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Spartanburg’s Spec Industrial Market is Booming

Spartanburg County’s spec market is undergoing an unprecedented expansion. Here’s a look at the projects and factors fueling the growth.

Nothing screams progress like vacant buildings. Right?

Well, in Spartanburg County, speculative, or spec, industrial facilities are seeding the growth of an economy that already reaped a harvest of more than $5.75 billion in capital investment and 12,000 jobs during the past eight years.

Spartanburg’s spec market is in the midst of an unprecedented expansion.

During the past 18 months, at least six major new developments have been announced that promise to bring about 3 million square feet of spec space to the market by early 2019.

When combined with several ongoing projects, the county’s inventory of spec space could jump to more than 4 million square feet during the next year.

“When the economy crashed in 2008, we couldn’t beg, plead, or borrow a spec building,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt. “We lost all of our inventory [of available buildings]. It made it very challenging to land companies.”

So what exactly is spec?

Typically, spec is a term used to describe buildings that are not build-to-suit, meaning tailored to meet the needs of a specifc tenant.

Spec buildings usually appeal to a broad range of users.

The advantage is that they enable new or expanding companies to move in and set up operations quickly instead of having to wait months for one to be built.

A majority of the buildings already under construction in Spartanburg have not yet been leased, but local experts don’t believe that will be the case for long.

And the return for the community could yield investment, jobs, economic diversifcation, tax revenue growth, and other benefts for several years to come.

“A lot of these companies don’t have time to wait,” Britt said. “Now with this drastic [increase in spec space], we expect to see growth. The results are driving these investments. Developers are realizing there’s gold in the hills of Spartanburg County. They’re not prospecting anymore. They’re looking at it with a laser focus.”

Meet the new projects

Who: St. Louis-based CRG, a private real estate investment afliate of Clayco Inc.

What: Multimillion-dollar Inland 85 Logistics Center

Where: 324 acres composed of multiple parcels in the vicinity of Genoble and Robinson roads near Greer

Scope: First phase will be the construction of a 500,280-square-foot spec building that will be expandable to 1,186,680 square feet.

When: Company said the building should be available for occupancy by the fourth quarter of 2018.

Master Plan: A preliminary site plan from the company showed as many as six buildings with the potential to provide an additional 2.3 million square feet of industrial space.

Update: County Council documents discussing incentives for the project said it would be an investment of at least $194 million. On April 12, Clayco announced it established a new ofce in downtown Greenville’s ONE Center at 2 W. Washington St. The company said the move is tied to construction of the spec building.


Who: Atlanta-based Rooker Development What: $30 million Spartan Ridge Logistics Center

Where: 52 acres at 210 Nazareth Church Road near Highway 29 and Interstate 85 near Spartanburg’s west side

Scope: The center will be composed of two Class A spec buildings totaling 559,000 square feet. Building 1 will be 273,000 square feet. Building 2 will be 286,000 square feet.


Who: Columbia-based Red Rock Developments

What: Multimillion-dollar Smith Farms Industrial Park

Where: 475 acres at Highway 101 and Reidville Road near Duncan

Master Plan: Red Rock’s proposed site plan showed the project could yield up to 11 buildings ranging from 60,000 to 1.6 million square feet. Park’s total capacity is nearly 6 million square feet of Class A space.

When: Company expects to deliver both buildings during the frst quarter of 2019.

Update: Red Rock has announced it will construct two spec buildings on the site. The frst building will be 396,073 square feet. The second will be a 210,820-square-foot facility.


Who: A joint venture between PCCP LLC and Panattoni Development Co.

What: Apple Valley Industrial Park

Where: Almost 40 acres at Apple Valley and Boiter roads near Duncan

Scope: Construction includes a 196,000-square-foot spec building and a pre-leased 177,320-square-foot building.

When: Completion expected by mid-2018.

Update: The frst building has been leased to Global Automotive Partners. No lease signed on the second building, according to Panattoni.


Who: Mark Cothran

What: Global Commerce Park

Where: 67 acres at I-85 and Brockman McClimon Road near Greer

Scope: Construction will include a 163,000-square-foot industrial building followed by several multitenant industrial buildings.

Master Plan: The park will be a Class A multibuilding industrial park with up to six buildings that total 600,000 square feet.

