ATLANTA-Granite Properties Inc. is entering the metro area’s 100-million-sf industrial market with a property that will be difficult to hide–a $47-million, 1.3-million-sf, four-building speculatively-built distribution center at Camp Creek Parkway and Fulton Industrial Boulevard in the Fulton submarket. Granite’s joint venture partner is locally based Republic Property Co.

The partnership expects to break ground on the first building later this month. Granite and Republic acquired the 8.5-acre tract from Minneapolis-based Meritex Enterprises for $7.3 million or $85,882 per acre ($1.97 per sf). A 400,000-sf industrial building on the site will be demolished to make room for the new project, says Steve Martin, Granite’s managing director for Atlanta.

“As an entrepreneurial company, we’re constantly looking for the right opportunities and right partners to fulfill our investment objectives,” Martin says. “Republic’s industrial development experience and integrity, combined with this unsurpassed site, are a perfect fit.” The project is near Interstates 75, 85, 20 and 285, as well as Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.The class A center will have 32-foot clear height, 140-foot truck courts and an ESFR fire protection system. “Today’s corporate tenants are looking for modern, efficient industrial space to fit their distribution strategies,” says Republic Property president Jerry Daws. “By redeveloping this site in one of the most sought-after submarkets in metro Atlanta, we feel Riverview will flourish as the US economy continues to recover and expand.”

Granite is no stranger to the area’s commercial real estate turf. In June, the Texas company and locally based Pope & Land Enterprises Inc. sold their 14-story, 353,000-sf One Glenlake office building in suburban Sandy Ridge to Wells Real Estate Investment Trust for an estimated $82 million or about $232.29 per sf, one of the highest per-sf prices recorded locally this year.

In August 2003, Granite purchased a 10-building, 644,355-sf office portfolio in the Cumberland Office Park in northwest Atlanta from Prentiss Properties Trust, also of Dallas, for $40.1 million or about $62.23 per sf. Prentiss officials said they sold the properties in a move to leave the metro market and concentrate the firm’s activity in core markets such as Washington, DC, California, Austin, TX, Dallas and Chicago.

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