ATLANTA-EllisDaws Properties, formed in April by Tom Ellis and Jerry Daws, is charging out of the gate.

In its first project, the company is partnering with Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, a subsidiary of Mass Mutual, to develop Crossroads Distribution Center, a seven-building, 948,000-sf industrial park in the highly-competitive Interstate 85 northeast corridor in Gwinnett County.

The $40 million project is going up on 62 acres within the 208-acre mixed-use Crossroads at Gwinnett Place being developed by Retail Development Partners.

“We are not in the bulk business,” Ellis tells “We are targeting users who need 30,000 to 80,000 sf of space.”

He sees smaller users as “the biggest section” of the industrial market. “There are more tenants and more square footage being used in this section than any other,” Ellis says.

Rents will run from $4.30 per sf to $4.85 per sf. Although no leases have been signed, Ellis says the inquiries have been strong.

A 187,000-sf building and a 130,000-sf structure are under construction. The first building will open in March; the second, two weeks later. Phase II, a 120,000-sf and a 150,000-sf building will begin in April. Phase III, a 137,000-sf and a 110,000-sf building, will get under way at the end of next year. Construction on Phase IV, a 100,000-sf building, is scheduled to begin in September 2002.

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