PORT CANAVERAL, FL – At a special commission meeting held today, the Port Canaveral Board has taken the final step to authorize the sale transaction of approximately 271 acres of land located on State Road 524 near Interstate 95 in Cocoa to Wal-Mart Stores East, LP. The site was purchased by the Port in December 2014 at a cost of $1.95M with original plans to develop the area into a cargo distribution complex.
Initial discussions between the Canaveral Port Authority and Wal-Mart Stores began in 2016 regarding approximately 130 acres for development of an approximately 600,000 sq. ft. distribution center.  At a February 2017 commission meeting, the Board unanimously approved the sale of the property and authorized entering into a Purchase and Sale agreement. Since then, Wal-Mart Stores East, LP has been conducting its due diligence, studying the site and pursuing the required project approvals, such as development orders and building permits from the City of Cocoa, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Florida Department of Transportation, among others. This process was expected to last through mid-August, but the purchaser requested an earlier closing, which was the purpose for today's special commission meeting.
Canaveral Port Authority plans to use the proceeds from the sale to increase Port reserves, and continuing to address capital requirements and debt reduction.
In a statement made last year, Wal-Mart Stores East, LP announced plans to open a distribution center and refrigerated warehouse complex that would store cold produce, meat, dairy, and other perishable freezer items on the site and staff more than 230 employees on the onset. The parcel, which is ideally situated to become a distribution hub, has easy access to all major transportation Central Florida corridors including Interstate 95, US1, and State Road 528, as well as close proximity to rail connections in Cocoa and Titusville. Until now, though, it has sat undeveloped and unused.
"Ultimately, Port Canaveral hopes to realize some economic benefit once the distribution center is complete and operational by way of increased cargo business through the port from Wal-Mart," said Canaveral Port Commission Chairman Tom Weinberg. "The Port views this sale as a win-win for the region as a whole, as it stands to prosper from the distribution center, the first of several proposed development projects which could revitalize the SR 524 corridor and the surrounding communities."
Led by the elected five-member Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners and Port Director and CEO, Captain John Murray, Port Canaveral is one of the world's most dynamic and exciting ports. A world-class gateway for cruises, cargo, recreation and logistics, as well as a gateway to new frontiers, including space, Port Canaveral hosts more than 4 million revenue cruise passengers through its state-of-the-art terminals and 5.5 million of tons of cargo annually, including bulk, break-bulk, project, and containerized. The Port is strategically located to service all Florida markets, as well as the Southeastern United States. In addition to world class cruise facilities and diverse cargo operations, Port Canaveral offers more recreational opportunities than all other Florida deep-water seaports combined, including public parks, free public boat ramps, marinas, an entertainment district, and the seven-story interactive exhibit and event venue Exploration Tower. For more information, visit www.PortCanaveral.com.