Malls Give Way to Massive E-Commerce Fulfillment Centers


My namesake hurricane (Irma) may have put a bit of a dent in the industrial development that is taking place around Florida’s Interstate 4 corridor – but undoubtedly not for long.

Here are some highlights from the I-4 Commercial Corridor Conference sponsored by Lakeland-based Coldwell Banker, just one month ago:

  • E-commerce will soon represent $500 billion in sales in the U.S.
  • Every $1 billion of e-commerce sales needs 1.25 million square feet of fulfillment space
  • “Last mile” channels are also increasingly essential and require more distribution facilities
  • E-commerce biggies understand they are only as good as their supply chain; they want to be as close to the customer as possible
  • Amazon’s Whole Foods purchase will create a need for additional distribution nationwide
  • Today, only 2% of all food purchases are made online – this is expected to change dramatically
  • Some estimate online food shopping alone will prompt the need for 1 billion square feet of additional distribution space – especially freezer space

Read on below for info/statistics specifically related to Florida’s Interstate 4 corridor.

On Florida’s Interstate 4 corridor:

  • Fulfillment centers are serving 18 million consumers, all within a day’s drive
  • In 2012, there was only one company looking for 500,000 square feet of space in the corridor
  • Today (pre-Hurricane), there are 7 firms of that same size scouring the I-4 market
  • Amazon, Walmart, Publix, Southern Wine & Spirits have all established massive fulfillment centers there
  • Amazon operates a pair of 1 million-square-foot fulfillment centers in the corridor, in Lakeland and Ruskin
  • More than 1 million square feet of new industrial space has been added annually in each of the past four years
  • Projected to jump to 1.5 million square feet in 2017 and 2018
  • The new Flagler County Line Corporate Park will contain 8.5 million square feet of space when built out
  • Lakeland Central Park is slated to contain another 5.5 million square feet

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