Riding the Wave or Bracing for the Avalanche?

It began in June of 2016. An Atlanta broker and entrepreneur saw the opportunity to purchase a 220-acre site in Adairsville, GA from a distressed seller. After his purchase, he stated, “One of the most attractive aspects of Adairsville is that it is flat. There are no wetlands issues and it’s ready for development. “You could almost go out there with an axe and a weed eater and get it pad ready,” he said. “…This could be a big, big, deal.”

Three years later, we have at least 5 institutional developers with over 1,300 acres of controlled sites, over 1.2 million square feet of industrial distribution space slated to be delivered within the next 12 months, and over 8 million square feet of proposed space that could be available. Taking all of this in, I began to wonder: will developers be riding a “wave” of opportunity with the pent-up demand from occupiers or will we experience an “avalanche” of industrial product on the market at once?

The answer to that question may not be cut and dry; it really depends on a few of the buildings that are currently under construction. Occupiers will see availability ranging from approximately 200,000 SF to 760,000 SF within the next 12 months. Who will take the first building? Could it be an occupier taking down Ashley Capital’s entire +/- 760,000 SF distribution center? Could it be a local user who needs +/-200,000 SF of prime distribution space at Panattoni’s Georgia North Business Center? What if there is a big manufacturer in the mix? Where would the supporting warehouse suppliers go? You may be wondering those same things, and most importantly- how will this affect your business? Could there be an unknown outcome for your real estate costs?

Oxbow is watching these developments closely, and we know the market. Whoever occupies those buildings will determine if we will see the surfers or the snowboarders in the coming year.