Amazon is adding to its Lakeland footprint by leasing the 711,000-square-foot Dragstrip Logistics Center on State Road 33 a little north of I-4, Tampa Bay Business Journal reported today.

In an article available only to subscribers, the newspaper said sources who asked not to be named said the deal was finalized earlier this month. An Aug. 7 city of Lakeland permit for a sprinkler system at the site lists “Amazon buildout” as the project description.

Amazon confirmed the new facility several hours after the article was published, telling TBBJ in an email: “We are excited to increase our investment in Florida with a new delivery station to provide fast and efficient delivery for customers, and provide hundreds of job opportunities for the talented local workforce.”

Amazon opened a million-dollar air cargo facility at Lakeland Linder Airport last month. Amazon's million-square-foot fulfillment center on County Line Road was one of the company's first in Florida when it opened in 2015.

Lakeland city commissioners approved a request from developers Ackerman & Co. to annex a 9.56-acre site next to Dragstrip Logistics Center into the city last August. The request was part of a plan that could eventually expand the 711,000-square-foot Dragstrip facility to more than 1 million square feet.

The site is 1.3 miles northeast of the interchange of Interstate 4 and SR 33, an area that has become a hotbed of logistics activity. Neighbors include warehouses for Quaker Oats, PepsiCo, Havertys and HD Supply, according to Ackerman’s promotional material.

Lakeland's central location along I-4 has led to a boom in logistics companies locating large warehouses here, particularly on large tracts near County Line Road and State Road 33. Increased reliance on e-commerce since the start of the pandemic has only accelerated the pace of warehouse construction.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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