New Jersey-based East Coast Warehouse & Distribution has expanded its footprint to metropolitan Savannah, Ga., with a lease of 499,200 square feet at 521 Morgan Lakes Blvd., a state-of-the-art industrial facility in Pooler, Ga., near the Port of Savannah.
CBRE orchestrated the long-term lease agreement, representing the tenant, a leading temperature-controlled logistics provider to the food and beverage industry, as well as the owner of the 998,400-square-foot property, PGIM Inc.
“This deal is an example of a trend you will see as companies diversify port locations and expand their operations across the East Coast,” Bill Waxman, an executive vice president with CBRE, told Commercial Property Executive.
CBRE’s Chris Dempsey and Blaine Kelley joined Waxman in representing East Coast Warehouse in the lease transaction, while CBRE’s Bill Sparks stood in for PGIM Inc.
Sited within close proximity to I-95 and I-16, 521 Morgan Lakes offers a direct connection to the main gate of the growing Port of Savannah’s container terminal via the Jimmy Deloach Parkway connector. The Class A warehouse delivered in 2019 at a construction cost of $19.3 million, with Evans General Contractors having served as the general contractor on the project, according to a city of Savannah development document.
East Coast Warehouse is scheduled to open in the new location on August 1 and the company plans to create nearly 100 new jobs within its first year of operation at the site.
Slim pickings in Savannah
The Savannah industrial market is one of the tightest in the country. According to a CBRE report, Savannah’s vacancy rate in the first quarter of 2021 was just 3.3 percent, the second-lowest vacancy rate in the South, and notably below the national average of 4.4 percent.
“According to CBRE Research, construction is well paced but behind the level of recent demand, leading to extremely tight conditions,” Waxman said. “With limited availability and high levels of preleasing for new projects, continued new construction will be needed to sustain Savannah’s current rate of growth.”
As for businesses with location needs similar to those of East Coast Warehouse, the challenge is greater. “The availability of state-of-the-art industrial product is particularly constrained in close proximity to the Port,” Waxman added.