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Russian Developer Jumps Into Atlanta Industrial Fray

Rendering of Southern Gateway at Lambert Farms industrial project by Russia-based PNK Group

Atlanta's latest speculative mega-warehouse development comes from Russia with love.

PNK Group, a Russian industrial development firm, is launching Southern Gateway at Lambert Farms with a 1.1M SF project that has yet to sign a tenant. The project will be part of a larger planned 3M SF industrial park in McDonough, officials said in an email.

PNK tapped Cushman & Wakefield to lease the project, but it is not waiting before getting started on construction.

According to company information, the new facility — expected to break ground by September — will be one of the newer breed of warehouses with taller ceilings. Southern Gateway will have 40-foot-high ceilings, whereas typical warehouses have around 32-foot-high ceilings.

Ceiling heights have evolved in recent years in the industrial market, with average heights increasing over time as tenants look to store more product in a single facility. Distribution centers with higher-than-average ceiling heights tend to be more attractive to e-commerce logistics providers and retailers using the locations to deliver goods bought online.

The South Atlanta submarket where McDonough sits also has been a nexus of leasing activity over the past year. According to Colliers International, the area makes up 60% of all the absorption in the metro region so far this year, with big names like Duracell, Tory Burch and Kuehne + Nagel comprising the deals.

Most recently, Chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli inked a deal for 1M SF at Lambert Farms Logistics Park with Panattoni. The activity is spurring a number of developers to pursue new projects in Atlanta, one of the hottest industrial markets in the country.

In the past few weeks alone, a number of developers have filed plans for new distribution center projects in Atlanta, including Panattoni Development Co., which is eyeing a 1M SF warehouse on more than 40 acres, Trammell Crow, which is planning a more than 1.5M SF facility at Jefferson Commerce Center, both in Jackson County. IDI Gazeley is eyeing a four-building, 1.2M SF campus near Lake Lanier, according to filings with the Georgia Department of Community Development.

“The development site offers a prime opportunity for PNK Group to make a strong entrance into the Atlanta market,” Cushman & Wakefield Senior Managing Director Pat Murphy said.