Benderson Development Company plans to start construction of the 2 million-square-foot Florida International Trade Port within a few weeks.
The premium warehouse and light industrial park at Interstate 75 and U.S. 301 would be built in phases. The first 500,000 square feet of space should open in about a year, company officials said Wednesday.
Plans for the complex first became public in early 2015. In documents filed with Manatee County, the project was originally called Ellenton Commerce Park.
Benderson already has two tenants in place for Florida International Trade Port and is in talks with three or four others, said Larry Fineburg, Benderson’s executive director of industrial, office and warehouse properties.
He declined to identify the tenants at this time.
“We are showing it to some big users who need from 400,000 to 1 million square feet,” Fineburg said. “It’s a really good project and people love the visibility and access to I-75.
“We wanted to reflect the regional character of the area. It can serve the entire state. It’s great for employees, too, and saves everybody a lot of time,” Fineburg said.
Benderson owns 132 acres on the northwest corner of Interstate-75 and U.S. 301, opposite Ellenton Premium Outlets.
Benderson acquired the property in 2012 from Stank LLC of Sarasota.
“It will be beyond beautiful. It will be state of the art and have a campus feel. The flexible buildings will be able to accommodate any uses,” Fineburg said.
It will be beyond beautiful. It will be state of the art and have a campus feel.
Larry Fineburg, Benderson Development Company executive director of industrial, office and warehouse properties
Todd Mathes, Benderson’s director of development, said the company will be picking up its building permit from Manatee County this week.
“Work will start in a couple of weeks,” Mathes said.
An area near the Super 8 motel, 5218 17th St. E., adjacent to the Florida International Trade Port site, had a Benderson construction sign posted on Wednesday.
Benderson’s other Class A industrial properties include SRQ Commerce Park and the Sarasota-Bradenton Commerce Park.
The scarcity of Class A space and low vacancy rates have made them a hot commodity in Manatee County.
Harrod Properties of Tampa is building a half million square feet of industrial flex space at Lakewood Ranch.
“Anything close to I-75 is hot when it comes to distribution,” Janet Robinson, commercial director for Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT for the Tampa Bay region, previously told the Herald.