DELTONA, FL—The anchor for the new Portland Industrial Park here—a massive Amazon fulfillment center—came together in rapid fashion through the cooperation of government agencies, economic developers and its Australian land owners.
Redevelopment Management Associates’ (RMA) economic development and real estate project management team brokered the deal between DOT Properties headquartered in Australia; Seefried Industrial Properties, the developer for Amazon; and the City of Deltona. RMA was hired by the city just one year ago to create a 5-year strategic plan, which was adopted in April 2019, and now, a 2020 opening is planned for the business park.
“We had to convince the property owners this was the time for them to sell the property, Lynn Dehlinger, senior economic development director with RMA, tells GlobeSt.com. “We set up meetings and asked them if we could bring the right type of user, would they consider a commerce or business park. We didn’t want to broker it as a typical real estate deal. They said ‘absolutely.’”
The Hains family, one of the wealthiest in Australia, had owned the property since the 1970s. The business park was named Portland Industrial Park for the Hains family company, The Portland Group.
Dellinger says the strategic plan determined the best path for the city was to target properties for manufacturing, logistics and medical uses. Market analysis showed that of a workforce of 44,000, nearly 39,000 were working outside of the city. Dehlinger says RMA researched who the top developers are for Amazon and contacted them directly.
“We got them to look at the site and the biggest problem we had at the time was timing. Amazon was adamant that they had to break ground in December so they could open on a timely schedule. We had to rezone the property and do all of the environmental investigations.”
The project is being developed by Atlanta-based Seefried Industrial Partners, which has developed several fulfillment centers for Amazon in recent years. The City of Deltona worked with Seefried to resolve the environmental issues.
Dehlinger says the deal came together as the result of cooperation between the city, the State of Florida in terms of working on job creation. The entire process took just eight months.
“I have been in commercial real estate for more than 20 years and I have never seen a deal come together this quickly,” she says.
As RMA crafted the strategic plan, it became apparent that the key to a business park included approximately 240 acres of prime undeveloped property along Interstate 4. This undeveloped property provided all of the
necessary attributes required by major distribution centers. RMA contacted the Hains family and commenced a series of meetings to discuss and define goals for the property.
Development of the site is under way, with a planned late 2020 opening. Within the first 5 years, 500 new jobs will be created according to the incentive agreement with the city and county.