By Cindy Cummings
Apopka is not only Orange County’s second largest city; it is also growing at an unprecedented rate, surpassing cities such as Tampa and Orlando. The property development sector is booming as well, with several projects in the pipeline to boost the economy and attract investments. It is no surprise that retailer giant Amazon also decided to buy land in Apopka for its new warehouse facilities, confirmed at the June 3, 2020 Apopka City Council meeting. Two sites in Central Florida are planned to become new last-mile fulfillment centers for Amazon.
Land clearing permits are issued to developers to comply with local regulations and ordinances by removing nuisances or eyesores before building a structure. The process includes the use of heavy equipment to take away large stumps, trees, and other overgrown structures. It may also involve demolition and construction site preparation. For the duration of land clearing Florida state regulations dictate that only debris generated from the area can be burned in the same premises. Open burning must occur between 8:00AM CST and one hour before dusk.
In the case of Amazon, site work was already started on the new warehouse facility after approval of its plan to ensure that the structure complies with city, county and state engineering standards. Known as the DLF5 Apopka Last Mile (on the southeast corner of General Electric Road and Hermit Smith Road in the Plymouth area of Apopka), the site is a 201,475-square-foot distribution center, adding to new constructions in Central Florida. Plans indicate that the distribution center will feature a van-loading area capable of accommodating 160 vans, of which 80 can fit on either side of the building, while there are spaces for 160 vehicles in the van-staging area. Furthermore, an area on the south end of the warehouse is reserved for 15 semi-tractor trailers. There will be 422 parking spaces for employees and 1,132 slots for vans that are not in use, according to plans submitted to the city. Electric charging stations for vans are also foreseen.
Another site for the Amazon warehousing facilities will be in Groveland, Lake County which is proposed as a 202,044-square foot distribution center. The 48-acre parcel of land is in the Ford Commerce Park. Site plans indicate that there will be areas for van loading, stacking and parking. The project is dubbed as DFL8-Groveland Last Mile. Groveland has also generated interest from investors, considering that the Kroger-Ocada distribution center, which is under constructions, is just nearby. Officials say the presence of developers in the city would boost the local economy by creating jobs and attracting new businesses.
Things are looking up for Apopka as more and more investors are realizing the potential of the city. It is expected that property development will continue to fuel the local economy’s growth, and on the part of the government, appropriate infrastructures are proposed to match its evolution.