Seefried, business partner of Amazon, buys 60 acres off Alico Road for distribution center

There are plans for two distribution centers that will combine to be about…

Seefried, business partner of Amazon, buys 60 acres off Alico Road for distribution center 1

Seefried Industrial Properties, which is based in Atlanta and has a history of building large-scale fulfillment centers for Amazon, closed on adjacent properties combining almost 60 acres off Alico Road on Wednesday for $12.99 million and $2.25 million.

Seefried took out a $46.6 million loan for construction Thursday from Pinnacle Bank, public records show.

A Lee County development order has been approved for the Kimley-Horn and Associates engineering firm to design a 278,670-square foot distribution center on 73 acres, public records show.

The 47.8 acres that sold for $12.99 million had been owned by Wayside Industrial, a Naples investment company. About 11.35 acres that sold for $2.25 million was owned by Joel Waltzer, the deed shows. Those two combine for just under 60 acres. A 15-acre property, which has yet to recently sell, would bring the total to the 73 acres on the engineering firm’s development order.

Engineers for the “Alico Distribution Center,” as it is currently called, also submitted approval requests to the South Florida Water Management District for both a building of that size and a second one, dubbed “Project Abraham.” That is to be 181,500 square feet, public records show.

In the Know: Alico Road Quadrant off I-75 set for explosive growth spurt with industrial

More in development: Lee Port Authority gets go-ahead to develop 1,150 acres

The acreage listed in the development order for “Project Abraham” is 104 acres, which is 30.15 acres short, taking into account the 60 acres sold this week and the 15 adjacent acres that has yet to close. But the adjacent Alico Family Golf Center off Lee Road sits on 30.15 acres. That land has yet to close as part of the deal.

A news release about that land is being prepared but is not yet ready, said Jennifer Thompson of Web Spark Media, which does public relations for the golf center.

The neighboring distribution centers would make for 460,170 square feet in combined space. These would be almost half the size of the Edison Mall, which like many retail shopping centers has experienced an intense turnover and fleeing of tenants over the past two years as consumers continue clicking from home to buy merchandise instead of shopping for it in person.

“With Covid, we did see more people buying online,” said Amir Neto, an assistant professor of economics at FGCU. “Covid has just strengthened this trend of online purchasing. Nowadays, people are shopping online more and more.

“We want goods delivered to us faster. So we need these warehouses now that function as distribution centers. It’s something we saw strengthening over 2020. Over the next few years, I think the online economies will continue to grow. Which is not to say that face-to-face malls will cease to exist. There are still people who like the in-person experience. I don’t think that it’s one or the other. I don’t think it’s a competition.”

The distribution center would have an irrigation system, stormwater management infrastructure and a paved, uncovered parking lot. It would have internal roadways called Delivery Way and Logistics Drive. It would have traffic signage and pavement markings, speed bumps/humps/tables, sidewalks, outdoor lighting, fencing, access gates, two gatehouses and landscaping.

The center would have direct access to Lee Road on the eastern side and Domestic Avenue on the western side. Both of those roads have direct access to Alico Road to the south. The center would be just west of I-75 and less than two miles east of U.S. 41.

Amazon has about 150 fulfillment centers across the country, a number that continues to grow. These are “last-mile” delivery centers, meaning customers order a product and have it delivered the same day because of the proximity of the center.

Seefried is in the process of bulldozing an entire shopping mall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where it will build yet another fulfillment center for Amazon.

Clay Thompson, the southeast region development manager for Seefried, said he could not yet comment on the plans because of confidentiality agreements.

Justin Thibaut, the president and involved land broker with LSI Companies, also declined to comment for the same reason.

Amazon communications could not be reached for comment.

More In the Know: ‘Last-mile delivery,’ Amazon effect spurs creation of Premier Airport Park

Seefried, business partner of Amazon, buys 60 acres off Alico Road for distribution center 2


Premiere Airport Park is a mega complex of industrial and storage buildings

Premiere Airport Park is a mega complex of industrial and storage buildings

Andrea Melendez, Fort Myers News-Press

Seefried and Amazon partnered in Polk County on a one million-square-foot center and a separate, 700,000-square-foot center.

“We’ve got three here, and they’re constructing a fourth,” Polk County commissioner Rick Wilson said. The most recent one generated about 500 jobs. “It’s created a lot of jobs, there’s no doubt about it. Not just here, but jobs that can be tied to it. You kind of forget about these. You don’t know that they’re even there.

“We don’t hear of any complaints,” he said. “I hear a lot of complaints. But I don’t hear any complaints about that. At the end of the day, it’s all good. If it creates jobs, it’s good.”

Neto of Florida Gulf Coast University predicted the distribution center would be good for Southwest Florida.

“It’s good for the region, I think,” Neto said. “It’s going to create new jobs in the region.”

Connect with this reporter: David Dorsey (Facebook), @DavidADorsey (Twitter).

Seefried, business partner of Amazon, buys 60 acres off Alico Road for distribution center 3


Enjoy our news? Please spread the word :)