Stonemont Financial Group, a private real estate investment firm specializing in industrial development and net lease assets, announced today that it closed on two land acquisitions in Central Florida that paves the way for two major Class A distribution centers expected to draw interest from leading players in the e-commerce and logistics arenas.

Totaling 1.33 million square feet, the projects in Groveland and Ocala are both being developed on a speculative basis and will deliver in early 2023. The size and scope of the two projects is a key differentiator due to the limited availability of bulk industrial sites in Central Florida that are in demand by retailers, e-commerce users and third-party logistics providers struggling to keep up with the region’s rapid job and population growth.

Stonemont is co-developing Groveland Turnpike Center with CA Ventures on a 74-acre site at 7453 Republic Drive, just two miles from Florida’s Turnpike and within a two-hour drive of nine and a half million people. The Class A development consists of one cross-dock facility totaling 876,750 square feet with a 36’ clear height, 180 loading doors, 435 auto parking stalls for future employees, 252 full-size trailer parking stalls, LED warehouse lighting, and two points of access to Republic Drive. The project includes other state-of-the-art features tailored for a variety of logistics and e-commerce-based businesses and is one of only a handful of bulk cross-dock facilities greater than 750,000 square feet currently available for lease in the state of Florida.

In Ocala, Stonemont is co-developing Topline Logistics Center with US Capital Development, a 457,054-square-foot Class A cross-dock facility at the intersection of NW 35th Avenue and NW 21st Street. The state-of-the-art building features a 36’ clear height, 97 loading doors, 384 auto parking stalls for employees, 153 trailer parking stalls and LED warehouse lighting. The development offers direct access to Interstate 75, which carries 75% of all cargo traffic coming into Florida. Ocala is one of the state’s fastest growing industrial markets due to its equidistant location between Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, with other large users such as Amazon, Chewy and FedEx also recently building new distribution hubs nearby. The project fills a strategic void of users trying to serve the three large cities from one bulk distribution center.

Stonemont currently has over 4 million square feet of industrial space under construction across the state of Florida, and recently closed on other new ground-up projects in Tampa, Port St. Lucie and Lakeland over the last month.

“Stonemont’s significant investment in these two projects reflects our belief that Central Florida will be one of the national epicenters for e-commerce traffic and activity in the decade ahead,” said Zack Markwell, managing principal and CEO at Stonemont Financial Group. “The limited supply of 400,000+ SF bulk distribution centers across the region presents considerable opportunity for our team to meet market demand by utilizing Stonemont’s proven blueprint for developing large-scale speculative industrial properties that create operational efficiencies and boost overall productivity for e-commerce and logistics users.”

“Groveland and Ocala both provide access to top-tier infrastructure networks and strong labor pools, making them natural choices for the next phase of our Florida expansion,” said Avery Dorr, vice president at Stonemont. “We are excited to continue our growth across the state of Florida through partnering with qualified developers and executing on our own developments. We anticipate achieving full lease-up on both projects before construction wraps up next year.”

Cushman & Wakefield is overseeing leasing for the Ocala project and JLL is overseeing the leasing for the Groveland project. Frampton Construction is serving as the general contractor for Topline Logistics Center (Ocala) and HGR Construction is serving as general contractor for the Groveland Turnpike Center.

According to a new report from JLL, over three million square feet of new industrial product delivered in the Orlando industrial market in 2021, with more than 2.6 million square feet of space currently under construction. The market ended the year with a record high for average asking rates ($7.32/PSF) as continued inbound migration and relative affordability continue to fuel economic growth and development.

Stonemont’s ability to source and capitalize premium speculative development opportunities in markets with high barriers to entry have enabled the firm to grow its industrial portfolio exponentially over the last 24 months, with 15 million square feet of Class A product currently under construction. Headquartered in Atlanta, Stonemont recently opened new office locations in Charlotte, Chicago and Dallas.