columbia, South Carolina-based company is doubling down with plans for a second speculation facility. This time, plans call for more than 1 million square feet, and a third phase is also in the works. On June 2, representatives from the company along with local business leaders held a groundbreaking for the new project.
The second building project will reside within the industrial corridor directly west of Interstate 75 off Northwest 35th Street. It is near the Ocala/Marion County Commerce Park at 3400 NW 35th St. Road, which in addition to Amazon is also home to logistics centers for AutoZone, Chewy and FedEx.
“Phases II and III will allow Florida Crossroads Logistics to continue providing unprecedented logistics opportunities for a variety of large-scale industrial users,” said Leah Barker Bailey, director of real estate and development with Red Rock.
Kevin Sheilley, president and CEO of the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership said Red Rock’s commitment to the area is obvious.
“Red Rock is an incredible partner, and we know this 1 million-square-foot facility will be another homerun for the company, future tenant, and the community,” Sheilley said in a press release.
Despite the economic issues from COVID-19, developers are looking to build more warehouses and logistic properties as the county continues to build its reputation as a logistics hub.
There are plans to build 5 million more square feet of warehouse space, Sheilley said.
One of those is the nearly 725,000-square-foot airport logistics park planned for property adjacent to the Ocala International Airport. The project will be developed in two phases, with the first consisting of 325,000 square feet.
Ocala is strategically placed in the state, with Tampa and Orlando less than two hours away and Jacksonville and Miami also with a few hours’ drive. Companies could potentially offer same-day delivery to more than 17.5 million customers.
The expected completion date for the latest Red Rocks project is expected during the second quarter of 2022.