Supermarket chain Publix is planning to build a new data center in a former FedEx building in Polk County, Florida.

First reported by LkldNow, ‘Project Horizon’ will see the supermarket chain invest some $40 million developing a new data center. Details of the project are lacking, with the company saying the project is an ‘expansion of its corporate headquarters IT department’ and intends to renovate an existing 142,250 square foot (13,200 sqm) facility located at 333 Lemon Street East in Lakeland.

333 Lemon Street East, Lakeland, Florida.png
– Google Maps

Polk County Commissioner Bill Braswell said: “Publix is buying the FedEx bldg and building a 4$0 million data center. Many of the jobs starting at 100k plus.”

The company is filing for a number of incentives with the local council, requesting up to $250,000 through the Polk County Bonus Incentive Program, as well as for an Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption. The company said the facility would add 100 high-skill, high-wage jobs to the area.

Lakeland-based Publix was founded in 1930 and operates more than 1,000 stores across the Southeastern United States, and is the largest employee-owned company in the United States. The company reportedly houses IT staff in multiple buildings from Lakeland, including leased space at the Ledger building on Lime Street, the Bank of America Building on Florida Avenue, and the former JC Penney building on Kentucky Avenue.

According to LkldNow, the former FedEx building was constructed in 1971 to house the Maas Brothers department store. Sitting on just over 2 acres, the store was renamed Burdines in 1991 and closed in 1994. The building was purchased by Watkins Motor Lines, which was later acquired by FedEx in 2006.

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