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ATLANTA-Potter Roemer, a fire protection equipment manufacturer, has signed a four-year lease for 66,833 sf at 4103 Tench Road in suburban Suwanee. The deal will bring the 125,725-sf class A industrial building, which opened in spring 2007, to about 90% occupancy when the tenant moves in Dec. 1.

Walker Welford, director of industrial property for Taylor & Mathis Inc., the building’s developer and owner, says the tenant originally sought about 30,000 sf but changed course during negotiations to more than double the amount of space. Partly because of the shift upwards, Welford says the landlord was willing to accept a four-year lease term, one less than it preferred. “A five-year lease would be standard, especially on a first-generation building like this,” he explains. “It’s basically what you need to pay back costs.”

The fact that the tenant took options for three four-year extensions helped make the shorter term palatable, says Michael Engelhaupt, owner of Match Point Real Estate Services, which represented Potter Roemer in the transaction. “Signing for four years is their standard way of doing business,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “That’s the only deal they were willing to consider.”

City of Industry, CA-based Potter Roemer quickly zeroed in on the Suwanee Pointe building because options for properties meeting its height specifications were limited, Engelhaupt says, adding: “There were only one or two buildings available that fit their criteria.” Welford says the annual asking rate for the property is $14.40 per sf triple net, with a tenant allowance of $5 per sf.

Walker says Potter Roemer was actually the second tenant to sign for the space. “We had fully executed a lease with another company for about 40,000 sf, but the deal fell flat over the rise in steel prices,” he says. “They realized they couldn’t afford to continue doing business at the prices their customers were willing to pay.”

Located in the Duluth/Suwanee/Buford submarket, the building is one of three industrial structures Taylor & Mathis has completed in its Suwanee Pointe development. The second is a 206,000-sf build-to-suit for Meggitt Defense Systems, a UK company that provides computer-based weapons training for police and military personnel. The third is a 105,000-sf building that is 50% leased to several smaller tenants.

Two additional buildings of 60,000 sf and 80,000 sf are planned for the project. Walker says the developer hopes to begin site work for the new construction by spring, with an eight-month completion schedule, though the launch will depend upon continued tenant interest in the existing buildings.

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