When: Completion of frst building expected in summer of 2018.


Who: Charlotte, N.C.-based McDonald Development Co.

What: Carolina Commerce Center

Where: More than 42 acres at 1611 Poplar Drive Extension near Greer and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport

Scope: Development will include two Class A industrial buildings totaling 458,754 square feet. Building 1 will be 327,137 square

feet. Building 2 will be 131,617 square feet.

When: Both buildings could be delivered during the frst quarter of 2019.


Who: Childress Klein and Cullum Interests

What: Velocity Business Park

Where: 901 Victor Hill Road near Greer

Scope: Development includes a 297,607-square-foot spec building that is nearing completion and could soon be leased.

Master Plan: A preliminary site plan shows the potential for construction of two other buildings at the park, including a 125,000-square-foot building and a 105,000-square-foot building.

When: The frst building was completed at the end of April, but the companies have not said when the other two buildings will be constructed.


Ongoing Projects

Who: Spartanburg-based Johnson Development Associates

What: 363,000-square-foot spec building at Flatwood Industrial Park near Boiling Springs

Where: 767 Flatwood Road

Update: About one year ago, global freight forwarder Senator International leased half of the building, leaving the other half to be occupied by a future tenant. Flatwood Works LLC, an afliate of Spartanburg-based Contec Inc., purchased the building on April 10 for nearly $24 million, property records show.


Who: Illinois-based Becknell Industrial

What: Wingo Park

Where: New Cut Road near North Blackstock Road

Update: BMW supplier Grupo Antolin leased a 175,000-square-foot spec building that Becknell completed at the park early this year. Becknell is moving forward with plans to build another 171,600-square-foot Class A industrial building at the site that is expected to be completed in June. The company has space for another 140,000-square-foot spec building between the two larger facilities.


Who: Philadelphia-based Alliance Partners HSP

What: Hamilton Industrial Park

Where: Fryml Drive off I-85 Business near Boiling Springs

Update: Alliance purchased and renovated two industrial facilities formerly known as Spartanburg’s Viking Warehouses. The facilities offer about 320,000 square feet of spec space. In March, Michigan-based Cooper Standard became the development’s frst tenant when it leased 73,000 square feet.


Who: Indiana-based Scannell Properties

What: Hillside Enterprise Park

Where: 84 acres off Howell Road near Duncan

Update: After attracting several tenants, including Brose North America, Advance Ceramic Coatings, and AFL, to its multibuilding industrial park, Scannell is moving forward with plans to build a fnal 408,000-square-foot spec facility at the site.


Who: Pete Weisman

What: Corporate Center

Where: Corporate Drive off I-85 Business near Boiling Springs

Update: Weisman, the owner and architect of Corporate Center, has continued to expand his multibuilding “flexible” business park. In 2017, Weisman began construction on two additional spec buildings totaling more than 115,000 square feet. When complete, those facilities will bring the park’s existing space to 11 buildings totaling more than 500,000 square feet.


So what’s driving all of the growth?

It never hurts to have the world’s largest BMW plant in your backyard.

BMW Manufacturing Co.’s growth since the Great Recession has set off a chain of new projects and expansions across the county.

For example, German automotive supplier Brose North America celebrated the grand opening this past year of its new $6 million, 77,000-square-foot facility at Scannell’s Hillside Enterprise Park.

Brose makes lightweight door systems and front air gates for several BMW models.

The company was able to utilize Spartanburg Community College’s Spark Center as soft landing space before moving to its permanent home in the spec building at 1171 Howell Road.

Brose’s story is also one of many examples of the team approach that local economic development ofcials have cultivated and used to entice a spate of projects.

And the presence of global brands, including Michelin North America, Toray, Kobelco, Ritrama, Adidas, Amazon, Rite Aid, and others, has solidifed Spartanburg’s reputation as a destination for manufacturing and distribution operations.

“Spartanburg and the Upstate have enjoyed much success,” Britt said. “The results are driving these [spec] investments. … It’s a great sign of the times, and we need to take full advantage of these partnerships we have formed with developers and owners [of these spec projects]. We’re not saying, ‘Build it and they will come.’ We’re saying, ‘Build it and we will help you succeed.’”

One of the biggest game changers, experts said, has been the introduction and continued growth of the South Carolina Ports Authority’s (SCPA) Inland Port Greer in Spartanburg County.

