Old Friends Plan Nearly 4M SF At Former Airport
For two Atlanta industrial developers who've joined forces, it's go big or go home. And they're going big. Nearly 4M SF big.
In a newly formed JV called River Oaks Capital Partners, longtime industrial developers Eben Hardie and Klay Simpson have targeted a former private airport in the City of Palmetto to transform it into a three-building industrial park encompassing some 3.6M SF of prime industrial space designed for e-commerce users. “We are in the process of lining up financing to start as a spec building,” Eben says. The project is being named Palmetto Distribution Center.
For Eben, the property was a rare opportunity. A huge swath of land that once served as the South Fulton Airport near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a great find in an area where virgin industrial land has become pretty rare. Plus, it's across from CSX's intermodal facility in Fairburn. Still, size matters most. “The big reason [we're pursuing] is you can't find sites this big this close in, period,” Eben says. “Just finding sites of this caliber...is difficult even going 50 miles out,” Klay echoes, saying that the three facilities, once completed and leased up, have the potential to bring up to 2,000 jobs to Palmetto.
Eben is still active independently with Hardie Real Estate Group with projects in Villa Rica, Norcross, Newnan and College Park. In College Park, he purchased 2750 Sullivan Road, a 200k SF warehouse formerly used by Sam Levitz Furniture Co, and gutted and completely redeveloped it to attract a modern warehousing operator. Eben and Klay used to work together at the former Weeks Corp (eventually acquired by Duke Realty), and have been eyeing a joint project for a couple of years.