Atlanta’s Industrial Pipeline Catches Up to National Trends

Following a slowdown, construction in the market is picking up the pace, according to CommercialEdge data.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Andersen Corp.’s manufacturing facility in Locust Grove, Ga.
In November, Andersen Corp. started construction on a 638,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Locust Grove, Ga. Image courtesy of Andersen Corp.

Atlanta stands as a dynamic hub for industrial development, its location and robust infrastructure making it an attractive destination for businesses seeking to capitalize on its logistical advantages.

Atlanta’s industrial pipeline in the first quarter of this year was more than four times larger year-over-year, according to CommercialEdge information, reaching about 12.3 million square feet.

The metro is also home to several Fortune 500 companies, which drive demand for extensive logistics support, including warehousing, distribution centers and transportation networks.

However, the metro faces some challenges, too. In March, EV manufacturer Rivian postponed the groundbreaking of its 16 million-square-foot plant in Stanton Springs, Ga. Production at the $5 billion project was initially supposed to start in 2026, with full completion anticipated in 2030.

More industrial space underway in the metro

LogistiCenter at Bright Star is a 181,000-square foot logistics facility in Douglasville, Ga.
Dermody Properties is developing a 181,000-square-foot, two-building industrial campus in Douglasville, Ga. Image courtesy of Dermody Properties

At the end of the first quarter, Atlanta’s industrial pipeline stood at roughly 12.3 million square feet across 26 projects—or 2.2 percent of existing stock—up fourfold year-over-year. However, only five properties totaling less than 2 million square feet broke ground during the first three months of the year—accounting for 0.3 percent of stock. This was on par with 2023’s first quarter.

Among peer markets, Atlanta’s industrial pipeline lagged Phoenix (10.3 percent of existing stock) and Dallas (2.5 percent), but surpassed Chicago (1.0 percent), the Inland Empire (1.2 percent) and Indianapolis (1.1 percent).

In November, Andersen Corp. broke ground on a 638,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Locust Grove, Ga. The $420 million project is part of the Renewal by Andersen division and is scheduled to come online later this year, with operations starting in 2025.

During the same month, Dermody Properties announced plans for LogistiCenter at Bright Star, a 181,000-square-foot industrial campus in Douglasville, Ga. Construction on the two buildings started earlier this year and delivery is anticipated by the second quarter of 2025. Additionally, the facilities are being built to meet LEED standards.

Completions are scaling down in Atlanta

Union City Logistics Center
In October, AEW Capital Management and Stream Realty Partners completed Union City Logistics Center, a 360,180-square-foot warehouse in the Atlanta market. Image by AJS Studios courtesy of Stream Realty Partners

In the first three months of the year, Atlanta saw a decline in industrial deliveries, with only 1.8 million square feet of space coming online, compared to 2.4 million square feet during last year’s same period. Only seven facilities were delivered, five less than in 2023’s first quarter.

Metro Atlanta had the fewest square feet to come online among comparable markets, with the Inland Empire (12.2 million square feet), Dallas (9.1 million square feet) and Phoenix (5.3 million square feet) taking the lead. In October, a joint venture between AEW Capital Management and Stream Realty Partners completed Union City Logistics Center, a 360,180-square-foot warehouse. Construction on the front-load facility started in September 2022.

Sale prices lower than national averages

Atlanta’s industrial sector registered $205 million in assets changing hands in the first quarter. Nationally, the sales volume during the same period reached $10 billion, the Bay Area taking the lead with almost $1.7 billion.

Facilities in metro Atlanta traded for an average of $113 per square foot as of March, CommercialEdge data shows, considerably lower than the $147 national average. The Inland Empire ($212 psf), New Jersey ($306 psf) and Dallas ($145 psf) are some of the markets that fared better, with Chicago ($97 psf) lagging.

6420-6476 Warren Dr
Unilev Capital acquired a 141,481-square-foot industrial portfolio within Atlanta’s Northlake Chamblee submarket. Image courtesy of JLL

In February, Berkeley Partners sold a 141,481-square-foot, three-building industrial portfolio in Norcross, Ga. Unilev Capital acquired the assets completed in the 1879s for $18.2 million, or $128.6 per square foot.

Last October, multiple institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives acquired BlueLinx Atlanta IOS, a 585,637-square-foot distribution facility in Lawrenceville, Ga., for $40 million. Stockbridge Capital Group sold the asset for $68.3 per square foot after owning it for just two years.

Higher vacancy rate, but still under national average

Atlanta’s industrial vacancy rate as of March clocked in at 4.6 percent, 60 basis point lower than the national average, but 170 basis points higher year-over-year. Indianapolis (3.2 percent) and Phoenix (3.7 percent) posted the lowest vacancy rates, while the Inland Empire (6.0 percent) and New Jersey (6.1 percent) were some of the peer markets that fared worse.

Gardner Logistics Park
NVH Korea signed a full-building lease at Scannell Properties’ facility in Locust Grove, Ga., committing to 234,000 square feet. Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

Atlanta remained one of the cheapest large industrial markets at the end of the first quarter, with an average rent of $5.67 per square foot, a 7.8 percent increase year-over-year, but still $2.18 less than the national figure. Orange County continued to lead the country at $15.44 per square foot, while Indianapolis ($4.60 psf) was at the other end.

In June last year, NVH Korea signed a 234,000-square-foot lease at Scannell Properties’ Gardner Logistics Park in Locust Grove, Ga. The acoustic and thermal management company will occupy the whole facility.

A month before, Boston Scientific Corp. committed to 206,686 square feet at US Realty Advisors and Bain Capital’s to-be-completed campus in Johns Creek, Ga. The life science manufacturing and supply chain facility is being constructed on the site of a former State Farm campus.

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