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OA Development Jumping Into Spec Industrial Game

A local office investor is taking a different route in South Atlanta: spec industrial.

OA Development founder Steve Berman

OA Development is in the planning phases for a 750K SF speculative warehouse facility along Charles Grant Parkway, the main thoroughfare that feeds directly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's international terminal. OA Development has 75 acres along a section of the parkway's $35M extension that will travel out to Interstate 285 at Gilbert Road, OA Development founder Steve Berman.

“We'll go spec on industrial in the near future,” Berman said.

Berman is no stranger to the airport area, a heavily commercial, but largely industrial, swath. But OA's presence has mainly been with flex office, including with nine buildings in the Phoenix Office Park area. Berman also is one of Bisnow's panelists focused on infill developments at Atlanta's Southside Rising event May 18.

“If it wasn't for the airport, we wouldn't have been attracted to this part of the city,” he said. “The airport gives this part of town a dynamic that is in no other part of the city.”

Area where OA Development is planning a 750K SF spec distribution hub

OA's industrial play could come at a time when Atlanta's industrial market is the healthiest it has ever been. About 6.4M SF of industrial space was absorbed by the market during the first quarter, with the I-20/Fulton Industrial submarket demonstrating the strongest demand at 2.6M SF of absorption, according to Cushman & Wakefield research. That topped the previous record of just over 6.1M SF positive absorption, set in the twilight of 2014.

The latest fundamentals pushed vacancy rate average to 8.7% metrowide, with Wayfair's 846,500 SF deal at King Mill Distribution Park and Google's nearly 900K SF data center expansion at 310 Riverside Parkway taking the crowns for biggest deals.

But OA is not the only developer potentially moving forward on industrial projects, especially in light of the activity. According to Cushman & Wakefield, there is more than 15M SF of industrial space under construction, including a nearly 1.5M SF spec warehouse off Anvil Block Road, nearly 6.5 miles from OA's site.

Hear more from Berman, along with Carter senior vice president David Nelson, Condra Group president Scott Condra, Air Realty managing partner Rob Mullice and RocaPoint Partners principal Phil Mays at Bisnow's Atlanta Southside Rising event, 7:30 a.m., Thursday, May 18 at 1777 Hardee Ave.