The facility has enabled BMW, Michelin, and other companies to import and export goods via Norfolk Southern Rail to the Port of Charleston and out to waiting markets around the world.

In fact, SCPA recently announced the Inland Port handled 10,612 rail moves in March, bringing its fscal year-to-date volume to 87,360 moves since July, which is a 3 percent increase compared with the same period of the previous year.

That means the facility is on track to break its all-time record of 121,761 rail moves completed in 2017.

In addition, Spartanburg’s inventory of available land capable of accommodating large industrial projects, particularly along highways 101 and 290, continues to fuel activity related to the nearby Inland Port.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that most of the new spec projects are positioned along or near those corridors.

“We are bullish on the Upstate market,” said Tracy White, senior vice president of McDonald Development Co. Carolinas. “Our location in Greer near the BMW plant and the Inland Port is where the majority of leasing is taking place, and the city of Greer has been very accommodating. The number of manufacturing and distribution users planning new or expanded operations in Greer and the greater Upstate market gives us confdence that Carolina Commerce Center will be absorbed during construction and over a short lease-up period.”

What does the future look like?

Brian Young, senior vice president and managing broker with Cushman & Wakefeld | Thalhimer, said the market is “very tight,” with the vacancy for industrial near 5.5 percent.

“It has never been this low,” he said.

During the frst quarter, Young said there were about 2 million square feet of positive absorption, meaning space leased or sold. He expects the market will see additional absorption into the second quarter and an even lower vacancy rate.

“We very much need the new product,” Young said. “Currently, we are tracking about 4 million square feet in users in the market. We have about 3.2 million square feet in speculative space under construction. So we expect a number of these projects to be leased upon delivery.”

Young noted that from 2014 through 2016, available spec space in the market was leased within six months of being delivered, on average.

Garrett Scott, vice president of Colliers International South Carolina, said the Inland Port has been a boon for the Upstate’s spec market.

So much, in fact, he said the facility has even impacted the style of spec buildings being introduced to the market.

For example, there’s a mix of flexible, multipurpose, rear-load buildings and cross-dock buildings, which are perfect for distribution centers, under construction. Many of them are going into the same industrial parks.

“The Inland Port is changing the dynamic of spec in the market,” Scott said. “The strength of the Upstate manufacturing market is also driving this growth.”

He said the next wave of companies moving to Spartanburg could be logistics companies that offer supply chain solutions to specifc companies, such as Amazon or BMW.

While Spartanburg’s spec development is small compared with other large markets, such as Dallas and Atlanta, the county is punching above its weight, Scott said.

He noted that a majority of the developers of Spartanburg’s new class of spec projects are all players in much larger markets.

“Spartanburg County has stepped into the big leagues,” he said. “The money is now chasing performance and yield. The
fundamentals here are strong. It’s the perfect confluence.”

Atlanta Developer, after landing big anchor tenant, to break ground on new industrial park in East Tampa

An Atlanta developer has landed a giant anchor tenant for a new industrial park in East Tampa and plans to begin construction by the end of the year.

McDonald Development, which acquired the nearly 70-acre site in 2015, has signed a deal with Bunzl, a large distributor, for 200,000 square feet in the 301 Business Center. Bunzl distributes everything from groceries to cleaning supplies.

The park is east of U.S. 301, between East Columbus Drive and East Broadway Avenue.

Three buildings will break ground in December, said Austin McDonald, chief operating ofcer of McDonald Development. The
three buildings include a 144,500-square-foot front-loading warehouse and a 170,900-square-foot rear-loading warehouse.
Bunzl’s space is in the 341,800-square-foot cross-dock facility. (Cross docking is the loading of products from one trailer directly
onto another.) There’s also space for an eventual fourth building, which will be 206,400 square feet.

Debt and equity partners are in place for the frst phase, though McDonald declined to identify them.

The 301 Business Center is a signifcant project for East Tampa. The vast majority of Tampa Bay’s industrial development is
concentrated in Lakeland and Polk City. Large sites like the park are difcult to come by in East Tampa, which is largely already
built out with warehouses and industrial facilities. It’s also breaking ground at a time when top-tier warehouse space in Tampa is
extremely limited, with a vacancy rate below 2 percent.

