Why Should You Pay Attention To I-4 Corridor?

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The I-4 Corridor continues to grow as a premier distribution location in the State of Florida. Located along the 80-mile stretch of Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando, this location is attracting more and more attention from retailers and delivery companies from around the nation.

GlobeSt.com sat down with Deborah Mickler, managing director of Industrial Services at Colliers International Central Florida, to find out why the corridor continues to get so much interest from tenants and buyers in part one of this exclusive interview. Be sure to stay tuned to GlobeSt.com for part two.

GlobeSt.com: Currently, there is more than 59 million square feet of industrial space in buildings larger than 100,000 square feet along the I-4 Corridor. What’s driving demand in this location? 

Mickler: Because of its location in the center of the state, the I-4 Corridor provides access to more than 12.3 million people within a five-hour drive time. Retailers, e-commerce and delivery companies—including FedEx, who is currently building a 310,000-square-foot facility along the I-4 Corridor—have recognized the strength in this location, as no other location in Florida can achieve this critical threshold.

One of the main drivers of demand for expanded warehousing and distribution networks is the rapidly growing population in the state of Florida, which recently reached 19.9 million people and surpassed New York as the third most populous state in the country. Florida also has the unique status of attracting the highest number of tourists in the US—more than 54 million in the first half of 2015 alone—the majority of which will visit the Central Florida theme parks and attractions.

In addition, new companies that are entering the market are looking for a distribution hub in the center of the state, with a smaller “spoke” warehouse in Southeast Florida to reach the large population in that area. A sophisticated transportation and logistics infrastructure, and an abundance of well-located, affordable industrial space in Central Florida, also adds to the I-4 Corridor’s popularity.

GlobeSt.com: Is this demand expected to continue?

Mickler: Demand for commercial real estate from food service providers, e-commerce retailers, parcel delivery firms, and transportation and logistics companies hit an all-time high in Central Florida in 2014. Demand is expected to surge in the coming years.

E-commerce retailers are expected to occupy an additional 3.4 million square feet of industrial space in Central Florida over the next three years. In addition, parcel delivery firms are expected to occupy an additional 800,000 square feet of space, while transportation and logistics companies could occupy as much as 860,000 square feet of additional space between 2015 and the end of 2017.