REALCOLD ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NATIONAL COLD CHAIN PLATFORM
RealCold to Develop and Operate its First Two Cold Storage Facilities in Lockhart, Texas and Lakeland, Florida Serving the Southern United States
Oct 19, 2023 – RealCold, a national cold chain provider, plans to build two state-of-the-art cold storage facilities as part of its platform launch. These initial facilities will anchor a network of new cold storage facilities through which RealCold will provide cold chain services to address a growing and underserved need within the sector, driven by material changes in food distribution and fulfillment. RealCold’s first project will be located in Lakeland, Florida and initially include a 376,000 square foot facility with over 43,000 pallet positions. The second project is planned for Lockhart, Texas that includes the initial construction of a 310,000 square foot facility housing over 36,000 pallets. RealCold plans to break ground on both of these multi-temperature facilities prior to year-end, with availability to the market in early 2025. In addition to these two initial facilities, RealCold plans to enter four additional strategic markets within the next three years.
“Our initial locations are ideal hubs for RealCold. These next-generation facilities will service ten million and six million people within 100 miles of Lakeland and Lockhart, respectively, and become a gateway to fulfill refrigerated and frozen products across the southern United States” stated Keith Goldsmith, CEO of RealCold. “These two mission-critical locations, when combined with RealCold’s unique service offerings, will strengthen our strategic initiatives which are grounded in the underlying shift of consumer shopping habits toward e-commerce and grocery delivery. These trends, and the inability of existing providers to address them, served as the impetus for RealCold’s creation and entry into the cold chain sector over 18 months ago. We are developing a national cold storage platform that proactively anticipates and responds to changing consumer demands by offering direct-to-consumer fulfillment and other value-add services, robust technology integrations, and highly bespoke customer-centric engineering.”
RealCold’s growth strategy is enabled through sponsorship by Related Fund Management (“RFM”), creating a unique advantage by merging the logistical knowledge and excellence of RealCold’s operating team with RFM’s ability to provide both real estate capital and real estate expertise. RFM has a proven track record of investing in businesses which require real estate as a key component of their growth, and sees the RealCold platform as an opportunity to develop a nationwide network of modern, first-class, and energy efficient cold storage facilities.
Commenting on the RealCold platform, Michael Winston, Managing Director at RFM, noted “RFM’s entrance into cold storage was based on our view that there is not enough cold storage in the US, and that much of the existing stock is older and in the wrong locations given population shifts over the last few years. We see this as an opportunity to combine our real estate capabilities with the operating capabilities of an experienced cold storage management team in order to build a network that spans the country. Strategic locations like Lockhart and Lakeland, with proximity to major thoroughfares and rapidly growing metropolitan areas, are ideal locations for the first two nodes of this network.”
The two new facilities, once completed, will not only cater to the increasing demands of RealCold’s customers, but will also provide over 100 high-quality job opportunities in each community. Lakeland and Lockhart’s quality and availability of labor were crucial in RealCold’s site selection process. Local support for the Lockhart project was voiced by County Judge Haden, who commented that “Caldwell County is pleased to participate in the development of this project by sharing incentives.” Similarly, Mike Kamelander of the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation (“LEDC”) expressed “this is a great opportunity for the City of Lockhart. We appreciate our partnership with Caldwell County and Greater San Marcos Partnership in helping attract and incentivize this development.”
Established in 2022, RealCold was founded to address the unmet needs of the food cold chain sector. By combining high-growth strategic locations, state-of-the-art Class A facilities, and a diverse offering of value-added services, the company has positioned itself as a collaborative and integrated provider for food retailers, producers, and distributors. This mission is reinforced through its highly bespoke solutioning and customer-centric approach. The RealCold platform will ultimately operate a national, multi-channel network providing 1 or 2 day ground service for the majority of U.S. consumers. For more information on RealCold, please visit www.realcold.com.
About Related Fund Management
Founded in 2009, RFM has established itself over more than a decade as a real estate investment manager with approximately $12.0 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2023. RFM invests across all portions of the real estate capital stack and in all major sectors. RFM is affiliated with Related Companies, a real estate development and operating business with extensive experience in the development, construction, and operation of real estate assets.