Julia Rettig and Jessica Mizrahi, a team of brokers from Cushman & Wakefeld of Florida Inc. in Tampa, represented McDonald in
the Bunzl deal and are marketing the remaining space for the developer. Kostas Stoilas of Fortress Commercial Real Estate LLC in
Tampa and Cameron Duff of NAI Heartland represented Bunzl in the lease transaction.

“There’s pent up build in every building sector,” Rettig said. “This product will capture a lot of these users without room to grow.”

With the variety of warehouses, 301 will be able to accommodate a variety of users, from homebuilding supply companies to
e-commerce operations, McDonald said. Last-mile delivery operations — a growing logistics sector as more companies strive for
same- or two-day delivery — are also likely to land in the park, given its proximity to Tampa’s population centers.

“What’s happening with the last-mile guys is that they’re taking [older, less functional] space because there’s nothing else in the market, and they want infll sites,” Rettig said. “And typically infll sites are going to be older products. We’ll be able to deliver state-of-the art, Class A infll.

Sanford commerce center sold for $10.4M

Cushman & Wakefeld negotiated the sale of the 117,600-square-foot North Park Commerce Center in Sanford for $10.4 million to Cabot Properties of Boston. North Park Commerce Center comprises two Class A, small bay, rear-load, dock-high distribution buildings developed in 2009. Cushman’s Mike Davis, Michael Lerner and Rick Brugge represented Atlanta-based McDonald Development Co. in the sale.

$47.9M Warehouse/Distribution Center Sale Notches Central Florida Milestone

A huge Class A industrial complex near Orlando International Airport sold today for top dollar.

An entity related to Los Angeles-based Colony Capital LLC spent $47.9 million — or a record $100 per square foot — to buy the three-building, 479,100-square-foot LeeVista Business Center warehouse and distribution center from Atlanta based McDonald Development Co., Cushman & Wakefeld announced on Oct. 27.

Mike Davis, Michael Lerner and Rick Brugge of Cushman & Wakefeld represented McDonald Development in the sale.  The price per square foot is the highest that’s ever been paid for a multitenant industrial complex in the Orlando area, Cushman & Wakefeld reported.

“This portfolio had all the attributes that discerning investors covet including high-quality construction, credit tenants, limited near-term rollover and an outstanding location adjacent to Orlando International Airport,” said Lerner, Cushman & Wakefeld senior director, in a prepared statement. “As a result, the offering was hotly contested and our client was able to achieve premium pricing.”

The 27.7-acre complex — which featured one of just three industrial speculative developments built in 2013-2014 that kicked off the local real estate recovery, as previously reported by Orlando Business Journal — has three Class A, rear-load warehouse and distribution buildings that were built between 2009 and 2016. One of the buildings ranks among Central Florida’s largest multitenant warehouses, based on OBJ research.

The center was 84.4 percent leased at the time of the sale, which hasn’t yet hit public records. Notable tenants include Thales USA, ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services, Siemens Corp., Carrier and DHL Global Mail.

The sale is part of a big surge in industrial development, drawing significant interest from both investors and developers.

Meanwhile, the complex is within the 1,900-acre LeeVista Center, a mixed-use development just five minutes from major distribution routes: State Road 528, Interstate 4, Florida’s Turnpike and State Road 417

Atlanta Company Buys Land for New Industrial Park

McDonald Development Co. purchased 68.7 acres east of U.S. 301 and south of Broadway Avenue for $7 million.

BUYER: McDonald Ventures XXXIV LLC, Atlanta
SELLER: IDI Services Group LLC
PROPERTY: 9230 E. Columbus Drive and portions of Broadway Avenue and E. Columbus Drive, Tampa
PRICE: $7 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $4.5 million, October 2014
LAW FIRM ON DEED: Dean, Mead, Egerton, Bloodworth, Capouano & Bozarth PA, Orlando


McDonald Development Co. purchased 68.7 acres east of U.S. 301 and south of Broadway Avenue for $7 million.

The price equated to $101,892 per square acre.

The Atlanta frm plans to develop an industrial park on the property. The project, which is currently known as 301
Business Center, is entitled for 900,000 square feet of warehouse/distribution space.

“We will likely build three to fve buildings in two phases,” says Austin McDonald, chief operating ofcer for McDonald
Development. “Outside of our offer to build to suit, we expected to build on spec. We should start construction this

The frst building is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2016.

