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Clayco To Develop 1M SF Spec Warehouse South Of Atlanta

Clayco's development arm is planning a massive speculative distribution center 50 miles south of Downtown Atlanta, just across the highway from its $85M Dollar General distribution hub.

Rendering of The Cubes at River Park, which is being developed by CRG in Jackson, Georgia.

CRG is in talks for construction financing and plans to break ground in the next two months on a 1M SF warehouse named The Cubes at River Park, Executive Vice President Mike Demperio told Bisnow. The site is off Interstate 75 and Georgia State Route 16, less than 10 miles from Locust Grove, in Jackson, Georgia.

The project will have ceilings reaching 40 feet above the slab, Demperio said, a common ceiling height for warehouses geared toward e-commerce distribution operations. The Cubes is the first building in a planned 18M SF industrial campus called the River Park E-Commerce Center, which is being marketed for lease by JLL senior managing directors Chris Tomasulo and Ryan Hoyt and Vice President Bennett Rudder.

Demperio said CRG's U.S. Logistics Fund, which launched in March and is targeting to finance $1.5B in new warehouses across the country in the next three years, has provided equity for the $75M project, along with an unnamed private investment firm.

The Cubes at River Park comes three years after CRG completed a 1.2M SF distribution facility for Dollar General across I-75 that employs more than 500 workers and supplies 750 stores in the Southeast. Demperio said CRG is bullish on the spec project given its proximity to Atlanta as well as the sheer activity taking place in the industrial market.

JLL is tracking 50M SF in tenant demand for warehouse space in Metro Atlanta, according to Tomasulo, thanks largely to the jolt consumers gave online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.

“That's the world we live in post-pandemic, and the supply chain is trying to keep pace,” Tomasulo said in a statement. “There are several tenants in the market looking for 1M SF requirements.”

Metro Atlanta industrial landlords have experienced a bountiful year thus far, with tenants absorbing 16.4M SF during the first half, approaching the high watermark set in 2017 when absorption hit a peak of 21.5M SF. Much of the industrial activity has been spurred by online sales, which jumped nearly 40% globally during the first quarter of this year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Demperio said many of the tenants in the market are companies that are not pure e-commerce retailers, but need to build out their distribution networks to facilitate increased online sales.

“You don't have to be an e-commerce company to be e-commerce,” Demperio said. "Look at Home Depot. Look at Lowe's. They're not e-commerce companies, but people are buying from them online and that's driving sales."

This is the latest industrial project for CRG in Atlanta. In February, the developer broke ground on its second warehouse at The Cubes at Bridgeport, a 563K SF distribution hub in Coweta County, 50 miles west of its Cubes project in Jackson. That move comes a little more than a year after CRG developed a 1M SF warehouse that launched the Bridgeport campus and leased it entirely to Amazon.