Savannah Business Journal Staff Report
November 12, 2018 – Stonemont Financial Group and Chesterfield recently announced the development of the 1,150-acre Georgia International Trade Center (GITC), the newest Class A, rail-served industrial park in the Savannah region. The park is located within 10 miles of the Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City Terminal on GA Highway 21, just inside the Effingham County border. At build-out, the logistics campus will feature up to 7.2 million-square-feet (MSF) of light industrial and manufacturing warehouse space, with the first two speculative buildings planned for delivery next year.
The development will support the continued explosive growth in import, export, and e-commerce shipping activity through the Georgia ports. The result of decades of strategic planning by the Georgia PortsAuthority and the expansion of the Panama Canal, the Georgia ports have become some of the busiest in the nation, ranking behind only the Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York/New Jersey facilities.
“Over the next 10 years, the Georgia Ports Authority will grow the Port of Savannah’s annual capacity to 8 million twenty-foot equivalent container units,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “As more customers tap into Savannah’s efficiencies, there is clear demand for additional warehouse space at sites like the Georgia International Trade Center. Rail-served developments in the private logistics community help to ensure the free flow of cargo to and from important inland markets across the Southeast and beyond.”
Brandt Herndon, CEO of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority added, “We are excited to have Chesterfield and Stonemont invest in our County as the demand for warehouse and distribution space, coupled with a low vacancy rate, makes this property the perfect option to serve the Georgia Ports Authority. We look forward to working with the developers and Cushman & Wakefield | Gilbert & Ezelle to help make this new development a success.”
With efficient proximity to Savannah ports, the Georgia International Trade Center provides direct access to I-95 and the I-16 corridors, as well as CSX rail. The campus will offer multiple built-to-suit options for tenants, ranging from 155,000 to 1,265,000 MSF.
The first buildings are expected to be completed in late 2019, consisting of two Class A speculative warehouses:
- Building 1A will be a 407,000 square-foot Class A cross-dock industrial facility with a 36’ clear-height
- Building 1B will be a 155,000 square-foot Class A rear-load industrial facility with a 32’ clear-height
“We believe in the transformational potential of this project, as the Georgia ports continue to drive import, export and e-commerce traffic through the entire southeast region,” stated Zack Markwell, Founder and CEO of Stonemont. “The Port has seen tremendous growth in recent years, but it needs more distribution and warehouse capacity to support customers’ increasing needs. GITC will provide tailored, build-to-suit facilities to meet the needs of a variety of users and continue to bolster growth throughout the region.”
Will Gardner, CEO of Chesterfield, noted that “Chesterfield is proud to have worked with Joe Marshall of Atlantic Investors to negotiate the purchase of GITC in its entirety. We are also extremely proud of our partnership with Stonemont Financial Group to develop GITC. We believe GITC is a real game-changer for the Savannah Region and the State of Georgia. GITC is the only park that is on CSX rail, fully entitled with all utilities, less than 10 miles from GPA’s Garden City Terminal on a 4-lane state route that also offers four building pads of over 1 million square feet each.”
A groundbreaking is planned for December 2018, followed by the construction of the main spine road and utilities to serve the first two spec. buildings and multiple build-to-suit opportunities. “We are already receiving interest and responding to RFP’s from multiple end users for the speculative product as well as rail served sites,” said to Stephen Ezelle, SIOR, CCIM, Partner with Cushman & Wakefield | Gilbert & Ezelle. “This early interest is a testament to the strategic location of the property and strength of the development group. Our total warehouse inventory in Savannah by year-end 2018 will be 62 MSF with a vacancy well below 1%, so this new facility will help meet an important need for the regional economy.”