The frm was most interested in the property, he says, because of its location near several major roadways, including
Interstates 75 and 4 and State Road 60/Adamo Drive.

The purchase is McDonald Development’s frst acquisition and development along the west coast of Florida. The
frm started developing in Orlando in 1998 and currently owns about a dozen buildings. McDonald expects this frst
project to lead to additional developments along the west coast.

“We like to get into a market and look for other opportunities,” he says

Atlanta developer resurrects plans for massive industrial park in East Tampa

An Atlanta developer has snapped up 70 acres in East Tampa and will resurrect the previous owner’s plans for the site.

McDonald Development Co. paid $7 million for the land in a deal that closed Monday, according to Hillsborough County property records. The site is east of U.S. 301, between East Columbus Drive and East Broadway Avenue.

A team of brokers from Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. — Mike Davis, Bruce Erhardt, Julia Rettig and Jeff Lamm — represented the seller, Atlanta-based IDI Services, in the transaction.

IDI bought the land in 2004 and had it entitled for 900,000 square feet of warehouse space. McDonald Development Chief Operating Officer Austin McDonald said his company is evaluating how big the first phase will be, but he plans to break ground by the end of the year — on a speculative basis, if necessary.

Large industrial developments can mean millions in capital investment and create hundreds of jobs when big warehouse users move in.

IDI had named the site 301 Business Center but never broke ground on the park. It is exiting the Tampa market, McDonald said.

McDonald said his company is still evaluating a name for the park and has yet to hire a brokerage firm to market the property.

The park will accommodate large warehouse users in the 300,000-square-feet-and-up range, as well as smaller users in the 10,000- to 50,000-square-foot range — industrial buildings that typically come with more office space. “It’s basically dead center in the East Tampa submarket,” McDonald said. “Location wise, it was a gift.” In Tampa Bay, most large warehouse users typically zero in on the Interstate 4 corridor, because they can serve both Tampa and Orlando from Polk County. But McDonald said he’s very comfortable with the East Tampa site because his competition will be limited. There’s far less available land in the East Tampa area than Polk County.

“We’ve been in Orlando for a decade and have looked at Polk County and Tampa,” McDonald said, “and we really wanted to be in Tampa.”


Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets Group brokers the sale of the Peachtree North Industrial Portfolio in Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA – January 8, 2015 – Cushman & Wakefeld announced today that its National Industrial Advisory Group has represented McDonald Development in the sale of the Peachtree North Industrial Portfolio consisting of four multi-tenant class A warehouse buildings totaling 708,370 square feet. Located in Atlanta’s largest I-85/Northeast industrial submarket, the portfolio comprises buildings 1200, 1300, 1327 and 1400 Northbrook Parkway.

Members of the Atlanta-based Cushman & Wakefeld team that marketed the property included Executive Director Stewart Calhoun, Executive Director David Meline, Senior Director Samir Idris and Director Casey Masters.
The buyer was Industrial Property Trust Inc., a Denver-headquartered REIT with a portfolio of industrial properties across the U.S. The sale closed in late December and the purchase price was undisclosed.

The Peachtree North Industrial Portfolio was 92% leased at the time of sale to a highly-diversifed rent roll with over four years of weighted average remaining term. Its densely-developed infll location immediately adjacent to the I-85/Old Peachtree Road interchange provides immediate access to local, regional and national distribution routes and Gwinnett County’s highly-skilled population base.

Cushman & Wakefeld advises and represents clients on all aspects of property occupancy and investment. Founded in 1917, it has 250 ofces in 60 countries, employing more than 16,000 professionals. It offers a complete range of services to its occupier and investor clients for all property types, including leasing, sales and acquisitions, equity, debt and structured fnance, corporate fnance and investment banking, appraisal, consulting, corporate services, and property, facilities, project and risk management.

McDonald to build distribution center

McDonald Development Company plans to start work in the frst quarter of next year on a distribution center at the
Crossroads Distribution Park on Gills Drive in Orlando.

As planned, the facility would include 86,500 square feet with front-loading capabilities.

Tom McFadden and William Bradford, principals with Lee & Associates Central Florida, represented Duke Realty in its
$832,960 sale of the 4.38-acre site. Lee & Associates will also handle leasing for the space.

