Publix’s new information technology campus in downtown Lakeland

A hundred jobs and hundreds of parking spots coming soon downtown. | Graphic via 6AM City

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Downtown Lakeland is getting a new Information Technology campus, thanks to Publix Super Markets. Coming soon to the site of the former FedEx building at 333 E. Lemon St., the tech campus will create 100 new full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $93,000, double the county’s median wage. 

In support of the new jobs, Polk County and the City of Lakeland will each contribute $250,000 over the next three years. As long as the 100 jobs are created and compensated as planned, that will pan out to be $500,000 in Publix’s pocket.

The former FedEx building located at 333 E. Lemon St. | Photo by LALtoday

The 142,000-sqft building was built in 1971 and originally housed Maas Brothers department store. While the store has long-since been closed, the property itself can expect a bright future housing Publix employees that are currently divided up among various downtown properties, including The Ledger’s facilities, the Bank of America building, and the former JC Penney building. 

In addition to new jobs, downtown will soon see changes coming to the old Florida Citrus Mutual building at 411 E. Orange St. On Tuesday morning, Publix received unanimous approval from the Planning and Zoning Board to demolish the existing structure to make way for 268 spaces of surface-level parking for Publix employees. However, it’s not a permanent change

The old Florida Citrus Mutual building at 411 E. Orange St. will soon be a parking lot. | Photo by LALtoday

The City of Lakeland has granted Publix conditional use of the site for five years. That means, when the five-year period is up, the city hopes to see something new built to replace the surface parking. In the future, Publix and the city will work together to see if parking can be accommodated somewhere else. 

So, that begs the question: What would you like to see replace the surface parking once the five year term is up? Let us know by voting in the poll below.

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