A ceremony today marked the start of construction that will transform 730 acres of pasture land inside the western edge of the Polk Parkway into the Lakeland Central Park logistics complex.

Jim Heistand, CEO of Orlando-based Parkway Inc., the project’s developer, noted the currently vacant property is surrounded by recent industrial growth and called it “the hole in the doughnut.”

Why Lakeland? “As Publix knew best, if you want to serve Florida, this is the place to do it from,” he told more than 100 people gathered for this morning’s ground-breaking ceremony.

The project envisions 5 million square feet of industrial space spread over multiple buildings costing $400 million to build. Also included: 500,000 square feet of multifamily and commercial space.

The park’s first project is a 708,000-square-foot spec warehouse expected to be ready by summer 2022.

ALSO: Ledger coverage | News release

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com 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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