As Amazon continues expanding its vast distribution network, Last Mile facilities are playing a key role in delivering high-speed Prime services. We were chosen to build their initial Last Mile projects, with the second on a property Amazon found in a business park in Venice, FL, strategically close to Sarasota Bradenton International and Punta Gorda Airports and Interstate 75. However, midway into the project, Amazon realized they would need far more van parking than the lot afforded, equipped for future electric vehicle (EV) charging.
Serving as representative while maintaining confidentiality, our development and capital markets teams launched complex negotiations to purchase three adjacent parcels from four different property owners and business condominium associations— including halting construction underway on one parcel. While the city was supportive, the approval process involved no less than fifteen permits and reviews. Amazon finally gave the greenlight for a highly accelerated, design-build construction timeline, requiring intensive coordination with Florida Power & Light, managing vendors outside our purview and suddenly incorporating multilayered COVID-19 safety protocols.
Despite the challenges, we completed the project on schedule. The 110,700-SF one-story warehouse with office component features a massive parking lot with miles of below-surface electrical conduit for charging stations. We continue to provide full real estate management services for the facility and to refine the corporate playbook for future Last Mile projects, with EV charging rapidly becoming a standard feature.