Port of Savannah Getting $550M Industrial Park

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Savannah, Ga., is about to get a 6.5 million-square-foot injection of industrial inventory, which the market desperately needs.

SJP Properties, Chesterfield and Atalaya Capital Management have broken ground on the first of 12 buildings at a $550 million industrial park, which will be known as the Georgia International Commerce Centre. That should help accelerate supply chains that depend on the port of Savannah, which Savills rated as the fastest-growing port in 2021.

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Congestion at other U.S. ports means container ships have been diverted away from major shipping destinations, leading to a burst of growth in Savannah.

The first building under construction spans 1 million square feet and will be delivered by July 2023, while the others will range in size from 250,000 to 1.3 million square feet, Alex Erdos, senior vice president of leasing for SJP, told Commercial Observer.

“The volume of cargo that passes through the port is astronomical,” Erdos said. “We saw what has been going on with the port and thought, if we can get in the way of this, it really could be an unbelievable opportunity.”

Savills, in a more recent industrial report, stated that Savannah was hardly viewed as a significant port city just a few years ago, but has recently grown to over 100 million square feet of warehousing space. The brokerage firm expects this figure to double by 2027.

“With office and residential, we’re building a best-in-class product that has intangible value that is attractive to purchasers or leasees because it speaks to them,” Erdos said. “With industrial, it’s ‘How big is the box, where is it located, and how soon can you get it to us?’ ”

The 809 acres of industrial land is situated two miles from Interstate 16, a primary thoroughfare for much of the cargo leaving the port and heading to major inland cities.

The first structure, built in a partnership with Manulife Investment Management, will come with 228 dock doors, four drive-in ramps, 273 trailer parking spots, a 185-foot-deep truck court, and car parking for about 190 employees, according to the JV. 

The address will be 110 Commerce Parkway, Ellabell, Ga., once roads to the site are made. But property is located on Highway 80 West between Eldora Road and Warnell Farms Road.

A Walker & Dunlop team of Mo Beler, Aaron Appel, Jon Schwartz, Adam Schwartz and Keith Kurland helped arrange the joint venture.

Other big industrial investments in the Savanna market include a new Hyundai manufacturing facility announced in May. The 16 million-square-foot plant will be used for electric vehicle manufacturing and will have an EV battery factory adjacent.

The Hyundai facility will create more than 8,000 new U.S. jobs when it opens in 2025, President Joe Biden said at the time of the announcement. Hyundai will be investing up to $5 billion for advanced automotive technology and another $5.5 billion in the facility itself.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.