Walmart's Bold Southern Swing and Forest City's Switch
Two mega stories coming out of Atlanta this morning: First, sources tell us the world's largest retailer is looking at sites just south of Atlanta for a 1.2M SF warehouse to handle Walmart.com orders.
Walmart's warehouse network is already massive. It operates more than 150 distribution centers (including another behemoth in Carrollton, Ga.) totaling over 100M SF nationwide. Its network alone would cover nearly a fifth of Manhattan, according to a recent MWPVL white paper. Add in the 721M SF of Walmart stores, and the company's real estate is 1.3 times the size of Manhattan. (Whoever comes up with these stats really wants to see Manhattan fight Walmart. Isn't this what Epic Rap Battles of History is for?)
And last night, we heard that Forest City Enterprises is phasing out contracted-fee consulting and master planning projects. (We snapped its CEO David LaRue with ICSC chair Mike Kercheval last month). Forest City's Jeff Linton confirmed the Cleveland-based developer has dropped out as master developer at Atlanta's Fort McPherson and The Gulch. This puts into question the fate of both projects (JVs with Cousins Properties and The Integral Group), or the very least who will take the helm as master developer.