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GROVELAND, FL-Home Depot Inc.’s 80 Florida stores will soon be on a fast-track to receive next-day inventory deliveries. The Atlanta-based home improvement company plans to build a $6 million, 121,392-sf transfer-point distribution facility that will load products from manufacturers at the front door and then immediately ship them out to its statewide retailers through the back door of a 1,000-foot long building.

A minimum amount of product will actually be warehoused for indefinite periods, according to company officials. The facility will be in the Christopher C. Ford Industrial Park, 25 miles west of Downtown Orlando. Among the park’s current tenants are Goodyear, Circuit City, Marriott, Sprint and Domino’s Pizza.

The concept of streamlining the supply chain from vendor to customer has been successfully tested in Philadelphia for the last three years. The 120-foot wide structure is expected to break ground in the first quarter with completion tentatively scheduled for first quarter 2002. The center will create 300 new jobs.

The Orlando office of Trammell Crow Co. represents Home Depot in its negotiations with Lake County to purchase a 31.6-acre parcel for the facility. The county is asking $1.1 million or $35,000 per acre (80 cents per sf) for the dirt. That price compares with comparable current park sites in metro Orlando going for $100,000 or $2.30 per sf. The 22-year-old Home Depot posted 1999 net sales of $38.4 billion.

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