ATLANTA-In a highly competitive market, First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. of Chicago has locked up a tenant for 12 years at its 13-year-old, 131,320-sf light distribution facility at 4051 Southmeadow Parkway in South Atlanta. PrimeSource Building Products of Indianapolis is taking the entire building at an aggregate rent of $5 million. Average asking rent for light industrial space in the Fulton County submarket is $2.50 per sf.

Brian Netzky and Michael Morgan of Julien J. Studley handled the transaction. Mark Dishaw, First Industrial’s senior regional director, estimates the vacancy level in metro Atlanta’s 450-million-sf industrial real estate sector at 15% to 17%. Average occupancy in the submarket is 81%.

“Like most metropolitan areas, net aborption has been weak” in Atlanta’s industrial market, Dishaw tells “The silver lining is that there is little or no new spec construction,” which will help the market use up its inventory.

In past years, about 15 million sf of new space surfaced annually, the Chicago executive says. “Of course, net absorption was also strong in those periods and the market absorbed most of the new product.”

But Dishaw says there is still a large volume of sublease space in the metro Atlanta market as companies consolidate their operations and use less space to run their businesses. “We might have another year to go” before a good portion of the inventory is absorbed, he adds.

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