Excerpt from Ashley Gurbal Kritzer at: Tampa Bay Business Journal

The owners of the Kansas City Chiefs have partnered with an Ocala developer to break ground on their first venture in Florida — a 1.4-million-square-foot industrial park three miles from Interstate 75.

Hunt Midwest, controlled by the Chiefs’ Lamart Hunt family, and Ocala-based Boyd-Mox are developing Ocala South Logistics Park on a 93-acre parcel within Florida Crossroads Commerce Park. The first phase, a speculative 251,511-square-foot rear-load building, began construction in March.

Rian Smith, Kris Courier and Josh Tarkow of CBRE’s Tampa office are marketing the project for lease. Atlanta-based Evans General Contractor is building the park, and LS3P designed it.

Ocala South will offer spaces as small as 50,000 square feet — noteworthy in Ocala, where the industrial market has been driven by big-box users in the 700,000-square-foot-plus category for the last several years. As an example, Ocala South is adjacent to a 1.5-million-square-foot distribution center for Dollar Tree. Amazon, FedEx, Chewy and AutoZone all have large distribution centers in Ocala.

“There’s a real lack of ability in the market to serve users as small as 50,000 square feet,” Tony Borchers, vice president of acquisitions and development at Hunt Midwest, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “Our plan is to get the bull’s-eye on the demand that exists right now.”

Borchers said the development team has flexibility in how it distributes the remaining 1.1 million square feet beyond the first phase. Future phases can accommodate a custom-built campus as large as 555,000 square feet.

“As we dug into Ocala and saw the truck traffic and amount of labor — it really checked a lot of boxes for us,” Borchers said.

Hunt Midwest has been expanding in the Southeast in recent years, Borchers said, and had been looking for opportunities in the Sunshine State. Robert Richter, principal at Boyd-Mox, said CBRE’s Smith introduced the two firms.

“This project will help fill a void as a rear-load industrial product is difficult to find along Interstate 75 and near the Florida Turnpike,” Smith, a senior vice president with CBRE, said in a statement. “In fact, the only other recent rear-load project in Ocala is also a project we teamed with by Boyd-Mox on, and it is nearing full occupancy. Users looking for Class A product would realistically have to travel down toward Tampa to find the next competitive rear-load product.”

Excerpt from Ashley Gurbal Kritzer at: Tampa Bay Business Journal