FedEx Growing in Atlanta’s North Side

FedEx Ground will expand its distribution center next to McCollum Field in Cobb County, Ga.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based package shipper (NYSE: FDX), and chief rival to Atlanta-based United Parcel Service
Inc. (NYSE: UPS), will add 85,000 square feet to the facility. The move will aid FedEx’s handling of local, regional and
country-wide service.

“We believe that FedEx’s business model and commitment to the community is a perfect fit for our county and we
look forward to helping them grow as they continue to meet the needs of the business community and the citizens
of Georgia,” said Rob Garcia, chairman-elect of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

FedEx Corp.’s “SmartPost” unit in July signed a 201,600-square-foot lease at McDonald Development Co.’s SouthPark in
Clayton County. SmartPost is a division of FedEx that focuses on business with e-commerce and catalog companies.

Giant warehouses point to logistics growth

Trammell Crow Co.’s Wit Truitt assisted PetsMart Inc. last year in leasing a 1 million-square-foot distribution facility in Illinois. This time, the transaction is heading a little closer to Truitt’s home base of Atlanta, as the pet products retailer is looking for a site for another 1 million-square-foot warehouse along the Interstate 85 South corridor.

Last year, he worked with Staples Inc., which is building a distribution center along the I-20 West corridor (see Big Deal, 2C). The ofce supply company expects to be in the building by the frst of next year.

These are just two examples of the type of massive warehouses consumer companies are building in metro Atlanta. Brokers and economists say the trend shows the growing strength of the Atlanta market as a distribution hub connected to different modes of transportation — railways, roadways, ports and airports. The trend also points to the vibrancy of the Southeast’s economy and Atlanta’s consumer base of more than 4 million people.

Truitt said the distribution facility deals he’s worked on are primarily regional consolidations. And they signify that operations are growing, he said. PetsMart, for example, is trying to open 90 to 100 stores a year.

“It’s defnitely what’s spurring this growth,” he said.

Although these decisions are too long term to consider consumer confdence numbers, it does signal that the companies are relatively confdent about their prospects for expanding their operations, said Roger Tutterow, director of the Econometric Center at the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.

“If they’re investing that type of resources in a warehouse … they expect to be growing their product line over time,” he said.

Last September, BrandsMart USA moved into a 226,200-square-foot facility expandable to 900,000 square feet in McDonald Development Co.’s SouthPark development on Interstate 675 in Clayton County. McDonald did a 657,000-square-foot building for Whirlpool Corp. several years ago and a 272,000-square-foot warehouse for H.H. Gregg.

Companies are moving into bigger and bigger warehouses, said John McDonald. In the 1990s, the consolidations were into centers that were 200,000 to 400,000 square feet, but now, buildings are 500,000 to 1 million square feet, he said.

Although consumers have driven the economy out of the recession by their purchasing power, McDonald said most of the large buildings are cost-savings decisions.

“The larger the building, the less they cost, the lower the rent,” he said.

The demand for big-box warehouses is best connected to a movement within the distribution and logistics industry to make businesses more efcient and to reduce costs, said Trent Germano, executive vice president of Carter, whose 94-acre New Manchester Distribution Center is home to JVC Americas and Medline Industries Inc., a medical equipment supplier.

“The trend seems to be toward having fewer distribution facilities with a somewhat longer haul,” he said.

One of the largest warehouse deals is Home Depot’s more than 1 million-square-foot facility in Greenwood Industrial Park in McDonough. Also in Henry County, Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc. is developing a 416,000-square-foot facility in partnership with Weeks Properties of Atlanta. The facility, which is expandable to more than 790,000 square feet, is one of fve buildings planned for King Mill Industrial Park, which is expected to total 2.9 million square feet of industrial space.

The decisions are driven by location, a compatible labor force, the value of the property and the cost of developing the facility, Germano said.

Jeff Humphreys, director of The University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, said the trend shows longterm business strategy.

“Atlanta just makes sense for a distribution center regardless of strength of consumer confdence,” he said.

Humphreys said companies also are looking at the distance to the market. To determine the cost of the location, they consider freight rates, air transportation costs and shipping costs.

As an emerging logistics powerhouse, Atlanta and its surrounding counties appear to be flling the bill.