Sale comes after successful development of modern distribution center in the heart of growing Lakeland industrial market
Plant City, Fla. (June 16, 2021) — Wharton Industrial, a platform of real estate investment firm Wharton Equity Partners, announced today that it has sold its 510,000-square-foot industrial facility in Plant City, Florida, to an undisclosed institutional buyer.
Wharton Industrial initially secured the 34-acre Lakeland submarket site in 2019 through an off-market transaction. It then partnered with Red Rock Developments to develop the property into a state-of-the-art distribution center, which the purchaser acquired upon its completion.
“Wharton Industrial recognized the incredible potential of this site two years ago, and our vision for it has been realized as this modern distribution facility is now located in the heart of a burgeoning hub for industrial and last-mile delivery,” said Peter C. Lewis, Chairman of Wharton Industrial. “We are thrilled to cap our successful development process with a sale to a respected REIT that will not only generate significant returns for our investors, but help meet the growing demand for top-of-the-line warehouse space across the Southeast and the rest of the Eastern U.S.”
Central Florida has become a key warehouse distribution market in recent years, affording tenants such as Publix, Kroger, Home Depot, PepsiCo and Amazon prime access to Atlanta, the Port of Savannah, Orlando, Tampa, Miami and other growing markets in the Southeast. The region is also home to a number of existing or planned industrial facilities that are fully automated.
“While developing this site on a speculative basis, we were confident in the potential of the region to continue attracting high-quality companies and our experience in developing state-of-the-art warehousing product with respected partners,” Lewis add. “Following our success in Lakeland and our recent sale of a 600,000-square-foot development in Ocala, which we leased to Amazon, we’re looking forward to deploying more capital across Central Florida and beyond as we continue identifying growing industrial hubs well ahead of our peers.”
About Wharton Industrial
Wharton Industrial is a leading investor and developer of industrial real estate, with a robust pipeline of properties across the Eastern Seaboard, Florida and the southeast. Steered by the company’s forward-thinking leadership team, Wharton has been extremely active in the industrial sector since 2017, developing last-mile distribution facilities in proximity to major urban markets as well as big box spec development projects in the southeast. Wharton Industrial is a platform company of Wharton Equity Partners, an innovative real estate investment firm with extensive experience acquiring, developing and operating a wide range of real estate asset classes since its inception in 1987. Before shifting to building out its industrial platform, Wharton Equity Partners was an early mover in secondary-market multifamily investment, where it amassed a $500 million portfolio of value-add apartment properties across the South and Midwest, which it ultimately sold for a weighted average IRR well in excess of 20%.