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Winter Haven, Fla., pursues Logistics Center for CSX Terminal

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The city of Winter Haven, Fla., is moving forward on the Integrated Logistics Center to be developed in conjunction with the CSX Intermodal Terminal planned for the southern portion of the city, The News Chief reports. The planning commission discussed during a workshop Feb. 2 a change in future land use from Institutional-2 as designated by Polk County to industrial-business park center for the approximately 932 acres. The city annexed the property in 2005 but didn't assign a land use designation or zoning.

The change will allow redevelopment
of the majority of the property by establishing a future land use
classification that complements the Evansville Western Railway Inc. Development
of Regional Impact approved in 2008. The future land use amendment will include
about 916 acres of business park center and approximately 16 acres of
conservation land.

According to Dave Dickey,
the city’s development director, the proposed business park uses consist of
about six percent in office space, 28 percent light industrial and 66 percent
warehouse distribution. At maximum build out, Dickey said, the land use would
allow up to 7.9 million square feet of space, including 500,00 square feet of
office area, 2.2 million square feet of light industrial and 5.2 million square
feet of warehouse distribution. But this will be completed in phases.

The projected development
schedule for the first five years includes 30,000 square feet for office,
50,000 square feet for light industrial, and 500,000 square feet for warehouse
distribution for a total of 580,000 square feet. Construction of the planned
Pollard Road extension, which will provide access to the area, will begin
during 2010.

Development of the
property will likely take place in years three through five after the road
extension is completed and the rail terminal facility is built.

According to City
Attorney John Murphy, completing the development in phases will allow the
evaluation of its various impacts locally and regionally.

The city is working with
the Central Florida Regional Development Council to address issues related to
the development, including transportation, utilities and environmental
concerns. The city commission will consider an agreement with the council
during its meeting Feb. 8.

Dickey said the project would
continue to develop over time.

"We don’t have all the
details or the specifics of what will happen on this site. That will happen
over time," he said.

Richard Hood, assistant
vice president for CSX Real Property, said this is the first step in the
process.

"Now we look forward
to the next step in creating the warehouse and industrial development supported
by the Intermodal Terminal," Hood said. "This is what will generate
jobs and opportunities because of its proximity to the Intermodal/Automotive
Terminal."

According to City Manager
Dale Smith, the city entered into a contract in early 2007 to sell 1,200 acres
to Evansville Railroad, a subsidiary of CSX. They closed on the sale on the 318
acres for the Intermodal Terminal but the city still owns the 932 acres
intended for the industrial park.

The planning commission
will hold a public hearing March 2 about the land use change. On March 22, the
city commission will consider the issue and hold a public hearing.

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