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Greg Ryan Tapped To Lead National Industrial Developer's Return To The Southeast

The last time Dermody Properties had a presence in Atlanta, Greg Ryan was fresh out of graduate school and forging a career in industrial real estate.

Now, Ryan has been tapped to lead the Reno, Nevada-based industrial developer's resurgence in the Southeast.

Dermody Properties partner Greg Ryan

Former IDI Gazeley operations head and investment managing director Ryan has been named as a partner to Dermody's new Southeast office, tasked with helping the firm build up a portfolio in one of the hottest industrial markets in the country.

“I don't have anything that's under letter of intent, but we're looking at a lot of things,” said Ryan, who most recently worked for Cardinal Industrial.

Dermody's move comes barely six months after the firm raised more than $600M in equity through its Dermody Properties Industrial Fund II, a closed discretionary fund that will be, in part, used to purchase existing warehouses and develop new ones in the Southeast and other parts of the country.

Dermody President Douglas Kiersey said the fund's total can rise up to $1.5B with leverage. While the focus is the entire Southeast, Ryan said initial activity will be to acquire and develop a portfolio of warehouses in Atlanta.

A Dermody Properties distribution center project located in Carol Stream, Ill.

The timing of Dermody's return to Metro Atlanta is noteworthy, given the United States is approaching the longest stretch of economic growth since the end of World War II. That has some wondering if the economy could be overdue for a recession, dampening demand for commercial real estate.

But Kiersey said that industrial real estate's current strength is less cyclical than fundamental: the changing shopping habits of the American consumer to online shopping.

The move has spurred tremendous growth in warehouse demand, both for big-boxes and smaller facilities, as retailers promise more goods delivered to doorsteps in a matter of days, if not hours.

“Our part of the business is going to have sustainable demand drivers, so we're investing into what we think is a long-term trend,” Kiersey said.

A recent CBRE study corroborated this trend. For every $1B jump in e-commerce sales, retailers need 1.25M SF of warehouse space specific to e-commerce activity to keep up. U.S. consumers spent $122B with online retailers during November and December, a 17.4% jump from the same period in 2017, according to

CBRE is predicting by 2020, national e-commerce-generated warehouse demand could grow in excess of 190M SF.

Atlanta industrial landlords have been a key beneficiary of this trend. As previously reported by Bisnow, even with 15M SF of new warehouses unleashed across the metro area, tenants still gobbled up more than 18M SF last year.

“This is the best market I've ever seen, period,” Pattillo Industrial Real Estate CEO Larry Callahan previously said. "And I've been doing this for 33 years."

Ryan said he is focused on Atlanta's core industrial submarkets, seeking opportunities for big-box developments and last-mile acquisitions.

“From a product standpoint, you have to find what the greatest need is,” he said. “We had great absorption last year, and activity is still strong as we move into '19.”